Dec 112013
 

The “Fanart Friday” series of posts features unofficial Spirou art and homages, by amateurs and professionals alike. But there are also illustrations that aren’t by any of the “regular” Spirou artists, but have still been officially commissioned by Dupuis – or more often, by publishers in other countries. So under “It’s Official” we’ll look at some of these pieces: a few of them good, most of them bad. Let’s start off with one that’s somewhere in between:

'I Murænens Gab' – Spirou #9 'Le repaire de la murène' Danish cover (ill. Peter Madsen after Franquin; (c) Interpresse and the artist; scan from Faraos Cigarer)

Cover for ‘I Murænens Gab’ (‘Le repaire de la murène’) by Peter Madsen after Franquin.

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Dec 102013
 

InediSpirou’s maxibon posted an exclusive: the first three pages of the upcoming Le fétiche des Marolles. Click over there to read the whole thing, but here’s the first page with translation in the caption:

'Le fétiche des Marolles' p. 1 (ill. Schwartz & Yann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; picture from InediSpirou)

“1946. The Nazi stranglehold is no more than a distant memory. Now, it is a relentless heatwave that lies over Brussels, crushing the city beneath its heavy yoke.”

Dec 082013
 
'La femme léopard' - later retitled 'Le fétiche des Marolles' - cover proposal (ill. Schwartz & Yann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; via olivierschwartz.blogspot.com)

Cover proposal for ‘La femme léopard’, the Schwartz & Yann Spirou one-shot later retitled ‘Le fétiche des Marolles’.
From the Olivier Schwartz fan blog.

This strange and wonderful cover proposal for Schwartz & Yann’s sequel to Le groom vert-de-gris, the Spirou adventure about to start serialization in the Journal de Spirou in one week, presumably isn’t going to be used any more, now that the title has been changed. From the picture (and the old title), it’s easy to suspect that the story is inspired by one of Chaland’s attempts to continue his interrupted Spirou adventure: a version from 1986, sketched in a notebook while he was visiting Congo (then Zaïre), revolves around a group of female aniotos (members of a secret Leopard Society who killed while disguised as leopards). Only a few pages from this notebook have ever been published, but Yann would almost certainly have read it, since he worked with Chaland on several other drafts of the sequel.

From Chaland's sketchbook, in 'Yves Chaland: L'enfance de l'oeil' (ill. Chaland; (c) Dupuis, Mosquito and the artist)

Fantasio faces a female aniotos, in a sketched draft by Chaland.

Dec 052013
 

Spirou 5: The Marsupilami Thieves

Spirou #5 'The Marsupilami Thieves' by Cinebook (ill. Franquin; (c) Cinebook and the artist)3/5 Stars

 

Cinebook (English), 64 pp.

Having captured a Marsupilami in the jungles of Palombia, Spirou and Fantasio feel bad about putting the fabulous creature behind bars, and make plans to free it from the zoo. Before they get a chance, however, the animal is stolen, believed dead. Spirou and Fantasio have to chase the Marsupilami Thieves through Europe,  finally coming to a showdown at the Circus Zabaglione.

For its fifth Spirou release, Cinebook jumps back to André Franquin’s classic run on the series, starting with one of his early albums: The Marsupilami Thieves (Les voleurs du Marsupilami), from 1952. Franquin, of course, is one of the great comic creators of the era, easily on par with Hergé (Tintin) or Carl Barks (Uncle Scrooge). However, I have to admit that I don’t consider this to be among his better works. (This review contains minor spoilers.) Continue reading »

Dec 022013
 

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. Continue reading »

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.

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