The latest issue of Spirou – the oldest Belgian comics magazine still in production – starts to serialise “L’espoir malgré tout” (“Hope at the End of the Night”), the final part of Émile Bravo‘s powerful reimagining of the story of adventurer Spirou during the war.
Bravo has been telling the story of the occupation of Belgium in a series of albums that manage to combine the charm and inncocnce of the Spirou character with an unmistakable and heartbreaking undercurrent of horror.
The cover of the latest issue of Spirou (No. 4321) by Émile Bravo is a perfect example, as we witness Spirou and friends boarding a train destined for Auschwitz.
The previous books are all available digitally in English through Europe Comics and I can hardly wait for the next. In the menatime, a view of the cover – and the preview pages featured on the title’s web site – is about as much as I’m going to get for a few months.
I reviewed Hope, Against All Odds the last book for downthetubes here. This is just about as good as comics get, I think, and a model for the type of material that could build a wider readership for the medium.
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