With Schwartz & Yann’s Le fétiche des Marolles about to start serialization in the Journal de Spirou, here’s yet another post related to it. Did you know that the title started out as a piece of fanart back in 1987?
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:
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:
The Gaston box set, imperfect as it is, provided the impulse (and the scans) for this little scanlation of selected seasonal gags. (And yeah, it’s the Spirou universe, so it counts!)
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.
This ensemble, featuring Modeste (from Franquin’s Modeste et Pompon) along with Spirou, the Marsupilami, Gaston and Fantasio, is excerpted from a bigger piece that also pays tribute to Disney/Barks and Warner Bros./Clampett characters.
Spirou 5: The Marsupilami Thieves
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.)
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.
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: