The character of Gaston Lagaffe returns after 30 years of absence and the disappearance of its creator Franquin, who, however, did not want his hero to survive him, announced the Dupuis editions in Angoulème as part of the International Band Festival drawn.
The Belgian publisher, celebrating its centenary, entrusted the series to the Canadian Delaf (Marc Delafontaine from his real name). The Return of Lagaffe, a 48-page classic album and the 22nd installment in the series, is out October 19. The print run equals the fame of this sweet, idealistic, lazy and inventive anti-hero: 1.2 million copies.
†It’s taking a risk. Even if it means relaunching the series, we told ourselves there was no point in doing it with a small arm. Because he is one of the most emblematic characters of Franco-Belgian comics. If we hadn’t, he wouldn’t have many more years of fame ahead of him, because most comic book heroes who don’t find a sequel just disappear.“explains Stéphane Beaujean, the editor-in-chief of Dupuis.
Legendary characters such as Asterix, Lucky Luke or even more recently Corto Maltese, relaunched by Casterman Editions in 2021, experienced a rebirth after the death of their creator. The choice for Delaf was imposed after the publication in 2017 of a tribute to André Franquin, The Gaffe Gallerywhere the sign drawn by the Quebecer readers had been struck by the mimicry with the work of the Belgian designer (1924-1997).
†This tribute to Delaf imitated Franquin perfectly, everyone said so. It is therefore the return of Gaston in his canonical character, closer to the original version. We made the choice to resuscitate Gaston in his golden age, the 70s, which is the most appropriate choice to bring a hero back to life.“, has explained Stephane Beaujean during a press conference at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Franquin’s 21st and final album, Gaffe to Lagaffe, dates from 1996. The launch was printed on 900,000 copies at the time. The character was the subject of a film adaptation in 2018, Gaston Lagaffe, which greatly displeased Franquin’s daughter, Isabelle. †I am helpless witness of the disaster“, she had said to the Belgian newspaper The future†
Isabelle Franquin also opposes this revival of the comic strip, with respect for her father’s wishes. But she can’t stop it. †Franquin has spoken out publicly several times that he does not want Gaston to be taken over“and Isabelle Francin”verbally to“, recognized Stephane Beaujean. But, he added, the rights to the character belong to Dupuis, under a contract of which “the clauses specify that recovery is possible†
The publisher also announced the end of another emblematic character of the house, Spirou, on the occasion of an issue 56, The Death of Spirou† †Spirou, our ambassador, accompanied us during our first century, and he will give way to another hero“explains the editor-in-chief of Dupuis. It will always be a groom accompanied by Fantasio, soon to be featured in Spirou magazine. Dupuis editions have been owned since 2004 by the French publishing house Média-Participations.