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)

May 012013
 

The last old news story to catch up on is a major one: Éditions Dupuis announced on 26 March that they had purchased the Marsu Productions publishing house. The acquisition means that a number of their former titles and characters are returning to Dupuis, most notably Gaston Lagaffe, Marsupilami and Natacha. In particular, it means that after more than 40 years, the Marsupilami can now again appear in Spirou, which subsequent reports confirm will happen in Yoann & Vehlmann’s album #55, expected in 2014. Continue reading »

Apr 262013
 

No, it’s not an upcoming movie, but a digital comic to run in the Spirou magazine’s new tablet app, Spirou.Z.

Spirou.Z ad (ill. Dupuis, Yoann)

As reported by InediSpirou, La théorie des dominos (“The Domino Theory”) is a story in seven parts, written by Christopher (Christopher Longé), and with each 8-page episode illustrated by a different Pixar artist. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different character from the Spirou universe, and at the end of each part, another character gets involved and takes over the story.

The first episode stars Seccotine (aka “Cellophine” in English), and will be illustrated by Bill Presing. Subsequent parts will focus on Fantasio, Zorglub, the Count of Champignac, Zantafio, Spirou, and finally Spip. Other illustrators expected to contribute include Ted Mathot, Ronnie del Carmen and Pascal Campion.

La théorie des dominos will be available as a digital-only release starting in October, when the first regular issue of Spirou.Z comes out, and presumably there’ll be another installment in each monthly issue. Once complete, plans are to collect the parts into a printed album in the le Spirou de… one-shot series.

One interesting aspect of this is that the “demo issue” #0 of Spirou.Z that is currently available on iTunes lets you choose between English and French. If that holds true for future issues as well, this could be the first Spirou adventure with a simultaneous English release.

Apr 252013
 

Spirou 5 cover (ill. Cinebook, Franquin)

Only a day after listing upcoming Spirou publications, the list is already out of date. Today, Cinebook announced their upcoming releases for the rest of the year, and on the schedule for August we find The Marsupilami Thieves (Les Voleurs du Marsupilami) by Franquin. They even put Spirou on the cover of their catalogue! Cinebook has previously kept to the Tome & Janry era, but as they write, for the occasion of the 75th anniversary:

In order to pay homage to this legendary hero in
English, we chose to publish one of the volumes by
genius author Franquin. This provides a good
opportunity to discover his very peculiar creature,
the Marsupilami, that Spirou and Fantasio have to
rescue from the clutches of thieves and exploiters.

So is this a one-off, or is Cinebook going to release more of the classic Franquin albums? That probably depends on how well this first attempt goes. Let’s hope Cinebook’s readers appreciate it! Continue reading »