Jun 022013
 
'Journal de Spirou' promo 1953 (ill. Franquin, Dupuis; SR scanlation)

From ‘Les mémoires de Spirou,’ p. 75

This is the front page of a 1953 promotional leaflet for the Journal de Spirou, illustrated by Franquin. It sums up, in flashback, the adventures in Les chapeaux noirs (Spirou #3, “The Black Hats”), Il y a un sorcier à Champignac (Spirou #2, “There’s a Sorcerer in Champignac”), and particularly Spirou et les héritiers (Spirou #4, “Spirou and the Heirs”). The leaflet also featured an excerpt from the then-current Les voleurs du Marsupilami (Spirou #5, “The Marsupilami Thieves“).

Apr 172013
 

Journal de Spirou 3914 cover (ill. Dupuis, Yoann)

This week (Sunday, to be precise) is Spirou’s 75th “birthday,” and the magazine is celebrating with a double (100-page) anniversary issue almost entirely devoted to the character. We get short stories by nearly every living Spirou creator: Yoann & Vehlmann, Tarrin, Le Gall, Morvan & Munuera, a short strip by Bravo, Parme (with Véronique Dreher), Trondheim (with Hugo Piette), and Yann & Schwartz. Even Fournier contributes a short strip. The only ones missing seem to be Tome & Janry and Nic & Cauvin.

In addition there are tributes and pastiches by a bunch of other comic artists – too many to mention them all, but it might be worth highlighting Frank (Frank Pé), since he is working on a One Shot album with Zidrou. In general, the stories are quite short, parodic and “meta.” With the possible exception of the Yoann & Vehlmann story, they’re all firmly non-canon. Some gags work better than others, but few of them would seem to be “must-reads” for any Spirou fan. Still, it’s good fun, and I’ll post a gallery of some notable bits later on.

Apr 152013
 

There’s been a lot of things going on in Spirou world lately, so a lot of these first few posts will be catching up. I’ll start off with a belated announcement:

Spirou 75 Years! (ill. Dupuis)

Journal de Spirou 3911 cover (ill. Dupuis, Boucq)Obviously, the big thing is that this year is the 75th anniversary of Spirou as a character, comic and magazine. Dupuis (the publisher) is making a big deal out of it, and have declared 2013 the “Year of the Bellhop” (l’année groom). This involves a bunch of special publications, which I’ll cover in a later post, as well as special events throughout Belgium and France, TV shows and documentaries, and a new digital edition of the magazine, called Spirou Z.

One of the cooler concepts for the celebrations is the Spirou Tour, with a program of events that (inspired by the album Z is for Zorglub) forms a big S across Belgium, France and Switzerland. It’s like a big book signing tour for the whole magazine, with lots of different artists visiting. Each event is accompanied by a special issue of the magazine devoted to that town. The latest one was in Lille on 30 March. I’ll try to cover one of these events later this year.

Spirou Tour Map (ill. Dupuis)