Jul 312015
Dedication sketch for Nico (ill. unknown, falsely signed "Franquin"; image from bdgest.com)

Unknown artist, falsely signed “Franquin”

For a while, a Danish Facebook page has offered for sale a copy of Tempo Tabou featuring a drawing of the Marsupilami, supposedly made by Franquin at a Copenhagen convention in 1978. It doesn’t exactly take an expert to see that the inept scribbles weren’t made by Franquin, and the piece has been widely denounced as a fake.

Once you start looking, the web is flowing over with dubious “original sketches” by Franquin and other great masters. Auction sites seem particularly prone to forgeries, as you might expect, but the images have a tendency to disappear as soon as the sale is over, leaving few samples as evidence. (Fans discuss the authenticity of supposed originals here and here, though to my eyes they can sometimes be a bit trigger-happy to proclaim something a fake.) But let’s stick to the most egregious ones:

(The last one was, I think, done as a joke.)

Oct 052013
Banque Dessinée Spirou auction (ill. pseudo-Rob-Vel; (c) Banque Dessinée)

Identified as a fake Rob-Vel

Banque Dessinée is holding a special 75th anniversary Spirou comics art auction tomorrow. The lots include everything from Franquin’s original sketches for the zorglumobile and the Turbotraction II, to signed prints, to collectible plastic figurines. However, what was supposed to be a centerpiece of the auction, a series of Spirou drawings by Rob-Vel and Davine, have been denounced as fake by Christelle and Bertrand Pissavy-Yvernault (CBPY), the authors of La véritable histoire de Spirou and experts on the early history of the series. Continue reading »