Peter Duncan looks across the English Channel to see how some comics there celebrate the Christmas festive season…
I’ve been enjoying seeing Beano cartoonist Lew Stringer’s posts of various British Christmas comic covers on the Facebook Mighty World of British Comics group this year. (You can also find an archive of Christmas comic covers on his Blimey! blog). But I thought some downthetubes readers might be interested in this year’s Christmas cover for Spirou, the leading French comic magazine.
I’ve been fascinated with comics from Europe for some time now, collecting what I can of the magazines on sale and wishing I’d paid more attention in Mr Prettijohn’s French classes back in the 1970s.
Le Journal Spirou is probably the closest Franco-Belgian comics have to our Beano, although with an older target audience and a greater mixture of genres. It’s been running since 1938, is usually 68 pages and features beautiful artwork throughout. I occasionally pick up online copies through the Izneo app on my iPad, but also try to get hold of the regular compilations of issues that come out in France.
While, I’m on the subject of continental comic celebrations, while not specifically Christmas-focused, Fluide Glacial has published a few Snow White covers recently – and here’s one of them.
An irreverent and slightly risque monthly humour comic, the magazine is, obviously, ‘less wholesome’, than Spirou – but it’s recently published its 500th issue,. Without speaking French, I get very little out of it and am not a big fan of the slightly grotesque art styles it favours. Still, interesting to see.
I find it fascinating to take the occasional look through what other European countries are publishing in terms of regular comics and am slightly jealous we don’t have a Spirou of our own to bridge the reading gap between Beano and 2000AD – althought perhaps that is what The Phoenix is becoming.
PS If anyone knows a good source for single issues of Spirou, please let us know, below – I’d love to get a paper copy of this issue!
• Izneo currently offers digital editions of Spirou and Fluide Glacial available for £1.79 and £3.59 respectively, althought you do have to switch languages to find them
Peter Duncan is editor of Sector 13, Belfast’s 2000AD fanzine and Splank! – an anthology of strips inspired by the Odhams titles, Wham!, Smash! and Pow! He’s also writer of Cthulhu Kids. Full details of his comics activities can be found at www.boxofrainmag.co.uk