Spirou Reporter

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

May 222013
 

If you’re an aspiring comic creator with a drawer full of unpublished work, you might be interested to learn that Spirou.Z, the upcoming digital comic/tablet app from the Journal de Spirou, is currently recruiting.

To apply, contact the editors at spirouz@spirou.com. (I’m guessing you can probably write in English as well, if your stuff is good.)

May 212013
 

Jean-Claude Fournier (photo from danielmaghen.com)

Today is Jean-Claude Fournier’s 70th birthday. In 1968, the young Fournier was given an apparent dream job when he was chosen to succeed Franquin as Spirou artist and writer. An impossible task, but the Breton artist hung in there for 9 full albums before conflicts with the publisher led to him being pushed out. He later achieved greater success with his own series, particularly Crannibales. Through his comics studio and famously generous nature he has become a mentor for Breton comic creators, including Michel Plessix (The Wind in the Willows) and Emmanuel Lepage. He was recently portrayed by Nicoby & Joub in the biographical comic Dans l’atelier de Fournier.

Happy birthday Fournier!

May 212013
 

Cobolt has just released the Danish edition of Gringos Locos by Schwartz & Yann.

Gringos Locos cover (ill. Schwartz, Yann, Cobolt)

The album tells the story of how in 1948 Jean Gillain (Jijé: Spirou, Valhardi, Jerry Spring) brought his family and his protegés André Franquin (Spirou, Gaston) and Maurice de Bevere (Morris: Lucky Luke) on a journey through the US and Mexico. This trip by the three artists (initially for the purpose of seeking jobs at Disney and escaping the Soviet invasion feared by Jijé) would inspire some of their most famous creations, and take on the stature of a legendary adventure.

For Spirou fans, it offers a fascinating (if fictionalized) look behind the scenes during the series’ formative period, and at two of its most important creators before they achieved their greatest fame; as well as another exquisitely illustrated period piece from the team behind Le groom vert-de-gris (“The field-gray bellhop”). No other Scandinavian editions have been announced, so interested Nordic fans should seek out this Danish publication.

(A review may follow at some later date, but probably not any time soon.)

May 192013
 

This week’s scanlation is a page by Juanjo Guarnido and Juan Díaz Canales, the creators of Blacksad. Since 2008, the Journal de Spirou has invited different artists to create a page that pays homage to or expresses their own relationship with the magazine and its comics. The results have been enormously varied and unpredictable. A new sample would appear in almost every issue, and finally this year, the ones so far (more than 200) were collected in a coffee-table book as La galerie des illustres. Guarnido and Canales’s entry originally appeared in issue #3872 in 2012.

Spirou, Blacksad and Sorcelleries (ill. Guarnido, Canales, Dupuis; SR scanlation)In addition to the appearances by Spirou and Fantasio from The Adventures of… and Blacksad and Weekly from Blacksad, in the last panel it turns out that Hazel (a baby fairy raised by witches, from Guarnido and Valero’s Sorcelleries) is responsible for the crossover.

May 152013
 
Spirou & Fantasio (ill. Yoann)

This image doesn’t actually have anything to do with Spirou #54 (as far as I know); I just like it.
(From Yoann’s MySpace page)

This doesn’t strictly qualify as news, but over the last few months Yoann & Vehlmann have let slip some information about their next, as-yet-untitled album, Spirou #54. The script has been written, and Yoann is currently drawing it. According to the schedule, he will have started right after finishing “Groom Toujours!” (“Bellhop Forever!”), the short story for the 75th anniversary; in other words, probably in February. The album publication is expected in April 2014, which probably means it will run in the magazine either at the very end of 2013 or, more likely, early in 2014. (Spirou #53’s magazine run started two months before the official album publication.) Continue reading »

May 102013
 

Today’s fanart is from a 2012 April Fools joke on the Finnish site Kvaak.fi. If Google Translate makes correct sense of it, the story was that the next one-shot would be made by an unknown Finnish duo, Areng & Leaudelaboue:

April Fools fanart (ill. "Areng & Leaudelaboue," apparently Anssi Rauhala)

Supposedly a panel from the upcoming one-shot ‘La Croix de Fer du Ramsès II’ (“The Iron Cross of Ramses II”) by Areng & Leaudelaboue

In reality, it seems, those names are an obscure Finnish pun, and it was really drawn by Anssi Rauhala. (Anyone who can actually read Finnish are more than welcome to correct any misunderstandings or add further detail.)

May 102013
 

Spirou 53: Dans les griffes de la Vipère /
I Hugormens Kløer

4/5 Stars

 

Dupuis (French), Cobolt (Danish), 46 pages

 “The Year of Spirou,” the 75th anniversary of the comic, has so far been packed full of unique events, major announcements and interesting publications. But few are as exciting as seeing the series itself in excellent health, with the release of a great new album.

And the new adventure, Dans les griffes de la Vipère (“In the Clutches of the Viper”), recently published in Danish as I Hugormens Kløer, is pretty great. Not flawless or about to rank with the highest classics, but easily the strongest of Yoann & Vehlmann’s contributions so far (including their out-of-continuity one-shot, Les géants pétrifiés; or “The Petrified Giants”), and arguably the best “real” Spirou adventure we’ve had for twenty years or more.

(This review contains SPOILERS for this and previous albums, though I’ve tried to keep them to a minimum.) Continue reading »

May 082013
 

Belgian Comic Strip Center (photo Daniel Fouss)

Among this year’s many Spirou exhibitions, it’s perhaps worth mentioning the one at the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels, “Spirou passed from hand to hand” (23 April – 6 October) if only because the website and catalog are available in English.

… Oh, and because it features a number of sketches for possible upcoming one-shots:

(Photos from Stripspeciaalzaak)