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.

  14 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: The Leash”

  1.  

    I thought he completey stopped painting Spirou when Fournier took over the series.

    •  

      Yeah, this would be the exception, apart from stand-alone illustrations and sketches. (There’s also a single-panel gag about parking the zorgmobile, made for a fanzine if I remember correctly.)

      Around the time he handed over Spirou to Fournier, he made a series of Marsupilami gags. These are numbered 1-11, so numbering this one 0 is probably meant to indicate that it takes place before them. I see on Franquin.org that there’s even been some discussion about whether it may in fact have been drawn before the others (based on the drawing style, and Spirou wearing his uniform), and just not published until 1981. It’s hard to tell.

      In any case, if it goes before the other gags in story-chronology, we see an interesting pattern. The first few of the Marsupilami gags feature Spirou, but in the later ones little Noël (“Julius” in Norwegian) takes his place. Does this mean that when the Marsupilami disappears from Spirou & Fantasio, it’s because it has gone to live with Noël in Champignac (much like they often left the animal with the Count in the early years)? It leaves a lot unexplained, but for now it’s the best hint we have about its fate.

  2.  

    Franquin talks about this page in Numa Sadoul’s book ; it was indeed published in 1981 but he pencilled it years before. It does look a bit like Franquin’s sixties style, by the way… Not sure about the inking ; begun before, finished in 1981 ? We’ll probably never know.

  3.  

    The second panel says Marpusilami instead of Marsupilami…

  4.  

    […] in Capturez un Marsupilami (Marsupilami #0, “To Catch a Marsupilami”). While “The Leash,” which features Spirou and Marsupilami, was the last one of these published, this may have […]

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