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Identification Please: Looking for original title of old comic strip...?

#1 · Posted: 18 Jul 2019 18:35 · Edited by: Moderator
I hope you can help me.
I'm looking for the original title of a possibly European comic strip that was printed in the Polish magazine Świat Młodych (Young World) in 1983, which only ran to a few pages).

It was titled in Polish, Zbieg z planety Zahor (Fugitive from Planet Zahor) - but I don't think this was its original title, as I can't find anything on the internet.

Supposedly the author is A.P. Duchâteau - but I cannot be sure, since there was no author mentioned in this magazine.

The pages from this magazine can be found here:
Link removed

Could you help me?

#2 · Posted: 22 Jul 2019 09:05 · Edited by: jock123
Firstly, welcome to our forums, Johnny!

Sadly, my second point has to be that the link you posted had to be removed, as it led to a site for downloading comics, and we can't allow that under our policy to observe copyright.

If you can find a way of posting a link to somewhere that just a frame or two (not entire pages or stories) are shown, then we might be able to allow that.

A brief outline for other readers, from the link and a little noodling on the internet (I have added a few details like the name of the magazine to Johnny's post above): the story ran for three issues of the magazine, in two page installments.

I don't speak Polish, but the tale seemed to be as follows...

The start shows a futuristic city, in which a man awakes in a prison, where the force-fields confining him fail, and he escapes, flying off in a space-ship...
...At which point it is revealed to the reader that the story is in fact in a comic, being read by a young boy (called Stany) on a tractor.
He appears to be in America, and working on his dad's farm.
Later, out driving the tractor, he comes across a (vaguely familiar) man dressed in clothes taken from a scare-crow; the man doesn't talk, but the boy takes him back to the farmhouse, where dad seems prepared to take the stranger on to help as a farm-hand, and he is given the name "Manfred".
This then leads to Stany and Manfred meeting a third stranger (for some reason I couldn't fathom, although it's clearly 20th century America, he's dressed a bit like Western river-boat gambler Maverick)) who it seems is looking for Manfred. There's a confrontation, and the struggle, the stranger is killed with his own weapon, a ray-gun.
I have to assume that Stany and Manfred don't tell anyone about this, and carry on, but the cover-up is blown by the arrival of a flying saucer (it's my guess that the stranger was looking for Manfred, and the implication is that Manfred is in fact the alien who escaped prison at the start, and these are his captors trying to bring him back - although that was only a comic, wasn't it?).
Men descend from the craft, and attempt to capture Manfred, but Stany retrieves the gun that killed the earlier stranger, and shoots one (I think it's one, but the art is a bit confusing about this) of the new pursuers, leading to the other new alien carry his comrade back inside before Stany and Manfred watching the ship fly away.
Manfred then reveals that he can talk, says something (probably about having to leave now to evade recapture), and leaves, with Stany saying something (in such circumstances usually "Will I ever see you/ him again?", but possibly "Wow - I should stop reading comics in the blazing sun without a hat on, as it makes me hallucinate...!").

It does look like something that might have run in Tintin magazine in the Eighties, and André-Paul Duchâteau certainly was a prominent figure of the day (I think that his time of being magazine editor was around then), so is a good guess for someone who might be involved if indeed this is a Belgian strip re-written.

Given that name, it is tempting to think that the art might be by Grzegorz Rosinski, with whom Duchâteau collaborated, and who sounds sort of like he might be Polish, but was in fact Belgian.

However, there is what seems to be a signature on one panel (where the saucer arrives), which could be "Walter", "Walden" or something similar... There are a couple of comic artists who seems to use that single name today, but each is too young to be the artist involved here.

There is/ was a cartoonist working in BD at the time, who did stuff for Tintin magazine, named Walter Fährer, but he seems to have signed work using both names...

Maybe that will help resolve the issue?
#3 · Posted: 22 Jul 2019 22:17 · Edited by: mct16
Grzegorz Rosinski is in fact Polish-born but became a Belgian citizen after he moved there in 1981 when he was 40.

I managed to find some scenes from this comic on the internet. On a whim, I emailed them to a friend who lives in France and has a large collection of the weekly "Tintin" magazine. I asked him if he could check a particular edition - and we hit the jackpot!

This story actually appeared in "Super Tintin" magazine published on the 18 March 1980. "Super Tintin" magazine was a special edition which appeared every three months and was focused on particular themes such as stories about the Olympics (June 1990 edition), pirates (September 1980) or magic (December 1980).

The March 1980 edition of "Super Tintin" focused on science fiction and I asked my friend to check it. He texted me a couple of photos to confirm that it was the story Johnny was asking about.

Its actual title was "Les évadés" ("The Escapees"). It was written by André-Paul Duchâteau, but drawn by Laureyssens.

My friend confirms that the signature "Walter" does appear in the scene when the saucer lands on the farm. A search of "Walter Laureyssens" on the internet indicates that he is an artist who also uses the pen-name "Walterell". He worked for the studio of Willy Vandersteen, a leading comic contributor like Herge but focused mainly on the Flemish Region of Belgium. Laureyssens worked on the "Bessy" series which was about an adventurous collie dog similar to Lassie.

Jock123's synopsis describes the story very well. In the last scene, though, Stany warns Manfred that "they" will be back. Manfred, a mute until now, says that that is why he is going to leave the farm. He thanks Stany and goes. The boy simply thinks: "Yes, one day 'they' will be back..."
#4 · Posted: 25 Jul 2019 11:56
Grzegorz Rosinski is in fact Polish-born but became a Belgian citizen

I stand corrected! He was a red herring anyway, but always good to find out something new.

This story actually appeared in "Super Tintin" magazine published on the 18 March 1980.

Excellent detective work there, and good to get it nailed down so precisely.

Its actual title was "Les évadés" ("The Escapees")

Wonder why it's plural, when there's only one person escaping? If it's meant to suggest that the prisoner in the in-story comic-book isn't Manfred, then it rather spoils the "what if...?" ambiguity which gives the tale its interest.

My friend confirms that the signature "Walter" does appear in the scene when the saucer lands

Good - it's hard to spot, and not very clear in the low res scans I saw. The colouring in the Polish edition appears to be quite slap-dash - don't know if it was the same in the Super Tintin original, but it makes the line art a bit hard to discern clearly in places (the shooting of the Maverick-like hunter is probably the worst passage).

The boy simply thinks: "Yes, one day 'they' will be back..."

Yes, well, I knew it had to be something portentous! Sadly, while there is a sort of simple charm to the story, it is also kind of clichéd in its themes and execution, and that kind of declamation is typical of its kind.

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