Oct 112015

"Where Is Spip?" header ('Où est Spip ?' from JdS #4010; ill. Pau & Sti; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

This week’s scanlation might need a little context. In February of this year, the Journal de Spirou ran a special issue (#4010) on the theme “Where is Spip?” – the premise being that Spip had disappeared and had to be found. The magazine featured several stories about the hunt for him, and every comic in the magazine featured a more-or-less hidden Spip (“Where’s Waldo?”-style) in one panel.

The story of why he left, what happened to him, and his eventual return was told in a little stripbook for subscribers called Le Nid de l’ami Spip (“Spip’s Nest”, featuring an untranslatable pun on “The Nest of the Marsupilamis”) by Sergio Salma. This story, however, is by Sti (L’Île carrément perdue) and Pau (familiar from this cover):

"Where Is Spip?" p.1 ('Où est Spip ?' from JdS #4010; ill. Pau & Sti; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)
"Where Is Spip?" p.2 ('Où est Spip ?' from JdS #4010; ill. Pau & Sti; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)
"Where Is Spip?" p.3 ('Où est Spip ?' from JdS #4010; ill. Pau & Sti; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)
"Where Is Spip?" p.4 ('Où est Spip ?' from JdS #4010; ill. Pau & Sti; (c) Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

Since the story actually has almost nothing to do with Spip, I considered renaming it, but decided to stick with the original title since it’s referenced a couple of times in dialog.

  15 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: Where is Spip?”


    As you might be able to tell from the “Wet’s up?” panel (originally “À l’eau?” = “Âllo?”), Sti’s script is pretty heavy on puns, many of which I found untranslatable. At the top of page 3 in the French version, the inspector goes off on a rant about the consequences of failing the inspection, punning on the names of several other now defunct comic magazines (Tintin, Tchô, Pif). We get a joke at the expense of the Journal de Mickey (“Mickey Mouse Magazine”) instead.


      Although Journal de Mickey isn’t defunct, right?


        Yes, that’s the joke. Fantasio would rather those inspectors (or ”des curieux”, as Fantasio calls them on page two of the original) to go to Journal de Mickey, so they would be inspected instead of the Dupuis office.

        I have a question. Why, why is the name of Demesmaeker translated to Mr. Park?


          (And it’s meant to tie back to “If our inspection turns up so much as a mouse…”)

          “Mr. Parker” is the Danish and Norwegian translation of M. Demesmaeker, and since it works fine in English I decided to adopt it. Prunelle is interrupted before he finishes speaking.


            Ah, thanks. Your scanlations are in quite advanced English so I don’t always get it…
            Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember ‘Parker’ being the Danish translation of Desmesmaeker. Named after the pen, right? It works in English, yes, but I think it’s a bit of a shame, since Demesmaeker is named after the father of Jidéhem (Jean De Mesmaeker). And translating names of actual persons…


            Even though De Mesmaeker was named after a real person, he is a comic-book character, so I don’t feel it’s problematic to rename him. Choosing which names to replace and which to preserve is always going to be a subjective process, of course, but “Aimé De Mesmaeker” just sounds too foreign to me in an English-language version, which of course was not Franquin, Jidéhem or Delporte’s original intention. I considered looking at other scanlations to see what they had used, but I don’t really keep track of all of them.

            Incidentally, there are some actual real people featured in this comic. The Journal‘s editor-in-chief Frédéric Niffle is the guy who gets knocked off his feet, and the guy with the mustache leaving the building also looks very familiar, even if I can’t quite place him. On the other hand, I’m not certain whether the two female employees are also meant to be specific real staffers.

            I try to make the translations as readable as possible, but it can be a difficult balance when trying to render the original faithfully in idiomatic English, and maybe my natural style is a bit too fancy. Please do let me know whenever the writing gets in the way of the reading.


            Yes, well, but the names Spirou and Fantasio sound foreign too, and just replacing the Flemish-sounding names…

            Oh, really? I didn’t notice that. Your scanlations are always close to unreadable for me. This isn’t criticism, I should try to learn more English.


    I think the moustached guy might be Raoul Cauvin, although he usually wears glasses…


    I can tell you the character with the moustache is Udo Schwarz. As well as the pink car in panel 3, he appears in “Ze Jacky Touch”, a series also by Sti & Pau, published by Paquet in French and by Strip 2000 in dutch.

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