By Patrick Bérubé
May 29, 2009 - 20:34
Spirou is one of Europe most recognizable comic book characters. Franquin is so closely associated to him that he often get credited for creating the character even if he took it over from Jijé in 1946. In all, 19 "albums" were created by Franquin and the one reviewed here is the 12th of the series and was originally published in 1959 (but serialized in 1956 in the Journal de Spirou). It was one of my favourite as a kid mainly because it really focused for the first time on the mysterious Marsupilami (the animal companion of Spirou and Fantasio)
The story in this album is quite entertaining and presented in an original way. What could be better than an animal documentary complete with narration to make us discover one of the series more original character. I remember reading this as a kid and greatly enjoying it. Even today I still do and that's what is great with Franquin's work. There is action, suspense, love and drama all wrapped up in a good dose of humour and lightness that makes it very accessible to everyone. If compared to the other comic book of the series, this is probably one of the most "poetic" and intimate.
|Inside front cover illustration. For some odd reason, I always liked this image.|
As for the artwork, Franquin is one of the original Belgian's Charleroi style cartoonist so his style is very dynamic and cartoony. There is a sense of movement and expression to the characters that are rarely seen in today's more realistic series. Of course, these page were created more than 10 years after his professional debut so you can see a certain confidence in his work and that he feel comfortable with the various characters.
Even more than 50 years after it's creation, the plot and the art of this comic book are still quite enjoyable. I do feel however that my English writing does not do justice to Franquin's talent so go find a copy somewhere. Even if it's in French, it will be easy for you to grasp the cartoonist genius he was.
Rating: 9.5 /10