Jul 312015
Dedication sketch for Nico (ill. unknown, falsely signed "Franquin"; image from bdgest.com)

Unknown artist, falsely signed “Franquin”

For a while, a Danish Facebook page has offered for sale a copy of Tempo Tabou featuring a drawing of the Marsupilami, supposedly made by Franquin at a Copenhagen convention in 1978. It doesn’t exactly take an expert to see that the inept scribbles weren’t made by Franquin, and the piece has been widely denounced as a fake.

Once you start looking, the web is flowing over with dubious “original sketches” by Franquin and other great masters. Auction sites seem particularly prone to forgeries, as you might expect, but the images have a tendency to disappear as soon as the sale is over, leaving few samples as evidence. (Fans discuss the authenticity of supposed originals here and here, though to my eyes they can sometimes be a bit trigger-happy to proclaim something a fake.) But let’s stick to the most egregious ones:

(The last one was, I think, done as a joke.)

Jul 242015

Stéphane De Becker, also known as Stuf, died of a heart attack the night before last. He was 56. De Becker was a friend and frequent collaborator of Tome & Janry, and worked as the colorists on all their albums from Le réveil du Z (Spirou & Fantasio #37, “The Awakening of the Z”) on. He also drew the series Passe-moi l’ciel (“Pass Me the Heaven”), written by Janry. Continue reading »

Jul 222015
Half-page (p. 5b) from 'Les géants pétrifiés' redrawn (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; image from 2dgalleries.com)

By Yoann.

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly special about the half-page above. Looks familiar, clearly drawn by Yoann in his current Spirou style, it’s from one of his albums, right? … But wait! Which album? Zorglub and Martin only appear together in the one-shot, but that was drawn in a completely different style. What’s going on? Continue reading »

Jul 192015

'Le Fantaspeed' ("The Fantaspeed"; ill. Clarke, Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis and the artists; image from clarkenet.wordpress.com; SR scanlation)

Around 2003, Dupuis Publishing was looking for a team to take over Spirou & Fantasio from Tome & Janry, and Vehlmann was shortlisted as the new writer. He wrote a short script for different artists to try their hand at, including Yoann and Clarke (Melusine). However, the job ultimately went to Morvan & Munuera, and years later Clarke put the pages up on his blog. Continue reading »

Jul 082015

Tome & Janry (Philippe Vandevelde and Jean-Richard Geurts) were stewards of the Spirou & Fantasio series for almost twenty years, and have now been making Le Petit Spirou (“Little Spirou”) for twenty-five. Eventually, Tome became the script-writer and Janry the artist, but Tome could also draw, and he has made these sketches for various book dedications to fans:

(Spirou, Fantasio, Count Champignac)

Jul 072015

When Tome & Janry launched their Petit Spirou (“Little Spirou”) series, it was stated very clearly that this was the same character we already knew, as a child. But many fans, seeing little continuity in the personalities, refused to consider them the same, and as Tome & Janry handed over the main series to other teams, the link became more and more tenuous. Finally, this spring they started a new series of gags featuring the grown-up Little Spirou, which would seem to put the final nail in the coffin of the idea that this is “our” Spirou:

'Le Petit Spirou' gag #612 ("Little Spirou"; ill. Tome & Janry, col. Stuf; (c) Dupuis and the artists; from JdS #4009; SR scanlation)