Having discussed the publications that came out in the last three weeks, let’s look at news of upcoming releases. Along with a few delays and long waits, there is also some good news.
To mark the sad occasion, here’s an illustration by Daniel Clowes. The Spirou connection? Check out Thompson’s computer screen!
Editor, translator, publisher and critic Kim Thompson passed away on the morning of 19. June, according to a statement released by Fantagraphics. He was 56, and had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in the year. In 1995, Thompson was the first to translate Spirou into English.
I recently came across a discussion from last year on the blog The Hooded Utilitarian. It’s from a series of articles called The Anniversary of Hate, where different writers discuss “the worst comic ever.” The title of this particular entry, by Alex Buchet, speaks for itself: Spirou and Fantasio: Racism for Kids.
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!
About a year ago, Fantagraphics announced that they would publish Franquin’s Last Laugh, a translation of Franquin’s classic Idées Noires. Much darker (both in tone and visually) than the Spirou and Gaston comics he became famous for, the often morbid “black thoughts” show another side of the master’s talents and personality, expressing his bitterness and existential despair – but also his pitch black sense of humor – as he struggled with clinical depression.
The book was originally set to ship this March, but the release date has been pushed back, and Amazon currently lists it for publication in July (though Fantagraphics claim it’ll ship in June). The delay is quite possibly related to the fact that Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson, the editor and translator of the book, has been diagnosed with lung cancer and stepped back from his job at the company.
Thompson has been a huge champion of European comics in English, and among many other achievements he translated the first English edition of a Spirou album, Fantasy Flight Publishing’s Z is for Zorglub. I wish him a speedy recovery and good health.