It has been around for more than a year, but only within the last few days did Trichoco on the InediSpirou forum notice and spread the word about a website dedicated to Jean-Claude Fournier. What makes this site particularly interesting is that it features a complete early draft of Fournier’s last, unfinished Spirou adventure, La maison dans la mousse (“The House in the Foam”). Presented in the form of “layouts” – a first pass at breaking down the story into pages, panels and dialogue, with each picture a quick sketch – this is a very rough version of the album, but already perfectly readable.
The story concerns the apparent theft of two of the Count’s inventions: the gold-making machine from Le faiseur d’or (Spirou & Fantasio #20, “The Goldmaker”), and the mushrooms of destruction from Z comme Zorglub (Spirou & Fantasio #15, Z is for Zorglub), which provide the “foam” of the title. (It could also be translated as “scum” or “moss.”) Spirou and Fantasio try to track down the thieves, while they themselves are shadowed by two suspicious figures. A classic Fournier setup…
Notably, the outline differs considerably from the few pencil pages of the final version that Fournier completed (which have previously been published in Les mémoires de Spirou and in vol. 11 of the collected edition), although it is clearly the same basic story. Apparently Fournier was going to revise the adventure significantly.
The status of the website and the relationship of its creators to Fournier are unclear, but some of the same material was published in connection with Nicoby & Joub’s 2013 book Dans l’atelier de Fournier, so there might be a link there.
Spirou Reporter will definitely consider “The House in the Foam” for a future scanlation.