Jul 102016

"Friends of Spirou Code of Honor 11th Commandment", ad for Spirou subscription from 'Les Bonnes Soirées' ('Les Amis de Spirou Code d'Honneur' 11; ill. Jijé; Copyright (c) 1941 by Dupuis and the artist; SR scanlation)

The “Friends of Spirou” Code of Honor only has nine commandments. But the comic strips Jijé made from them were not just a means to communicate the Code; they also served a secondary purpose. They were printed in Dupuis’ other magazines – Le Moustique and Les Bonnes Soirées – to advertise the Journal de Spirou and convince parents of the wholesome values the comic and its fan club stood for. And so as part of this advertising, Jijé also created one more strip (let’s call it the eleventh commandment, to set it off from the “real” Code), to emphasize a point perhaps even more important from the publisher’s point of view: Never miss an issue of Spirou!

No less relevant today, you can heed this important message by subscribing here, no matter where you are in the world.

Since this isn’t part of the Code proper, it doesn’t have any accompanying moral instruction from the Robbedoes Almanak 1944. However, in that almanac, Point 7 of the Code (“A Friend of Spirou is not afraid to get his hands dirty, but keeps himself clean in thought, word and deed.”) was printed twice – presumably to help fill all the months of the year – and the repetition came with a new text (translated here 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.

  8 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: The 11th Commandment”


    Cool, I didn’t know this “code of honor” advertisement. (“Lucky beggar”? Is that meant to be positive?)
    Was the Spirou magazine really that gigantic, newspaper-sized like in the comic?
    It’s hilarious, “you’ve been such a good boy since you joined ADS”, like that is going to convince parents…
    (Clever to post the text of the double 7th code this way, I was wondering how you were going to post it.)


      Yeah, “lucky beggar” or “jammy beggar” is British slang for “you are lucky and I am jealous of you”. (I assume “beggar” in this case is a euphemism for “bugger”, which wouldn’t be appropriate in such an upstanding magazine.) “Jammy” might have been better, but I was worried too many people wouldn’t understand it. I’m not 100% satisfied with my translation anyway; it was a little rushed this week. I don’t think “come a cropper” sounds quite natural, for instance.

      In the early years, the Journal was quite large, about twice the size of the current magazine (28×38–40 cm, according to http://www.bdoubliees.com/journalspirou/annees/). The size is probably still a bit exaggerated in this strip, but not by that much.

      Thanks again for the translation from Dutch/Flemish! I’ll copy it over to the strip it belongs to, but I thought it should be “front paged” first.


        And “I’ve come a cropper” is another slang term I’ve never heard before… Well, it’s sorta understood out of context, anyway… (I guess Jijé refrained from using too obscure Flemish slang terms in the French original, anyway… The frequent flemishisms in Yann’s albums often feel strained…)

        And for “lucky beggar / bugger”, I come to think of the “lucky bastards!” scene from Life of Brian…

        That good behavior propaganda aimed at parents… Yeah… I know comics often had a bad reputation among the older population in the 40s, so it doesn’t seem improbable… The Swedish edition of the Donald Duck magazine made similar points, and emphasized that the magazine was in proper language, translated by a professional translator with an academic degree, and such…


        Thanks for your reply, I didn’t know all that. Last time I called someone a beggar… it didn’t end well.

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