In the special Christmas issue of the Journal de Spirou (#4051-4052), there’s a full-page ad that promises “Soon: A new magazine in the Spirou universe” and the date 7. January, along with the cartoon below:
The same picture (by Romain Dutreix) was posted by Dupuis to Facebook, and next week’s issue of the Journal carries another ad, drawn by Munuera (with Napoleon and a Storm Trooper, to fit in with the issue’s Star Wars-theme). So what is this about?
There is a lot of speculation floating around. Some have noted that 7 January is the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, and wondered if this is another tribute issue. However, the editors of the Journal have stated (in #4053) that they won’t do a special issue for the Paris attacks, given that they feel the sentiments and expressions from the Charlie Hebdo issue are still relevant, so this would be unlikely.
Others have noted that Dutreix is a regular contributor to the adult humor magazine Fluide Glacial, and wondered whether this is going to be a more adult-oriented “magazine within the magazine”, like the classic Trombone Illustré in the late seventies.
However, a poster on the BD Gest forums has uncovered the biggest clue so far: the program for an event at the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse Seine-Saint-Denis (“The Seine-Saint Denis Salon for Books and Children’s Literature”), with a talk by Nob, who does the comic Dad for the Journal.
Dad, the comic chronicles of a doting father
Meeting with the famous comics creator, who will talk about his work, and notably about his new family series. Questions from the audience and live sketches. Discussion around the brand new magazine Groom (“Bellhop”).
So there you have it. A new magazine with the title Groom, “in the Spirou universe” (whatever that means; Munuera’s ad says “in the Spirou galaxy”), probably featuring a number of the contributors to the Journal as well as outside talents. Dutreix’s cartoon hints that it may be more satirical and focused on current events. We don’t yet know whether it will somehow be distributed along with the Journal de Spirou, perhaps as a supplement, or if it’s a completely separate publication.
No doubt we will learn more soon enough. An intriguing initiative, in any case.