It’s been a while, but let’s get back into it with a rundown of recent and upcoming Spirou publications! Until the last few weeks there wasn’t much to report, but now there’s suddenly enough to fill multiple posts. So let’s start off with French releases: We have news of two upcoming Spirou & Fantasio adventures, several collected editions, and an ever-increasing pile of Franquin-related books, among other things…
Spirou 55 watch
Spirou & Fantasio #55, the much-anticipated next adventure by Yoann & Vehlmann (set to bring back the Marsupilami), is currently planned for album publication this October, according to the admin on the official spirou.com forums. That’s less than a year after the release of #54 (Le groom de Sniper Alley, “The Sniper Alley Bellhop”), about half the gap between #53 (Dans les griffes de la Vipère, “In the Clutches of the Viper”) and that album. Meanwhile, a bit further back, another panel from the album was posted to InediSpirou by a member:
Hardy & Zidrou’s Soumaya
Could you tell us about the origin of the Spirou & Fantasio one-shot you’re currently working on?
Dimitri Kennes [general director of Dupuis Publishing until 2006] had already approached me back when he was in charge, but I had said no because I was working on Feux (“Lights”). They tried once more, but at that time I was busy with the relaunch of Arkel. Third time was the charm, but then we had to find a writer. Naturally I thought of my friend Yann, but at the time he wasn’t eligible because you couldn’t do another one-shot if you’d already had one published (which is no longer the case). As I contacted other writers, I found there was a mismatch between their ideas and mine. For my part, missing Feux, I wanted to draw a more realistic story. That’s when I met Zidrou; Lombard suggested that we make an album in the Signé series together. Even though I’d never worked with him, I liked the sense of humanity that his scripts gave off. In the course of our meeting we turned quite naturally towards Spirou and Fantasio, and our points of view were in agreement. He wrote a script for me that was very realistic, stripped of almost all humor and very tough. But I’ve been working on it for six years now: this realistic style imposes certain constraints, because it eliminates all reference points from the original universe. So we’ve had to ask ourselves lots of questions, but after spending the first week of every month on it for four years (I even burned some pages at the bottom of my garden because I got so fed up!) and taking a one-year break, I think I’ve now found a drawing style that fits the story and that I’d like to use. Fortunately the editors and the writer are very understanding, but I think that with almost a dozen pages completed now, we’re finally well underway.
Jijé intégrale, & misc.
Entries for a number of upcoming publications have been posted to Amazon in recent weeks. This includes, first of all, the collected edition (intégrale) of Jijé’s Spirou comics, scheduled for publication on 2. October. Christelle & Bertrand Pissavy–Yvernault (CBPY, the editors) have previously indicated that it will be done in the same style as the recent Jijé Valhardi collection, with facsimile pages from the magazine, tastefully restored. Two of Jijé’s stories are collected in slightly modified form in the album Les chapeaux noirs (“The Black Hats”); here we’ll have them as originally told. Similarly, the stories previously collected in the book Spirou et l’aventure (“Spirou and the Adventure”), available in facsimile, have been modified in various ways from their original form. One possible complication is that some stories were originally published in the Spirou Almanac in a different page format, so we’ll see how this is resolved in the collection.
Another intriguing entry is the Franquin Patrimoine T3 : Couvertures des Recueils du Journal de Spirou (“Franquin Heritage vol. 3: Journal de Spirou digest covers”), scheduled for 30. October. As you may recall, Dupuis published a collection of these covers in 2013 (under the title Spirou : Toutes les couvertures des recueils du journal par Franquin), which was widely panned by fans and collectors for sourcing scans from books in poor condition, and for inadvertently omitting a couple of covers. CBPY and Dupuis spokespeople have indicated that the company has learned from the mistake, so perhaps they’re now trying to rectify it.
The schedule also includes confirmation of CBPY’s second volume of La Véritable Histoire de Spirou (“The True History of Spirou”), 1947–1957 on 30. October, and a new edition of Franquin, Chronologie d’une œuvre (“Franquin: A Chronology of His Works”), a comprehensive bibliography previously published by Marsu Productions. And we might also mention Franquin’s non-Dupuis series, Modeste et Pompon, written by Goscinny and Greg, and coming in a collected edition intégrale from Lombard on 12. June.
Finally, the often-delayed Franquin et le design (“Franquin and the Design”) is now listed on Amazon and other online stores as coming on 19. June, but has completely dropped off Dupuis’ online catalog. Has it been pushed back again? Canceled? Forgotten? Who knows.
Since the last of these posts, the Téhem, Makyo, Toldac one-shot La grosse tête (“The Big Head”) was published in album form. It includes three pages of “cut scenes” not published in the magazine, but only as online teasers. Also, the final Tome & Janry volume of the intégrale collected edition (vol. 16) comes out today, 22. May.
And that should be it for now! Publications Update for other languages to follow…