Spirou is a really interesting (and classic Franco-Belgian) series because it’s not property of its creator but rather the publisher! Similar to how superhero comics work. Over the years since the 1940s Spirou has been drawn by my guess 10 artists, not including the writers that collaborate with them. And parallel to the main series, which is currently drawn by Yoann (above), Dupuis also collaborates with other artists to do “one-shots” where they interpret the characters how they please independent of the timeline or canon. I own one drawn by Emile Bravo! Andre Franquin is the most famous Spirou artist and is often erroneously believed to be Spirou’s creator.

The comics themselves are adventure comics. Spirou (dressed like a hotel bellboy usually) and Fantasio are reporters and travel all around the world and fight bad guys and solve mysteries and the like. If you like Indiana Jones type of adventures then Spirou is a good series.

My favorite part of Spirou was the multi-artist aspect. I found a lot of idols through this series and I read Spirou after I had finished all the Tintin comics. Unlike Tintin which is timeless and worldly, Spirou was temporally relevant and the story lines changed with the trends in French culture over time. The earlier stories were very Tintin-y and retro in nature and the stories during the 90s were very dramatic and incorporated sci-fi themes.

Franco-belgian comics are so under-appreciated in the English sphere and it’s really disappointing because it’s a very long and gifted comic tradition. Not so much obscure fandom as it is a completely obscure culture!

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