Johan and Pirlouit ‘s 10th album, La Guerre des 7 Fontaines, is a key album in Peyo’s career. Firstly because it constitutes the pinnacle of his artistic production, one of those magical moments when Franco-Belgian comics are at their peak. Then because it is precisely during the publication of this album that the Smurfs, who make their second appearance there, will leave the status of secondary characters to become the center of gravity of the universe of Peyo. A unique moment in the career of the Brussels designer. For the first time, the original boards of this founding album of the legend Peyo are reproduced in facsimile, in the original format!
- Dupuis, November 2022
- ISBN 9791034765126
- 335mm x 470mm (13″ x 18.5″), 80 pages, hardcover
- Order online: Amazon, 9e Store
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
Presenting the Smurfs’ second appearance in its original art form, La Guerre des 7 Fontaines is the third entry in the Dupuis Artiste Édition line. This is a numbered edition of 699 copies. But I hope you’re not getting this only for the Smurfs, as their appearance is quite brief.
Scan quality is excellent: no softness or digital artifacts. The pages have aged well, varying from light tanning to soiled. The bottom half of the pages, where the “B” portion is, all seem to be the most soiled and aged: perhaps there was an issue with how these pages were stored. Some margin notes for production. Blue pencil for lines in the word balloons. Light use of correction fluid. No gradients in the blacks. The occasional text correction is pasted on.
An excellent design following a standard for these Dupuis Artiste Éditions. Colourful endpapers with a repeating pattern, a detailed introduction with copious amounts of background material, and the complete original art. No table of contents or page numbers, but this is presenting one album and those aren’t needed.
Production is excellent: a sewn binding of heavy matte paper stock, probably 170gsm. The book comes shrink-wrapped in a cardboard case that is also shrink-wrapped, with then comes in another box. The cardboard case has a colour sticker showing the cover image and edition number. These continue to have the thickest cardboard covers I’ve encountered.
This is the third Artiste Édition from Dupuis and it has kept the same 199,00€ price tag but reduced the size and page count. The same quality and attention to detail remain, but it feels like we’re getting less for the same money.