Dupuis announced today that Jean De Mesmaeker, better known as Jidéhem, passed away on Sunday, 30. April. He was 81. Spirou Reporter did a profile on Jidéhem for his 80th birthday, discussing his work as Spirou & Fantasio background artist in the later Franquin years, as the artist on the early Gaston strips, and in his own right on series like Sophie, Ginger and Starter. More recently, an article in BdZoom (in French) argued that his importance to Gaston has been underrated, and that he should be honored on an equal basis with Franquin for the 60th anniversary of the series this year.
On 11. and 12. May (that’s Thursday and Friday next week), Dupuis and la Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image (“The International City of Comics and Illustration Art”) cultural center in Angoulême will arrange a Spirou comic challenge, where participants from all over the world are invited to create a 24-page Spirou comic (22 pages + front and back covers) in 24 hours.
BM Mag #14 (April–May 2017), the magazine of Dutch comics publisher Ballon Media, features an intriguing teaser ad for an upcoming project on page 27… (Updated 28.4.2017)
Sooo… It has been almost half a year since the last proper Publications Update, and increasingly dated “news” has been piling up like the urgent mail in Gaston’s office. Anyway, let’s get it over with! If you’re keen to see Zorglub or Gaston in English, the original pages from Tome & Janry’s albums, or the latest one-shots in just about every language the series is published in, there’s good news…
Yesterday it was 60 years since Gaston Lagaffe walked into the door of the offices of the Journal de Spirou (or to put it another way, 60 years since the publication date of issue #985 of the Journal, with the first appearance of the character). As low-profile as the introduction was, Gaston – created by André Franquin and Yvan Delporte – would come to have immense impact on Spirou & Fantasio, pulling Franquin away from the series and redefining the relationship between the characters and the magazine publishing their adventures.
Today is the 60th birthday of Philippe Vandevelde, better known as Tome. The Tome & Janry run on Spirou, which covered most of the 1980s and 90s, was the series’ most commercially successful period, and a fan-favorite.
Following on the heels of the Petit Spirou film and the Spirou & Fantasio film, it’s recently been reported that a film version of Franquin’s Gaston Lagaffe is also moving forward. Actors have been cast, and filming is scheduled to start as soon as March, for a release in April 2018 (beating Spirou & Fantasio – which has a 20 June release – to theaters). The Gaston comic takes place in the Spirou universe, of course – more specifically at the (fictionalized) offices of the Journal de Spirou. However, it is not clear whether this will be the case in the movie, and whether there will be any kind of “shared universe” connection between the two films.
InediSpirou has a scoop on the future of Spirou, from conversations with Yoann at Angoulême…
Catching up on some older news, it was revealed in December that the upcoming album by Munuera, La Fille de Zorglub (“Zorglub’s Daughter”), won’t be a Spirou one-shot, but actually the first volume in a Zorglub spin-off series. Also, the title is now the slightly different La Fille du Z (“Daughter of the Z”).
The Spirou & Fantasio movie (with working title Les Aventures de Spirou et Fantasio, same as the comic) started shooting 16. January, and so there’s now quite a lot more information about it available…