Dec 272015

"Friends of Spirou Code of Honor" 7 ('Les Amis de Spirou Code d'Honneur' 7; ill. Jijé & Jean Doisy; Copyright (c) 1941 by Dupuis and the artists; SR scanlation)

I can’t help but feel Georges is being a bit prissy here. And of course the moral is at least half hypocritical, as Jijé himself painted nudes, for example. Besides, the corrupting movie looks like great fun! Well, at least they can all come together and agree on stylish trench coats…

The Journal thankfully relaxed its prudery decades ago (for example, check out the cover of next week’s issue).

As usual, an accompanying moral message from the Robbedoes Almanak 1944, which focuses more on the “getting your hands dirty” part (and again has reordered the points):

A Friend of Spirou is not afraid to get his hands dirty, but keeps himself clean in thought, word and deed.

That’s the sixth point of our code of honor, and it is perhaps one of the most important. Of course all Spirou Rascals and Rascalettes understand the meaning of this point. A true Friend of Spirou is prepared to roll up his sleeves when needs be. He doesn’t shrink from a bit of work, a bit of elbow grease, even if he may have to get his hands dirty. A true Spirou Rascal goes to without hesitation, straight to business! If he sees that Mother has a chore to take care of, he’ll rush to help her. He picks, if he’s allowed to, her vegetables from the garden and gets her coal or wood out of the coal bin. If he sees a porter on the street who’s in trouble, he’ll help him carry his load or push his trolley. He doesn’t have to be asked or implored. He does it eagerly and cheerfully.

But a true Spirou Rascal is also pure in thought, word and deed. He wants nothing to do with filthy talk or furtiveness. He is frank and open in all he says and does, so that it’s fit for anyone to hear and know about.

This point is so important that we will return to it later on. In any case, it’s on our program for this month!

The Robbedoes Almanak did in fact return to the point later on, repeating the comic later in the almanac along with a second text (here translated by Miriam):

The previous time we focused on this point of the code, I told you we would return to it later on; and we will do so now. Remember what it’s about? A Friend of Spirou is not afraid to get his hands dirty, but keeps himself clean in thought, word and deed.

This point is very important. There have been people who ruined their whole lives because they didn’t know or keep to all facets of this point. In the first place, all Spirou Rascals and Rascalettes should know that manual labor is something noble, and that there’s no shame at all in making your hands dirty with work that requires effort. If there weren’t always people who perform manual labor, the human race would quickly go extinct.

That’s why we should always honor manual labor and shouldn’t dread to make our hands dirty and our body tired. Work sets you free! Besides that, pureness in thought, word and deed is the finest ornament a boy or girl can have. Don’t say or do things your sweet Mother shouldn’t see or hear. Honest and straightforward, frank and open-minded, pure in all acts and thoughts: that’s a true Spirou Rascal and Rascalette.

(Updated 13/7/2016)

  19 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: The Spirou Code of Honor 7”






    Is this saying you’re only allowed to have thoughts that are ‘clean’ enough to broadcast to everyone all the time? Creepy.


    Hypocritical ? It’s a bit strong ; I’m not sure Jijé wrote those strips and they were aimed at children, not grown-ups like himself. The strip doesn’t say that it’s nudity that the readers should avoid but more probably the immoral behaviors depicted in those movies (whatever it means). Yes, it probably seems laughable and clumsy nowadays but it’s been written 70 years ago in a very religious society ! Of course Jijé’s faith was strong (as depicted in Don Bosco, Blanc Casque, Bernadette or Charles de Foucault) but he was a joyful fellow as well, not afraid of salty jokes.


      The author of these strips is almost certainly either Jijé (who AFAIK scripted Spirou by himself) or Doisy (who provided scripts for e.g. Valhardi, and formulated the Code in the first place). Of course, they were both constrained, as the strips had to support the points of the code, which in turn was based on the outlook and values of the Dupuis family, particularly Jean Dupuis, not their own views. As discussed in previous installments, neither Jijé nor Doisy seem to have agreed with every point of the Code, whether you want to call that hypocrisy or not.

      It is a foreign worldview that I don’t have much sympathy with, so maybe I’m being unfair, but I do think the censorious tone here is inconsistent with other parts of Jijé’s life and work (not just the artistic nudity). I don’t doubt his sincere piety, and I don’t see a contradiction between that and his “salty”, earthy side, but then don’t go preaching prudishness to others! There’s a difference between saying that something is not appropriate for children, and suggesting that it is sinful and that people who enjoy it are “sales types” (translated here as “filth” to try and preserve the wordplay on dirt/cleanliness, but probably more accurately something like “nasty guys”).

      It’s a shame, because I think the other part of the point: to disregard vanity, pride and even disgust in helping others, is a very positive – and indeed very Christian – message.


    Interestingly enough, the original author of the code, Jean Doisy (Jean-Georges Évrard) was an atheist and a communist.


    Can I ask why you translated the text from the Robbedoes Almanak 1944 yourself? You missed a line btw. I haven’t received a mail about the next Spirou code of Honor, unless something went wrong again. I’d be happy to translate them.


      I sent you an email on 3. December, and this time I checked that the email didn’t bounce and that sending works generally, so I’m not sure what could have gone wrong. I figured you were just busy before Christmas. Sorry about that, if the mistake is on my end! I’m always happy for your help and any corrections!


    (My comment doesn’t seem t come through although I entered it twice.)

    I checked both my outlook and gmail but I haven’t gotten any email at December 3. Something went wrong again. If I wouldn’t translate it I would at least inform you about that, if I had read the email.

    If you care, the line “If he sees that Mother has a chore to take care of, he’ll rush to the coal bin for her.” is a bit more extended. I would say it’s “If he sees that Mother has a chore to take care of, he’ll rush to help her. He picks, if he’s allowed to, her vegetables from the garden and gets her coal or wood out of the coal bin.”

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