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.
* 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.
*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).
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…)
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)
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.