Feb 232014

'Spirou, at your service!' (ill. Piette and Trondheim, 2013; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

Two scanlations in one day? Inconceivable! Actually, the Jijé story posted earlier today was really supposed to be for a week ago, but it got delayed, and so here’s this weekend’s scanlation. (OK, so it’s technically Monday by the time this goes up, but let’s ignore that…) This is one of the stories from the 75th anniversary issue of the Journal de Spirou last year (#3914), by Hugo Piette and Lewis Trondheim. It seems to be a prequel to this story posted previously. Continue reading »

Feb 142014

There’s a section of Spirou fandom, much in evidence on tumblr and DeviantArt, that is really into imagining various characters involved romantically. And one of the main pairings is, of course, Spirou/Fantasio.

There’s nothing particularly unique about that: you get the same kind of slash-fantasies for pretty much any piece of pop culture. But this particular case is perhaps more well-founded than most: Spirou and Fantasio, after all, are two guys of similar age who never (at least in Franquin’s album) show any interest in women, who spend most of their time with each other, and who eventually move in together. Even if it wasn’t intended that way (and it wasn’t), they could easily be seen as a couple.

However you choose to interpret their relationship – gay or straight, romantic or platonic – one thing is for sure: there is a love between them, and the strength of that bond is one of the main things that defines the series. Happy Valentine’s Day!

'Happy late Valentine's!' (ill. Hjernedaud; (c) Dupuis and the artist; image from deviantart.com)

By Hjernedaud (2012). Image from DeviantArt.

Feb 122014

One of the most iconic aspects of The Adventures of Spirou & Fantasio is their car, the Turbotraction (or just Turbot). Like the Batmobile, it comes in different models: the beloved Turbot I and the slightly less awesome Turbot II. Franquin made his heroes give up the sports car for a Honda before leaving the series, but the idea of a modern Turbotraction model has proved irresistible (see here for a gallery). For a special 2010 automobile issue, the Journal de Spirou featured one of these new versions, the Turbot Quattraction (drawn by Pau). Hmm… Me, I still prefer the good old Turbot I in the background!

Feb 092014

The question came up on a German forum about what belongs in a complete collected edition of Spirou. It’s a bit tricky, since it shares a universe with several other series, and if you count every time Spirou or Fantasio makes an appearance in e.g. Gaston, they would almost end up as supporting characters in their own book.

Wherever you draw the line, there will be borderline cases that you could argue both ways. Fortunately, Spirou Reporter doesn’t need to make those decisions, and will happily post this half-page gag (from Capturez un Marsupilami!; Marsupilami #0: “Catch a Marsupilami!”) even though officially it counts as a Marsupilami story:

Marsupilami gag #0 (ill. Franquin, 1981; (c) Dupuis and the artist; SR scanlation)

Why is this a Marsupilami story, you ask? Well, mainly because Franquin seems to have numbered it as such, and because it’s from 1981, long after he gave up the Spirou & Fantasio series. Incidentally, as far as I can tell this was the last time Spirou appeared “live” in a comic by Franquin.

Feb 052014

Probably no other publication has produced as many bizarre Spirou covers as Der heitere Fridolin, which first published Spirou & Fantasio in German from 1958 to 1961 under the title Fridolin & Ferdinand. Let’s just take this, for example:

'Der heitere Fridolin' #5 cover (ill. Peyo and unknown artist; (c) Semrau, Dupuis and the artists; image from comicguide.de)

‘Der heitere Fridolin’ #5. From Deutscher Comic Guide.

Hmm, Fantasio as some sort of medieval knight… OK. But Spirou not only seems to have become a midget – he’s riding a goat! And if you expect that the content of the magazine will provide any context, think again: the story under this cover was the fifth installment of The Marsupilami Thieves. Continue reading »