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“).
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.
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).
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.
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.
This week’s scanlation is a story by Daan Jippes (Danier), made in 2007 but only recently released in full:
This week’s scanlation comes from the 2010 Journal de Spirou issue #3762, which was dedicated to Gaston. Yoann and Vehlmann contributed this one-pager. (Scan via InediSpirou)
In celebration of the anniversary of Journal de Spirou, as well as Spirou himself, here’s the opening of one of the all-time funniest Spirou adventures, Franquin’s Bravo les Brothers (1965), which takes place at the office of the magazine:
(Personal scanlation. You’d better clap, or the ape gets angry!)
The adventures of Spirou began seventy-five years ago today!
(Scanlation courtesy of houbanaut on Scans Daily.)