Review: Spirou – Den kompletta samlingen 1988-1991

Spirou – Den kompletta samlingen 1988-1991Spirou – Den kompletta samlingen 1988-1991 by Tome
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The classic Belgian album series Spirou and Fantasia was created in the 1930s and since then a number of different comics artists have shouldered the responsibility of creating this humorous adventure comic. After a number of years when the series was less artistically interesting, the creative duo of Tome (Philippe Tome) & Janry (Jean-Richard Geurts) took over the reins in the early 1980s and restored the comic to its former glory, and not at least made it more contemporary. This volume contains four of their best albums, in which the two adventurers and journalists travel around the globe.

The most interesting story is set in in Russia just after the Berlin Wall fell. A story that despite or perhaps because of the humorous tone and the caricatured style, really feels like a historical document about this now long lost era.

As for the art, Tome & Janry have here really hit their stride with their modern take of the classical Marcinelle style. This volume is complemented by a long preface that puts the comics in their historical contexts and also contains an abundance of photos, alternate covers, illustrations and other interesting material.

Entertaining, well-made comics, which despite the humorous adventure genre often contains serious themes.

Continue reading

Review: Breve til Satan

Breve til SatanBreve til Satan by Tome
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second volume of the Spirou writer and artist Tome’s crime comic Soda. This is an improvement compared to the first volume, both in terms of the script and the art. The story mostly comprises of a flashback, a so-called origin story, in which we get to know why the protagonist became a police officer but insists on pretending that he is a priest to his worried mother. This story has some pretty big logical holes in it but it is entertaining, not least thanks to all the depraved inhabitants of the dilapidated house the main character lived in when he arrived to New York. Had this series been published when I was a kid and devoured everything that was published in the French-Belgian album format, I probably would have loved it. Today, several decades later, this comic feels historically interesting as it colours my perception of Tome & Janry’s Spirou, but it is probably mostly my love for the Marcinelle style that has me reaching for the next volume.

Continue reading

Review: Den tavse engel

Den tavse engelDen tavse engel by Tome
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first volume of the Spriou artist and writer Tome’s “other” album series, Soda. In France, there are so far thirteen albums since the debut in the late 1980s and the comic is on its third artist by now. Soda is based on the standard story about the not too clever but honest and energetic New York Police officer who solves cases by running, jumping and chasing around. Positive, non-stereotypical traits in this, the very first volume is the fact that the main character lives with his elderly mother and in order to to reassure her dresses up as a priest each time he goes home, and that one of the more important supporting characters is a strong and intelligent woman. Warnant’s drawings end up on the slightly more realistic side of the scale for Marcinelle-artist, but a Janry (the artist working with Tome on the Spriou series), he is not…

Continue reading

Review: Blå blues

Blå bluesBlå blues by Raoul Cauvin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Yet another album with Les Tuniques Bleues (or Blåfrakkerne as they are called in Danish). There are 59 albums so far, and even if the creators are aged by now it seems they are not about to quit producing an album a year, like clockwork.

Continue reading

Review: Leopardkvinnan

LeopardkvinnanLeopardkvinnan by Yann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A new album in the specials series with Spirou and Fantasio. One again, the script is by Olivier Schwartz and the drawings by Yann, who together previously created Operation Bat in the same series. These albums, which were originally intended as stand-alone stories in which various comics artists could try out wild ideas, is now more and more being built together into an alternate continuity. This is, as I said Schwartz´ and Yann´s second book, which begins immediately where the last one ended and has an open ending with an indication that there will be a third volume. Additionally, the album Spirou – Portrait of the hero as an innocent young man by Émile Bravo can also be said to be part of the same continuity

Continue reading