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Spirou et Fantasio

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Jollywagg
Member
#41 · Posted: 27 Nov 2010 15:50
Actually,

the ones by Tome and Janry are pretty terrible! (compared to the original by Franquin). Even the art work is substandard compared to the originals. The innovative thinking of new gadgets is missing, which is the essence of Spirou.

I picked up a few of the original Franquin ones on a trip to India where the complete set was published by EuroBooks India.

They were selling them at 30% off, 3 USD or around 2 GBP each but anyone and everyone I checked refused to ship it outside India. The one guy who offered to sell refused shipping to UK specifically. Maybe some export restrictions. The translation is not bad, just done in "Indian English". If you have visited India enough times you get the hang of it, and its not really that had to follow given the outstanding graphics and the paper quality is pretty good (glossy - just like the Tintin paperbacks by Egmont).

All in all you might want to try a few French ones which are available in Amazon.com and can be shipped internationally George. Might be a good indication...I am seriously thinking of learning French...

Your always occasional poster

Jolly!
mct16
Member
#42 · Posted: 21 Sep 2011 14:45 · Edited by: mct16
Here's a review by Forbidden Planet of a recent Spirou book, "Le Groom vert-de-gris" ("The Verdigris Groom").

This review puts the emphasis on cameos by other major comic book characters, including many Tintin-related ones such as Quick and Flupke, Doctor Muller, Jo and Zette, Blake and Mortimer and even Raymond Leblanc, resistance hero and founder of the post-war "Tintin magazine". There is even a cameo by Herge himself.

It is set during the war and Spirou's friend, the reporter Fantasio, is working for "Le Soir", which was publishing "Tintin" at the time. In his capacity of comic-relief partner, Fantasio even goes through a Haddock-based misadventure (Calculus' clothes-brushing machine).

Quite an achievement in terms of obtaining permission to use characters from a rival publication, given the fact that "Spirou" is one of "Tintin"'s leading rivals.

Yann is a writer for whom I have very mixed views. I don't care much for his humour, which can be very bleak or of poor taste, but there is no denying that his stories are based on the most extensive research, with innumerable references to other cultures and historical events, almost on a par with Alan Moore of "Watchmen" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen".

Note to moderators: this is legit. This site is the blog of the fantasy and science-fiction store Forbidden Planet.
mct16
Member
#43 · Posted: 23 Oct 2012 12:30 · Edited by: mct16
The Marsupilami was introduced in the "Spirou and Fantasio" series, became a major character (until Franquin prevented further use of him), later got his own comic series (Franquin sold the right later) and was even the subject of a Disney cartoon series.

Now he has had his own movie: "Sur la piste du Marsupilami" aka "HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami". The imdb entry has an English title so its possible that it might be released as an English-language DVD at least (but that's just speculation on my part).

Here's a review by Filmdefrance.com.
Eivind
Member
#44 · Posted: 16 Dec 2012 22:27
Of course! I have most of them and Franquins's stories in a collection. There are indeed many similarities. Spirou resembles Tintin, while Fantasio has some similarities to captain Haddock, like his temper. Fantasio is definitely the more colourful of the two. Spirou's squirrel have similarities to Snowy. They are both highly intelligent for their species and are able to think. And then we have the count of Champignac, resembling Calculus. Both are inventors. Both series are Belgian by the way. This little country has some of the best comics in the world, together with big brother France.
george
Member
#45 · Posted: 19 Feb 2013 12:50
george:
Make that "at least 2012"

OK, 2013...

I've no idea what Franquin books are considered to be the best, but I get the feeling they're from a much later period than this 1952/1954 volume. Still this and Fantagraphics' "Franquin's Last Laugh" album means two Franquin books in the same year. That's twice as many as ever before*.

George

(*excluding the Indian publications which, if the edition of Buck Danny I've seen is anything to go by, barely deserve to count as English)
mct16
Member
#46 · Posted: 19 Feb 2013 14:13 · Edited by: mct16
george:
I've no idea what Franquin books are considered to be the best

Most of Franquin's output from the 1950s and 60s are considered to be him at his best. I've read many of them and consider them to be very entertaining, both humour and adventure-wise.

