Celebrating 75 Years of Spirou (Part 3)
Reader Olivier N. wanted to pay tribute to Spirou’s 75th anniversary, so, well, here he is doing just that! – Brian
The year 1968, the artist Jean Claude Fournier, The heroes Spirou and Fantasio.
Fourniers succeeds to Franquin, on the series in 1968, Franquin will help Fournier on storytelling and lay-outs and draw most of the Marsupilami appearances on Fournier’s first album (“Le faiseur D’or” – “The gold maker”) Fournier will uses Champignac, Zorglub, Zantafio with the permission of Franquin.
The rights around Spirou are a little complex: Spirou was created by Dupuis and Rob-Vel, all rights to Edition Dupuis, Rob-Vel will add Spip, when he leaves he gives Spip to Editions Dupuis. Jijé Will create Fantasio and give him to Editions Dupuis when leaving (more precisely leaving the character in the hands of Franquin) Franquin will Create many characters, and will retain all rights for Marsupilami and Gaston (Gomer Goof), and will let the rights of pay-per-use for some other characters, some will be given, others will free usage to some authors… All this will be settled sometime during the 80’s.
Fournier will add poetry, and new themes to Spirou and Fantasio Adventures (gold maker, new bio- energie, ETs, Folklore, Dictatorships and counter solutions) S and F will abandon all their previous accountancies, except for the Count of Champignac (And Zorglub twice), and Fournier will had many new ones. (Ito Kata, Ororea, the Circle…)
After searching for the book that changes Lead to Gold (Le faiseur d’or), Searching for a mysterious Japanese mushroom, using sugar as energie for cars (“Du Glucose for Noemie / L’abbaye Truquée”-“Some Glucose For Noemie/TheRigged Abbey”) , Legends (“Tora Torapa”“Le grigri du niokolokoba”), ETs that comes to earth looking for Cider in Champignac (“Du Cidre pour les etoiles”-“Some Cider for the Stars”, adventure in French Bretagne meeting with l’Ankou (personification of death in the folklore) and speech against nuclear, and the 2 albums set in asia, talking about dictatorship, and how to help a nation that has drug culture as its sole revenue?(“Kodo le tyran/Des Haricots partout” –“ Kodo the Dictator / Peas Everywhere”) Only 9 adventures set in a 10 year span. (The following story “la maison dans la mousse – The house in the Foam” was written, and the first pages already drawn when Fournier was forced to leave)
Fournier will leave the series over a disagreement with the directors of Editions Dupuis over Spirou being Belgian, and Fournier drawing some Bretons Flags, and having the stories occur in France.
We are at the beginning of the 80’s, and a real strange area for Spirou, with 3 different teams that will recount new stories. With no real direction.
Fournier will then help create French BD festival ‘Quai Des Bulles’ in St Malo (2nd BD festival in France in term of frequentation), Return to his own creation Bizu, and work for the press for the next few years. He will come back to Spirou (magazine) in 1998 with Zidrou writing, on the series Cranibales (one page gags of a family of cannibals)