Having discussed the publications that came out in the last three weeks, let’s look at news of upcoming releases. Along with a few delays and long waits, there is also some good news.
Sources of the S
On the brighter side, the book Spirou, aux sources du S (“Spirou: The Sources of the S”) by Philippe Tomblaine has been given a new and hopefully final release date, February 2014. The earlier delays have created the opportunity (and made it necessary) to bring the contents up to date with new interviews and a discussion of the latest albums, and the book is now set to weigh in at 230 pages with illustrations. (Source: BD Gest)
In a lengthy interview at the festival Utopiales, Yoann and Vehlmann spoke about many aspects of their work, their relationship with Spirou, and how they came to work on the series. At the very end, Yoann says that the next album (still untitled) is set for release in June or September 2014, depending on whether he can make up how incredibly far behind he is on it.
The Complete Spirou by Jijé
Le Petit Écho de Champignac reports that we will not get an intégrale collection of all Jijé’s Spirou comics in 2014 after all. With limited resources, Dupuis had to choose between collections of two Jijé series: Spirou and Valhardi, and went with the other one. It’s a shame for Spirou fans, but personally I think Jijé did better work on the more serious comic, so the publisher may have made the right choice. The release date for the Spirou by Jijé collection is currently unknown.
The Complete Spirou by Tome & Janry (vols. 15 and 16)
On the other hand, according to the same source, the Dupuis 2014 publication schedule does include the next volume of the regular intégrale. The collected edition of Spirou is now up to fourteen volumes, and volume 15, the third from Tome & Janry’s run (which should include Running Scared, Valley of the Exiles and Spirou in Moscow, at least), will be published in June 2014. Volume 16, which concludes the Tome & Janry period, is currently set to be released one year later, June 2015. A full year between release dates is a bit slower than the average rate of publication of the series (which has been at around two volumes per year), though the gap between vols. 12 and 13 was longer.
Spirou not on Cinebook’s schedule
Cinebook has made its publication schedule for the first quarter of 2014 available, and it does not feature any Spirou titles. That’s in line with their typical frequency of publication of the series (I’d expect the next album in Q2 or Q3); however, the short period between the release of Valley of the Exiles and The Marsupilami Thieves made it seem possible that they were stepping up their rate of publication. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.
Fantagraphics reaches Kickstarter goal
A bit of good news to end with. Facing financial difficulties following the death of Kim Thompson and the cancellation or postponement of the releases he was supposed to translate and edit (most of the publisher’s European comics), Fantagraphics launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. The campaign comfortably met its goal, and a couple of days ago it passed the $200,000 stretch goal:
If we hit 200,000 we plan to: hire translators to help produce books that were previously scheduled and create an infrastructure to continue Kim Thompson‘s legacy of publishing the best bande dessinee. […]
The new aim is still $200,000 so we can continue on with Kim Thompson’s excellent taste in bande dessinee and the tradition of translating foreign comics in English for future generations with books like Franquin‘s Last Laugh, Jacques Tardi‘s Run Like Crazy Run Like Hell, Herge‘s Peppy and Virginny in Lapinoland and Vapor by Max.
As you see, this apparently means Franquin’s Last Laugh is back on their publication schedule, and that Fantagraphics will remain committed to publishing European comics in English. There are still a couple of days left of the campaign, so if you’d like to support what they do, now is your chance!