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Celebrating 75 Years of Spirou (Part 4)

Reader Olivier N. wanted to pay tribute to Spirou’s 75th anniversary, so, well, here he is doing just that! – Brian

When the Editors at «Editions Dupuis» got rid of Jean Claude Fournier, they had different ideas about the future of “Spirou and Fantasio adventures”.

They gave the gig to 3 different teams

* Yves Chaland who will do each week 2 strips in Black and White in his ‘art deco’ style, telling a story that never got finished.

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* Nic & Cauvin: Nic (Nicolas Broca, Creator of the ‘Snorkels’) and Raoul Cauvin (one of the best sellers from Dupuis – Sammy, Cedric, Les Tuniques Bleues, Pierre Tombale …) who did 3 long stories and introduced new characters in S&F – They lost the Gig after one of the Directors stated he wanted the last team to be the only team recounting the stories of S&F.

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*The last team to work on S&F at that time are newcomers: Tome & Janry; each part of the duo having parts in the writing, the penciling, the inking (reminds me of the way Simon and Kirby worked).

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Tome & Janry began working on S&F in ’82, doing small stories, and then their first big Adventure, ‘Virus’ (wich will be published in Album Format in ’84).

The difference between the 3 teams was that each did a different take on S&F: Chaland did a story recalling the ‘40s and ‘50s, both story wise and art wise; Nic and Cauvin tried to create all new characters and settings without using Franquin nor Fournier characters, and Tome& Janry will use Franquin’s creations in the best of way.

Tome & Janry will stay on the title for 15 years (second longest run after Franquin) and do some memorable albums. And add some new interesting Characters.

Virus (A deadly Virus set lose in Antarctica), Aventure en australie (Adventure Down Under), Qui Arrêtera Cyanure? (Who Will Stop Cyanide ? – A sentient malevolent automaton lose in Champignac), L’horloger de la comête (Watchmaker’s Comet, time traveling with Champignac Grand-nephew), le reveil du Z (Awakening of the Z, follow up to watchmakers, with Zorglub grand-son wanting to control the future), La jeunesse de Spirou (One pagers gags with a young Spirou) In New-York (S&F go to new York and meet the mafia and Vito Cortizone, first album where Tome only Writes and Janry only draw/inks) the diptych la frousse aux trousses & la vallée des bannis (Running Scarred& valley of the Exiles – MUST READ – A CLASSIC ) In Moscow (return of Zantafio), Vito La deveine (Vito the Cramp – return of vito), The Black Ray (imagine Champignac creating a ray that turns white people to black, without anyone knowing it, and vito is here too, in prison)Luna Fatale (with Vito against the Triads) and finally… Machine qui rêve (The machine that dreams – Eugenics, Cloning…)

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The Duo will begin with good stories having roots in Franquin’s history, and after ‘S&F in New York’ will have their own taste, their own goals that will lead to ‘The machine That Dreams’ and they will change the status quo (and the art-style, Machine qui rêve being more realistic in graphic style).
Many, consider the second part of Tome & Janry albums on par, if not better, with the ones done by Franquin. But ‘Machine qui rêve’ wasn’t to the liking of the majority (Editors? fans ?) and they were asked to step down. They will continue to do ‘Spirou’ Stories with ‘le petit Spirou’ (Young Spirou)

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S&F will disappear from Spirou Magazine for some years, with only ‘young Spirou’ to continue the legacy.
Next time, will be our last journey With Spirou and its 75th Birthday, we will jump from 1998 (Machine Qui Rêve) to 2004, and a new team on the book.

There is a current edition of Spirou and Fantasio adventures available in English, ‘Adventure Down Under’, ‘In New York’, ‘Running Scared’ and ‘Valley of the exiles’ being the 4 first paperbacks, and the 5th one being the 4th one in Franquin series ‘The Marsupilami thieves’ (Cinebook is the editor)

Adventure Down Under is the lamest of the 5.

5 Comments

I have Cinebook’s “In New York,” and I’m planning on getting “The Marsupilami Thieves.” I also have the French “Z for Zorglub” and a Petit Spirou. Even though I can’t read the language, the joke book has lots of funny visual gags.

Never heard of the Chaland one.
Didn’t care for the Nic and Cauvin books.

The Tome & Janry books are probably my favorite Spirou stories (except for a few of the Franquin ones, mainly the big Zorglub two-parter), altho they were being a bit too Vito-centric in the latter volumes.

“Many, consider the second part of Tome & Janry albums on par, if not better, with the ones done by Franquin.”
I would not quite agree with ‘better’, but they certainly made it their own.

And “Machine Qui Rêve”, while not a bad story, was just too much of a weird change in style for Spirou.

A correction:
La Jeunesse de Spirou is not one-pager gags of Young Spirou, but rather a collection of various short stories, one of which is about younger versions of the Spirou cast but is not part of the Young Spirou series continuity, tho it obviously is what lead to its creation.

Last week I bought the most recent volume of the L’Intégrale series, that now begins the Tome & Janry era. It collects Virus, Australie and Cyanure, along with several short stories, a few of which were in Jeunesse De Spirou, but also some that were never reprinted before (that I’m aware of anyway).
And a bunch of articles/making of/whatever you want to call it extras, and it now makes me want to buy some of the Franquin Intégrale volumes.

And I’m guessing absolutely nobody is gonna care about my comment, except maybe for Olivier who writes these articles.

I dont really like what Dupuis is putting out in its “integrales”
I did buy the franquins ones, but was disapointed, there are many editorial stuff in there,but all the pages are “re-mounted” to have 5 strips a page, instead of 4 strips in its original settings; it matters less than for an artists with a more dynamic writing style ; ie = Andreas; but it still changes the way the story was originally done. I prefer the now hard to find “Niffle- Franquin l’integrale” from some years ago (Black and white, original page settings)

And i was real disapointed by the Rob-Vel integrale Dupuis Put Out, but i will make a paragraph about the different editions in the last part of the anniversary

Good overview destined to whoever doesn’t know about a character as old and beloved as Superman or Batman. Terrible english though, which is too bad.

In truth, not even the Niffle intégrales had the actual original page settings. Lots of the late Franquins were done in a weird 3 strips + 4 strips pagination (the first page on every issue having one less strip to fit the magazine’s title), so they have ALWAYS been remounted on every single reprint, album or intégrale. You just have to choose which unfaithful version you prefer…

The “extra” Tome & Janry shorts on the recent intégrale had been reprinted before on the hors-series 3 and 4.

The Nic & Cauvin Spirous aren’t anything to write home about, but it must be pointed that they did not CHOOSE to drop the Franquin/Fournier cast and create their own – they were ORDERED to do so! It put them in a disadvantage compared to Tome & Janry regardless of their respective talents.

Chaland, on the other hand, chose to do a Jijé riff (he was a HUGE Jijé fan!). The story DID get finished, however, but on an illustrated text format (it was na unauthorized edition). The complete version is available on this beautiful edition (in color):
http://www.amazon.fr/Spirou-Fantasio-Coeurs-Yves-Chaland/dp/2930142022

I understand that Dupuis will be reprinting it in a different edition (maybe on the original B&W?) later this year, to celebrate the strip’s 75th anniversary.

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