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.
This page was posted on a blog at the beginning of the month, presented as a page by Franquin and Will for an abandoned sequel to Pirates du Silence (Spirou 10).
There’s been so much to report over the last few weeks that I haven’t been able to cover everything. I’ve mentioned Spirou.Z a few times (most recently in yesterday’s update on the multi-part, Pixar-illustrated “The Domino Theory” that will run there), but I haven’t really explained in detail what it is.
No, it’s not an upcoming movie, but a digital comic to run in the Spirou magazine’s new tablet app, Spirou.Z.
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.
Only a day after listing upcoming Spirou publications, the list is already out of date.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!
The coming months offer a number of new releases for Spirou fans in many different languages. The French publications are numerous enough to require their own list. Here I’ve tried to compile a list of releases in other languages (excluding Dutch) that is as complete as possible; additions and corrections are more than welcome!
Still catching up on some older news… In March, Forlaget Zoom (a Danish publisher) announced that they would no longer publish the collected edition of Spirou in Danish. This leaves Danish (and other Scandinavian) readers with only two of the three Fournier volumes available, and to top it off, Zoom didn’t release them in order, so the volume missing is the one in the middle:
Egmont published the Franquin volumes of the collected edition (translations of the French Intégrale series) across Scandinavia, but did not continue the series beyond that classic run. When Zoom picked up the rights to continue the collected edition, the Danish edition became the only way for Scandinavians to follow the series in a language most can read. (However, all the individual albums have previously been published in all the Scandinavian languages.)
While Zoom published two volumes of the collected edition, and still publishes Gaston, Gastoon, and Le Petit Spirou, the Danish album publication of Spirou is by another publisher, Cobolt. Unfortunately, Cobolt has denied any intention of picking up the book series, arguing that the Danish market is too limited for this kind of publication.
So Scandinavian fans are, at least for the time being, out of luck. On the brighter side, Cobolt has announced a number of other Spirou-related publications for this and next year. But that’s a subject for another post…
To coincide with the big Spirou anniversary on Sunday, the premier French-language fan site, InediSpirou, relaunched a section of the site that had been down for maintenance a long time.
The InediSpirou Library is a new and improved (?) version of a remarkable archive, with entries for practically any Spirou-related publication ever, and original articles. Probably the most interesting part, however, is a collection of every Spirou story that has not been collected in album or book form (in French), some that were never published at all, and a large number of sketches and illustrations. For the relaunch of the collection, these have been rescanned in higher resolution and better quality.