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If you’re an aspiring comic creator with a drawer full of unpublished work, you might be interested to learn that Spirou.Z, the upcoming digital comic/tablet app from the Journal de Spirou, is currently recruiting.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

May 072013
 
Yoann (photo by Cecil McKinley, from BDZoom)

Yoann Chivard

BDZoom has a nice interview with Yoann (in French). He talks a bit about his working process and his philosophy with regards to the series. Well worth checking out (e.g. via Google Translate)! But if you don’t have the patience for that, I’d like to highlight some interesting figures: he mentions that under Tome & Janry, each adventure sold about 250 000 copies, while they’re now at around 80 000. (Presumably, this refers to European sales of the French edition.)

He also says that he and Vehlmann have been offered another 5-year contract to continue with Spirou (after their initial 3-year contract), and were just about to accept. I believe I’ve seen elsewhere that it’s now official, so we can look forward to several more Spirou albums by Yoann & Vehlmann over the next few years. Good news, I say!

May 042013
 

Spirou.Z issue #0 (ill. unknown)

For those of us who don’t have an iPad, we can at least get a taste of what Spirou.Z is about. Dupuis has put up part of the free sample issue #0 on their web site, although they warn that it doesn’t provide the full experience. (For one thing, it’s not available in English.) But you can see the “turbo media” motion comic format in action and see what you might find in one issue.

May 022013
 

For a big Spirou expo in Angoulême (famous for its comics festival), Yoann has drawn this poster (incidentally, the first “official” Marsupilami from his pen):

Un héros dynamique ("A dynamic hero," ill. Yoann)

On French-language forums, people have been busy trying to name every character. Challenge accepted? (Bigger version here)