Dec 012013
 

Flipping through Dans l’enfer des hauts de pages (“In Hell at the Top of the Page”), the recently released collection of Yann & Conrad’s 1981 Journal de Spirou gag series, it’s clear that  many of the jokes are hard to appreciate (or even to understand) outside the context of the magazine and the time they were originally published. But here are a few I think still work, and might be of some interest to Spirou fans, if only for Conrad’s illustrations:

'Hauts de pages' #541 (ill. Yoann & Conrad; (c) Dupuis, Dargaud and the artists; SR scanlation)

Their opinion that the magazine was no longer what it used to be was a recurring topic of jokes.

'Hauts de pages' #284 (ill. Yoann & Conrad; (c) Dupuis, Dargaud and the artists; SR scanlation)

They also commented on the ongoing confusion about who would take over the series from Fournier. One senses they didn’t think highly of many of the candidates…

'Hauts de pages' #147 (ill. Yoann & Conrad; (c) Dupuis, Dargaud and the artists; SR scanlation)

'Hauts de pages' #472 (ill. Yoann & Conrad; (c) Dupuis, Dargaud and the artists; SR scanlation)

That’s the magazine’s editor, Alain de Kuyssche. In reality, although he had (anonymously) written the script for the story in question, ‘Allez Champignac!’ (‘Go Champignac!’), he was no fan of Nic Broca, and was maneuvering for Tome & Janry to get the job.

Many of the jokes are more or less malicious attacks on other creators in the magazine (often on the very series running below them on the page). Only one is wholly exempt:

'Hauts de pages' #435 (ill. Yoann & Conrad; (c) Dupuis, Dargaud and the artists; SR scanlation)

Finally, I wanted to include this one, just because of the timeliness:

'Hauts de pages' #517 (ill. Yoann & Conrad; (c) Dupuis, Dargaud and the artists; SR scanlation)

For context: Willy Maltaite, better known as Will, drew Tif & Tondu for many years (and collaborated with Franquin on the Spirou adventure Les pirates du silence and on the series Isabelle). The younger Maltaite spent the last thirty years doing other series, but his Tif & Tondu spin-off Choc: Les fantômes de Knightsgrave (“Mr. Shock: The Ghosts of Knightsgrave”) began its run in the magazine last week.

  15 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: Top of the Page”

  1.  

    Bonus points if you can place the panel Spirou is dreaming about in the first strip.

  2.  

    First strip : Radar le Robot

    •  

      Correct! I’m curious about how the authors of the early 80s knew this story, which at that time hadn’t been collected or republished, as far as I know. They must have read it in the Album du journal digests, I suppose. Chaland was apparently a pretty serious collector (a number of his comics allude to tracking down old JdS albums), and I guess it wouldn’t be surprising if the same was true of Conrad and/or Yann.

  3.  

    Which of Chaland’s comics allude to tracking down old JdS albums (or is it meant more symolically, as an appropriation of the style), and would you know how to find Serge Clerc’s Chaland hommage mentioned on this page: http://www.yveschaland.com/bio/bio-chaland.htm (“Chaland raconté par S. Clerc”.) ? It would be useful to have for a project I’m currently involved in. (It’s sort of Spirou-related, so I’ll probably mention it in the comment section when/ if it’ll be finished.)

    •  

      I’m primarily thinking of Le jeune Albert (e.g. the top gag in the second page here), but Chaland snuck in JdS references in lots of his comics and pictures, including the invitation card for his grandparents’ 60th anniversary. And of course there’s the fact that he restored and made his own Franquin-pastiche covers for several albums.

      Sorry, but I don’t see any mention of “Chaland raconté par S. Clerc” on that page, and I’m not familiar with it. There’s a tribute in Chaland: Portrait de l’artiste, but it’s titled “Mon but, c’est ma bio…“.

  4.  

    I’m referring to the panel next to the 1979/ 1980 section with Chaland and Clerc swaggering down a snowy street.

    The reference to “Chaland raconté par S. Clerc – ‘Le Journal’ 2008” is due to that being the text I get when sweeping the mouse pointer over the image, I tried to look up “Le Journal” on French Wikipedia, but I didn’t find anything useful.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments so far.

  5.  

    Ah, I see. That’s from an album by Serge Clerc called Le Journal. See here. It’s apparently the same story that the page I mentioned was excerpted from, and if I understand correctly it’s about the history of the magazine Métal Hurlant.

  6.  

    Aha. Thanks for the info. Looks like an interesting read.

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