Oct 242014

Sniper Alley complete, a non-linear adventure awaits, The Big Head gets ready, and lots more books to come from CBPY…

That is a big head

Amazon now has the album version of La Grosse tête (“The Big Head”) by Téhem, Makyo and Toldac up for pre-order, with an expected release date of 20. March 2015. They also posted a provisional cover and a blurb that translates as follows (more SPOILERS than necessary, in my opinion):

'La Grosse tête' provisional cover (ill. Tehem, Makyo & Toldac; (c) Dupuis and the artists; image from amazon.fr)

Fantasio keeps his cards close to his chest: for years he has been noting down, in great detail, all the adventures he has had with Spirou. But now he has decided to move on to the next level, and withdraws to write a novel based on his recollections of La Mauvaise tête (Spirou #8, “Wrong-Headed”; in English as “A Head for Crime”). The book comes out, and Spirou is somewhat taken aback: Fantasio has plainly exaggerated his own role. One first rift between the two friends. But Spirou gets over it: after all, they have every right to each remember the events of the adventure slightly differently. The book is a flop, but a film producer fervently wants to adapt it into a movie. Fantasio is overjoyed, Spirou much less enthusiastic. But the script is rewritten to give Spirou a much larger role, to Fantasio’s great displeasure. The film is a huge success and Spirou becomes a star, while Fantasio remains in relative obscurity. When the sequel starts filming abroad, Spirou and Fantasio have become almost as strangers to one another. But a Bretzelburgian revolution will change their roles completely…

Sniper Alley finalized

Spirou 54 cover FR 'Le groom de Sniper Alley' (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; from dupuis.com)Journal de Spirou #3994 brings the ninth and final installment of Le Groom de Sniper Alley (Spirou #54, “The Sniper Alley Bellhop”). While wrapping up one adventure (by a stroke of inspiration relating to a certain goofy co-worker), it also hints at the next one: as expected, it concerns the Marsupilami… We’ll hold off on revealing just exactly what it is until the magazine is for general sale. Meanwhile, there have been some late adjustments to the album cover, toning down the brightest reds and replacing the gun sight markings on the circle with shadows.

Choose your own Spirou adventure

The next Journal also reveals more information about the mysterious upcoming Spirou adventure previously reported. Issue #3997, for sale 19. November, will carry a very special adventure written by Pascal Jousselin (Imbattable), called Fantasio a disparu (“Fantasio Has Vanished”). The unique thing about it is that it’s in the form of a “Choose Your Own Adventure,” allowing the reader to explore multiple different paths in Spirou’s search for his friend. (You know: “To follow the white rabbit, turn to page 23. To continue your phone call, turn to page 35.”) The comic will consist of 72 strips illustrated by 72 different artists, including Yoann, Fournier, Schwartz, Frank, Feroumont, de Pins and Batem, and many other famous names.

Franquin’s cover illustrations to be collected
Journal de Spirou #859 header (ill. Franquin; (c) Dupuis and the artist; image adapted from inedispirou.com)

‘Journal de Spirou’ #859 title illustration by Franquin, adapted from the InediSpirou library.

InediSpirou reports that Dupuis will collect Franquin’s title-illustrations for the covers of the Journal, in a series of books annotated by Christelle and Bertrand Pissavy–Yvernault (CBPY). Starting in 1953 (issue #791 to be precise), almost every cover had a specially-made illustration or gag by Franquin as part of the header. These would usually star Spirou and Fantasio and promote one of the comics featured in that week’s issue, often by having Spirou and Fantasio dress up as the characters.This adds up to a wealth of unique illustrations, most of which have never been reprinted.

The books will collect them in four volumes in landscape format. It seems to be intended as a complete collection, although it is unclear whether occasional cover illustrations Franquin made after he had stopped doing them regularly will be included. The illustrations will be printed in facsimile from the magazine, but restored and color-corrected, and each will have a commentary explaining the context of the illustration. The first volume will cover 1953–1954 and is expected Q2 2015 (later amended to end of 2015); and then at a rate of one volume approximately every 8 months. CBPY also indicate that the price will be significantly lower than that of the widely criticized collection of Franquin digest covers (119 EUR).

CBPY keeping busy…

Christelle and Bertrand Pissavy–Yvernault (photo by Gilles Ratier, image from bdzoom.com)On top of that, CBPY have just completed the introduction to the final Tome & Janry volume of the intégrale collected edition of Spirou & Fantasio, which is scheduled for June 2015. They will now work hard on the second volume of La Véritable histoire de Spirou (“The True History of Spirou”), expected to come out fall 2015. They’re also editing a collection of covers for Dupuis’ other magazine, Le Moustique, which should include contributions by Jijé and Franquin among others. That one is scheduled for Christmas 2015. All of this is in addition to already editing a complete collection of Franquin’s Modeste et Pompon, the comic he created for Spirou-rival Journal Tintin when he briefly split from the magazine. That intégrale is set to be published by Lombard in spring 2015.

And that should be more or less all for now!

  9 Responses to “Publications Update: Late October 2014”


    So, Spirou Reporter, without telling us anything much, can I ask you what your personal judgement of ‘Le Groom de Sniper Alley’ is? Also, are there any one-shots you’re particularly looking forward to or, worse, not anticipating at all?


      I was dubious for the first couple of installments, but once the action moves to Aswana it seemed to pick up considerably (and also the coloring got less ghastly). It has a number of good gags and effective action sequences, certainly. On a scene-by-scene basis I think it works quite well, but I’m not 100% convinced that it all adds up to a satisfying story: the focus and tone shifts rather abruptly, and the ending feels awfully sudden. I thought there was something like another ten pages to go when they started wrapping up. I’ll have to read it again in album form to see if the whole is at least somewhat equal to the sum of the parts.

      I’m quite excited about all the upcoming one-shots. If nothing else, they should show off an interesting variety of approaches. My gut feeling right now is that I’ll especially enjoy “The Big Head” and the Journal d’un ingénu sequels, while “The White Okapi”/”Light from Borneo” and Soumaya might be less to my particular taste; but either of those presumptions could easily be wrong. The only proposed project I have no enthusiasm for at all would be an album by Dany and Yann, as I found their Spirou-short embarrassingly bad in all the ways you might expect.

      If I’m doing my job right you should know as much about upcoming albums as I do. Which ones are you looking forward to?

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