Dec 102014
 

Journal de Spirou #4000 front cover (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

Today the 4000th issue of the Journal de Spirou is for sale. Quite an anniversary! It must be said that the official numbering is a slight exaggeration, since it’s based on counting back the weeks to the first issue on 21. April 1938, ignoring that the magazine didn’t actually come out for part of WWII. But let’s not be like those people who insisted the millennium wasn’t New Year’s Eve 1999. This is the anniversary that’s being celebrated!

If Spirou looks a bit stressed on the cover, well, there’s a reason for that…

Journal de Spirou #4000 back cover (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

Or as a wraparound:

Journal de Spirou #4000 wraparound cover (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

As the editors explain, the theme for this issue is a kind of “millennium bug,” where all the comics go crazy in various ways. So we get some bizarre crossovers, comics transported in time, extreme shifts in genre (Marsupilami-man as a superhero!), and so on. Yoann & Vehlmann contribute an alternate-universe Spirou story in six pages, Les Destins contrariés (“Thwarted Fates”). It’s a bizarro-world where Spirou and Fantasio live in a village on the south coast, Fantasio is a policeman (gendarme), and… well, lots of other things are different. Maybe one of the most welcome details:

From 'Les Destins contrariés' (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; from JDS #4000)

Yes, that’s Luna (“lieutenant Luna” in this reality), Don Vito Cortizone’s daughter! I’ll refrain from further spoilers…

  18 Responses to “Quadruple-millennium bug strikes Spirou”

  1.  

    It’s good to see Leon Prunelle there. I assume that, with Gaston belonging to Spirou once again, Y&V are free to use him as a character too? Seeing Luna is even better however. I’m not sure about Tintin though. Is it supposed to be the real one, someone else just dressed up as him or a homage of some sort? I also get the feeling I should recognise some of the other people behind the scenes there, apart from Fantasio, Prunelle and Tintin. Is that so?

    •  

      Well, you have Yoann & Vehlmann (top right, red beard and shielding his eyes, respectively). I would have guessed some of the others would be the actual magazine staff, but it doesn’t look like it. The guy with the mustache looks vaguely familiar, but I can’t place him. (Is he a TV or radio interviewer, maybe, since he has a sound guy with him?) Perhaps someone else knows?

  2.  

    Ah, Prunelle. Nice to see him.

  3.  

    It likely is supposed to be Tintin. The joke is that the Spirou and Tintin weeklies were in harsh competition for the same market share from the post-war period until the 70’s. (In the 80’s the weeklies market started to decline, and Tintin was cancelled in the 90’s, after a series of little successful revamps.)

    The small orange demon is Nelson, a regular humor strip feature in the magazine.

    •  

      I think we all recognize and weren’t counting Tintin (who actually does have something to do with this issue); or do you mean that the other people – microphone guy, mustache guy, janitor guy and head torch guy – are also from the Tintin magazine?

  4.  

    Nah, it was just a response to BrianL. When Tintin enters the Spirou magazine, things have gone terribly wrong!

    •  

      Aha, I see! 🙂
      Protip: If you click on the light gray “Reply” link next to the date of a comment, you can leave your response right below that comment as a response.

      •  

        Ah! I couldn’t see it. Gotta fix my computer’s contrast… =/

      •  

        Oh, I never noticed that ‘reply’ button either. It really blends into the background.

        •  

          Yeah, it’s way too light, but I never find the time to delve into the CSS to adjust stuff like this. I spent about a month of free time (i.e. weekends) setting up the blog before it launched, and would probably need at least as much time to refresh the look and feel and fix all the little problems that have come to my attention afterwards.

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