Spirou Reporter

I grew up reading Spirou in Scandinavian translations. Now I'm learning French and trying to decode the originals.

Jun 052013

Spirou 53 cover DE (ill. Carlsen, Yoann & Vehlmann)The German edition of Spirou #53, In den Fängen der Viper (“In the Clutches of the Viper”) is now available from Carlsen. This is the 51st album in the German order. As with the other German albums, it includes exclusive extra material, in this instance 8 pages including pencil versions of some pages, a cover image from the Journal, paintings by Yoann that relate to the story, and editorial material and texts (source). No bonus story this time around; the only obvious candidate, Yoann & Vehlmann’s Groom Toujours! (“Bellhop Forever”!) from the special anniversary issue, was probably too recent to make it in.

“In the Clutches of the Viper” was reviewed here, based on the French and Danish editions.

Carlsen will also publish the collected edition of the series (versions of the French intégrale books), expecting to start in fall 2014. For album collectors, meanwhile, Carlsen offers slipcases to help keep the bookshelf tidy, and a seventh of these will be available in spring 2014.

Jun 032013

Comix 05/2013

As previously reported, the 75th anniversary issue of the Journal de Spirou included a whole bunch of short Spirou stories by various authors and artists. Except for the Yoann & Vehlmann tale, it seemed unlikely that any of these would be available in other languages any time soon. However, it turns out that the German magazine Comix has managed to make a deal with Dupuis to republish a selection of these stories in German.

The first to appear is Fabrice Tarrin’s 4-pager Le conte du Champignap (“The Story of Champignap”) in issue 05/2013, now available. The magazine appears to come out more or less monthly, so other stories should follow in not too long. (Comix, with an ungoogleable name and no webpage of its own, apparently has its online presence based here. Welcome, German readers, and thanks for pointing back to the forum!)

Jun 022013
'Journal de Spirou' promo 1953 (ill. Franquin, Dupuis; SR scanlation)

From ‘Les mémoires de Spirou,’ p. 75

This is the front page of a 1953 promotional leaflet for the Journal de Spirou, illustrated by Franquin. It sums up, in flashback, the adventures in Les chapeaux noirs (Spirou #3, “The Black Hats”), Il y a un sorcier à Champignac (Spirou #2, “There’s a Sorcerer in Champignac”), and particularly Spirou et les héritiers (Spirou #4, “Spirou and the Heirs”). The leaflet also featured an excerpt from the then-current Les voleurs du Marsupilami (Spirou #5, “The Marsupilami Thieves“).

May 292013

One of the most intriguing Spirou publications announced for the 75th anniversary was Le Spirou de Chaland, collecting Yves Chaland’s work on the series. Since his version of Les aventures de Spirou only ran for 23 double-strips, and these have previously been collected in the special album Fantasio et le fantôme (where they take up 16 pages), the question was what this new book would contain.

Some key details have now surfaced (including a slight change in title), with a picture of its catalog entry posted on the BDGest forum:

Catalog entries on 'Franquin et le design' and 'Spirou par Chaland' (ill. Dupuis, via icecool/BDGest)

The most interesting piece of information is that it will run 128 pages, which obviously means it must include a lot more material than what was published in the Journal de Spirou. Chaland worked on a number of other Spirou stories that were never finished (some collected after his death in Yves Chaland: Les Inachevés, “The Unfinished Chaland”), and concluded his strip adventure in the form of a picture book shortly before his death (both parts of the story are available together from Champaka under the title Cœurs d’acier, “Hearts of Steel”). He also made many Spirou illustrations and sketches that could be included. The length indicates that much if not all of this material will finally be made generally available.

At 26 x 15.5 cm, the landscape-format Le Spirou par Chaland will be significantly smaller in size than Champaka’s Cœurs d’acier. How it will reproduce artwork and pages in portrait format, and whether it will be in color, are still open questions.

May 282013

Spirou 53 cover (ill. Cinebook, Tome & Janry) Cinebook’s fourth Spirou album (#41 in the original album order) is now available from the publisher, and should be in bookstores both on- and off-line within the next few days. Continuing the story from Running Scared (although it can be read independently), the adventure finds Spirou and Fantasio – and Spip – trapped in a lost valley in the Himalayas, full of strange creatures, hidden dangers and the remains of past expeditions as well as ancient civilizations. Originally published in 1989, it is frequently cited as Tome & Janry’s best.

There will be a review coming (relatively) soon.




May 262013

Spirou à Cuba (“Spirou in Cuba”) is one of the great what-ifs in the history of the series.  Announced as the next Spirou adventure in 2000, following Tome & Janry’s radical re-imagining of the series in Machine qui rêve (“Machine That Dreams”; Spirou 46), it never appeared, and the comic went into hiatus. As late as 2004, Tome & Janry were still publicly saying they would finish it, even as the publisher started looking for someone else to take over The Adventures of Spirou and Fantasio.

A couple of inked pages were finally shown as part of an exhibition in 2008, stoking the interest of fans. However, with the series in new hands, the duo no longer seemed to have any intention of completing it. Their negative experience working as one of three rival Spirou teams (alongside Nic & Cauvin and Yves Chaland) when they first took over the series also made them disinclined to have it published as an out-of-continuity one-shot album.

It was therefore a pleasant surprise when in 2011 the eight completed pages of the story appeared in issue #3839 of the Journal de Spirou (a “come-back” issue that brought back a number of comics from the magazine’s past for a special appearance). Retitled Zorglub à Cuba (“Zorglub in Cuba”), presumably because Spirou barely appears in these pages, this is likely to be all we’ll ever see of Tome & Janry’s final Spirou adventure. Continue reading »

May 242013
Roch'fort en Bulles (ill. Bannister)

Poster by Bannister

Poster for a comics festival in Rochefort. This year’s guest of honor is Spirou (whatever that means); other guests include Tarrin, Feroumont and Bertrand Pissavy-Yvernault (La véritable histoire de Spirou).

The Turbotraction car keys are a nice detail! (I assume the telescope is some sort of local reference. The monument in the background is the Porte de l’Arsenal.)

May 232013

In honor of Fournier, who turned 70 earlier this week, here’s a special scanlation from the Galerie des illustres. Emmanuel Lepage tells the story of how he first met the Spirou artist (shortly before he left the series; Des haricots partout – or “Beans Everywhere!” – would be his last album).

La galerie des illustres p. 229 (ill. Lepage, Dupuis; SR scanlation)This page was first published in the Journal de Spirou issue #3703 (2009).