InediSpirou has a scoop on the future of Spirou, from conversations with Yoann at Angoulême…
First of all, the coming collection of Yoann & Vehlmann stories will indeed be a hors-série (literally “out-of-numeration”, perhaps better translated as “Spirou Special”) album, HS #5. It’s listed in Dupuis’ schedule of upcoming releases for October, with the title “Supergroom” (“Super Bellhop”).
Supposedly it will contain all the short stories Yoann & Vehlmann have made to date (including, of course, the one that gives it its title) – although there’s been some question about just exactly which ones count. In any case, there will also be an album-exclusive story of 6 or 8 pages. Yoann also says that it will probably come out earlier than the schedule has it, by this summer, and may not use that title.
That may be because the Supergroom story was so well received (by readers as well as the publisher) that there’s now an idea of turning it into an ongoing Spirou-as-superhero series. This series, which would still be by Yoann & Vehlmann, would be in a looser and more “American” style than the regular Spirou adventures (in terms of things like page layout as well as the drawing style). The stories also won’t necessarily be the standard Spirou album length – but will still be collected and published in album format.
The plan is to do one album per year, alternating between Supergroom and “regular” Spirou albums (so that there’s two years between albums of each type). In other words, if this goes ahead, Supergroom will play a major role in the future of the series.
In some ways this resembles what happened when Tome & Janry created Le Petit Spirou (“Little Spirou”) – we’ll have to wait and see whether Supergroom becomes a similar success.
Incidentally, Yoann has also been working on another superhero series, written by Olivier Texier and completely unrelated to Spirou, called Les CaptainZ. This is a project he began before he and Vehlmann took over Spirou & Fantasio, that he’s recently returned to to complete. The album will come out in May from Le Lombard, and will be serialized in the Journal de Spirou starting in March.