Jan 292017
 
'La Jeunesse de Champignac' thumbnail ("Champignac's Youth"; ill. Jordi Sempere; Copyright (c) Dupuis and the artist; image from jlmunuera on bdgest.com)

From “Champignac’s Youth” test pages, by Jordi Sempere

Yesterday’s article about the Zorglub spin-off mentioned that it seems to represent the culmination of an ambition Munuera has had for a while. In 2008, shortly after being forced out of Spirou & Fantasio, he posted a message to the BD Gest’ Forums that describes those plans:

At the time of Paris-sous-Seine (Spirou & Fantasio #47, “Paris-Under-Seine”), we thought we could develop some spin-offs: one about the youth of Pacôme Hégésippe [“Ambrose” in English. –SR] of Champignac and his relationship with his fellow student Zorglub, how they fell into a love triangle with Miss Flanner (which we ended up doing in the last album [Spirou & Fantasio #50: Aux sources du Z, “The Origins of the Z”]), another about the journalistic [Munuera actually writes “daily”, but that’s probably a mistake. –SR] adventures of Seccotine, etc. Of course, after the whole mess around the company being sold, these projects came to nothing…

For the Champignac’s Youth series, the great Spanish artist Jordi Sempere produced these wonderful test pages:

'La Jeunesse de Champignac' test pages p. 1 ("Champignac's Youth"; ill. Jordi Sempere; Copyright (c) Dupuis and the artist; image from jlmunuera on bdgest.com)
'La Jeunesse de Champignac' test pages p. 2 ("Champignac's Youth"; ill. Jordi Sempere; Copyright (c) Dupuis and the artist; image from jlmunuera on bdgest.com)
'La Jeunesse de Champignac' test pages p. 3 ("Champignac's Youth"; ill. Jordi Sempere; Copyright (c) Dupuis and the artist; image from jlmunuera on bdgest.com)

If there’s anything I regret about these five years of work, it’s that – because of the situation of the company – we didn’t have a chance to do a tenth of what we wanted. But oh well, “that’s life.”

… and sometimes life offers a second chance.

The sample was posted like this, without dialog, which makes the job of scanlation either very simple or very difficult. While Munuera doesn’t specify whose script Sempere is drawing, it seems likely to have been developed by him and Morvan.

In a later post he explains that the Seccotine series would have been drawn by Julien Neel (whose very popular series Lou! is also available in English), and JD Morvan adds that they were also planning a series around Spip:

The idea was to always have the Spirou universe represented in the magazine, even if he wasn’t there himself.

With the numerous different Spirou-related projects going on, that vision now seems very close to becoming reality.

  6 Responses to “Silent Sunday: Champignac’s Youth”

  1.  

    It was a very good idea!

  2.  

    You know what’s extraordinary about Sempere’s test pages? It’s so very obviously BRUSSELS! I have long lamented the “Frenchization” of the franchise…

  3.  

    I can’t say how much I like those test pages, much more than I liked the version of Champignac and Zorglub’s youth in “The Origins of the Z” (too much inconsistencies and anomalies in that one).

  4.  

    Just wanted to say I’m glad you’re back. I really missed this blog.

    •  

      Thanks! Things got really busy in the last few months, and I just wasn’t able to put any time into it: I haven’t even had time to read the magazine installments of Schwartz & Yann’s latest Spirou adventure.

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