The only one I, and many actual critics, dislike is "Panade à Champignac" which was the last "Spirou and Fantasio" that he made himself. Franquin himself conceded that he was past his best by that stage and passed the series on to Jean-Claude Fournier, who was succeeded by others.

"The Marsupilami Thieves" is from the better period. The only real problem is that it is a sequel to "Spirou and the Heirs" in which the Marsupilami was introduced, so really you should read that one first. It is available (in English) at arvee.com, though I recall reading somewhere that they do not ship outside of India, or some similar policy. You'll have to check.

"Franquin's Last Laugh" is based on his "Idées noires" (French for "Dark Thoughts"). It is a rather gruesome gag series with a very morbid sense of humour. For example, in one such "gag", a man is sentenced to death for murder and is guillotined. Since the executioner now committed murder, he too is guillotined and that executioner is guillotined and so on and so on...

Not for the faint hearted.
jock123
Moderator
#47 · Posted: 19 Feb 2013 20:50 · Edited by: jock123
And in other news, Spirou is getting a 75th anniversary exhibition at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre in Brussels
george
Member
#48 · Posted: 21 Feb 2013 16:22
mct16:
Most of Franquin's output from the 1950s and 60s are considered to be him at his best

That's good to know. It is odd how almost all Franquin's work has managed to miss being translated in to English despite being very highly thought of on the continent. Perhaps there's an essential belgian-ness (should such a word exist) about them that discourages publishers from taking the books on - maybe Quick & Flupke suffer from the same perceived provinciality?

mct16:
The only one I, and many actual critics, dislike is "Panade à Champignac"

I think I've read this in a *cough* 'samizdat' edition. I quite enjoyed it in the same way I like Picaros - there's what I interpret as an underlying bitterness. Against what, I don't know, but the taste of it is there.

mct16:
The only real problem is that it is a sequel to "Spirou and the Heirs" in which the Marsupilami was introduced, so really you should read that one first.

I've struggled with Indian sites before so I need to balance the inevitable hair-loss battling through these sites bring me against waiting for Cinebook to work on the (and the inevitable hair-loss those years will bring)...

mct16:
"Franquin's Last Laugh" is based on his "Idées noires"

I recall seeing some of these years and years ago in, I think, The Comics Journal. I think I prefer the French title because of the double meaning.

jock123:
And in other news, Spirou is getting a 75th anniversary exhibition at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre in Brussels…

I went to the BCSC about ten years ago - I still have the tin the Tintin chocolates came in. The museum wasn't especially English-friendly but it was still very impressive as both a location and a collection of art. I wasn't brave enough to try the Brasserie but, to bring this almost full-circle, I see they have a 'Gaston Lagaffe' menu...

George
jock123
Moderator
#49 · Posted: 21 Feb 2013 18:39 · Edited by: jock123
george:
It is odd how almost all Franquin's work has managed to miss being translated in to English despite being very highly thought of on the continent.

I’m never very certain about this - it sort of suggests that it’s better than the humour comics we had/ have here, and I’m not certain it is; my guess is that the market for these kind of books is/ was already pretty well served by domestic product, and a gap for Spirou and Gaston Lagaffe never really opened up, or when it did, something else got in there first, like Asterix or Lucky Luke.
Added to which, how much Leo Baxendale, Ken Reid, David Sutherland, Allan Morley, Dudley D. Watkins and Cº has made it across the water in the other direction…? All have produced fantastic work for British comics, and are the equals of their continental cousins.
george:
The museum wasn't especially English-friendly

Well, if you’re like me, at least you can always look at the pictures… ;-)
george:
I wasn't brave enough to try the Brasserie

Me neither - the prices for one thing are out of my range, especially if there are books to be had from the book-shop…
mct16
Member
#50 · Posted: 27 Mar 2013 22:58
Back here, I described how much of Franquin's work (to which he owed the rights) had been sold to Marsu Productions, rather than to his original publishers Dupuis. Now, it's been announced that Dupuis has taken over Marsu Productions so, who knows, the Marsupilami might start reappearing in "Spirou and Fantasio" adventures.

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