Jun 032013
 

Comix 05/2013

As previously reported, the 75th anniversary issue of the Journal de Spirou included a whole bunch of short Spirou stories by various authors and artists. Except for the Yoann & Vehlmann tale, it seemed unlikely that any of these would be available in other languages any time soon. However, it turns out that the German magazine Comix has managed to make a deal with Dupuis to republish a selection of these stories in German.

The first to appear is Fabrice Tarrin’s 4-pager Le conte du Champignap (“The Story of Champignap”) in issue 05/2013, now available. The magazine appears to come out more or less monthly, so other stories should follow in not too long. (Comix, with an ungoogleable name and no webpage of its own, apparently has its online presence based here. Welcome, German readers, and thanks for pointing back to the forum!)

May 292013
 

One of the most intriguing Spirou publications announced for the 75th anniversary was Le Spirou de Chaland, collecting Yves Chaland’s work on the series. Since his version of Les aventures de Spirou only ran for 23 double-strips, and these have previously been collected in the special album Fantasio et le fantôme (where they take up 16 pages), the question was what this new book would contain.

Some key details have now surfaced (including a slight change in title), with a picture of its catalog entry posted on the BDGest forum:

Catalog entries on 'Franquin et le design' and 'Spirou par Chaland' (ill. Dupuis, via icecool/BDGest)

The most interesting piece of information is that it will run 128 pages, which obviously means it must include a lot more material than what was published in the Journal de Spirou. Chaland worked on a number of other Spirou stories that were never finished (some collected after his death in Yves Chaland: Les Inachevés, “The Unfinished Chaland”), and concluded his strip adventure in the form of a picture book shortly before his death (both parts of the story are available together from Champaka under the title Cœurs d’acier, “Hearts of Steel”). He also made many Spirou illustrations and sketches that could be included. The length indicates that much if not all of this material will finally be made generally available.

At 26 x 15.5 cm, the landscape-format Le Spirou par Chaland will be significantly smaller in size than Champaka’s Cœurs d’acier. How it will reproduce artwork and pages in portrait format, and whether it will be in color, are still open questions.

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 102013
 

Today’s fanart is from a 2012 April Fools joke on the Finnish site Kvaak.fi. If Google Translate makes correct sense of it, the story was that the next one-shot would be made by an unknown Finnish duo, Areng & Leaudelaboue:

April Fools fanart (ill. "Areng & Leaudelaboue," apparently Anssi Rauhala)

Supposedly a panel from the upcoming one-shot ‘La Croix de Fer du Ramsès II’ (“The Iron Cross of Ramses II”) by Areng & Leaudelaboue

In reality, it seems, those names are an obscure Finnish pun, and it was really drawn by Anssi Rauhala. (Anyone who can actually read Finnish are more than welcome to correct any misunderstandings or add further detail.)

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!

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 232013
 

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. Continue reading »