As the year turns towards its last quarter, updates on the English, Scandinavian and German publication front, and some delays in the francophonie…
Cinebook goes viral
The “Coming Soon” announcement in The Dictator and the Mushroom (Spirou & Fantasio #7) from Cinebook reveals that the next album in English will be Tome & Janry’s Virus (Spirou & Fantasio #33). Cinebook thereby jumps back by ten albums, from Tough Luck Vito (Spirou & Fantasio #43) to Tome & Janry’s very first, which the publisher skipped when it started publishing the series. Virus is one of their best, but references several of Franquin’s albums that Cinebook hasn’t got to yet: La Repaire de la murène (Spirou & Fantasio #9, “The Lair of the Moray”), Le Voyageur du mésozoïque (Spirou & Fantasio #13, “The Traveler from the Mesozoic”) and Les Hommes-bulles (Spirou & Fantasio #17, “Spirou and the Bubble Men”). No release date is given, but expect it sometime in 2016.
Zoom to Norway, bringing Tome & Janry collected edition
The Danish publisher Zoom has announced that it will expand into Norway in 2016, in collaboration with the bookstore chain Outland. Zoom publishes the Spirou & Fantasio collected editions in Denmark and Sweden (under the brand Mooz), and will now offer these in Norway as well. (Zoom only holds the license to the intégrale books; new albums are still published by Egmont in Norway and Sweden, and by Cobolt in Denmark.) Zoom also announced that the next volume, the second of the Tome & Janry era (1984–1987), is planned for spring 2016. Assuming the Norwegian branch is set up by then, it should be available throughout Scandinavia.
Staying in Denmark, Cobolt lists the upcoming publication of a Marsupilami album by Franquin, under the Danish title Spirillen: Huba! En kærlighedshistorie (Marsupilami Special, “Houba! – A Love Story”). However, readers intrigued by a hitherto unknown Franquin adventure should know that this album, originally published in French as Houba ! Une histoire d’amour, is nothing but a cut-down version of Le Nid des marsupilamis (Spirou & Fantasio #12: “The Nest of the Marsupilamis”).
Before Marsu Productions got acquired by Dupuis’ parent company, they controlled the rights to Franquin’s Marsupilami work, but not his Spirou & Fantasio albums. So they came up with the brilliant idea of cutting out all the Spirou and Fantasio bits from “Nest of the Marsupilamis”, leaving only the Marsupilami-focused documentary, and publishing that as a “new” Marsupilami album in half-page format. This version also contains other changes: all the narration by Seccotine is removed (with new background filled in where the captions were), rendering the story practically wordless, and some panels have been altered or redrawn, extending them in order to fit the new layout. (The adaptation, retouching and recoloring was done by Catheline and Frédéric Jannin.)
As you might expect, many fans were outraged that Marsu Productions would tamper with a classic in this way after the artist’s death; why Cobolt would want anything to do with it is beyond me. No date of publication is given.
Double Dupuis delays
Christelle and Bertrand Pissavy-Yvernault (CBPY) have announced that the second volume of La Véritable histoire de Spirou, 1947–1955 (“The True History of Spirou: 1947–1955”) will be pushed back from its previously scheduled 30. October release to January 2016 (Amazon says the 15th). The work of editing and finalizing the book has taken longer than expected, and although it is now more or less done, there isn’t enough time to have it printed by the original deadline, and closer to Christmas the release schedule is already packed. Note also the change in the cover color, and the period it indicates: previously the dates were given as 1947–1957, but it’s now set to break off two years earlier.
Amazon has also changed its release date for the new collection of Franquin’s covers for the Journal de Spirou digests, Toutes les couvertures des recueils du Journal de Spirou (published under the Franquin Patrimoine series), from 30. October 2015 to 4. March 2016. (The Dupuis site has it listed as 6. March 2015, which is presumably a mistake.)
The other Spirou-related books from Dupuis are still on track, with the collected edition of Jijé’s Spirou comics scheduled for 30. October, and the third edition of Franquin, Chronologie d’une œuvre (“Franquin: A Chronology of His Works”) for 16. October.
Carlsen collection continues
Finally, Carlsen Comics is putting out the collected edition intégrale books at a decent clip, with the fourth volume due out at the start of December. There is an extremely tedious discussion about the print and paper quality over on the ComicForum, if you have a few hours to waste.