The “Artiste Édition Dupuis” collection presents a pinnacle of the Benoît Brisefer series, an album in which the specific talents of Peyo and Walthéry are best combined.
In Le Cirque Bodoni (begun in Spirou in November 1969; album in 1971), Peyo incorporates into his contemporary narrative all the elements of the tales he loves. Helped by the “dream team” Gos-Walthéry, he multiplies dynamism, humor and action. The peak of the series, Le Cirque Bodoni is also the pivotal album between the graphic periods of Peyo and Walthéry. For the first time, the original boards of this exemplary album are reproduced in facsimiles, in the original format!
- Dupuis, October 27 2023
- ISBN 9782808501828
- 470mm x 335mm (13″ x 18″), 80 pages, hardcover
- Order online: Amazon
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. This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.
The complete Benoît Brisefer album Le Cirque Bodini written by Peyo with assistance by Gos and drawn by Walthéry: a truly classic comic. In this Artiste Édition we are treated to a ten page introduction filled with photos, and then the complete sixty page story. It closes out with the colophon. This is a limited edition of 699, with my number 469 printed on the box label and the bottom of the colophon.
This story ran in Spirou magazine from 1969 to 1970 and was first published as an album in 1971. Like most bande dessinée from that period it was created on half page sheets and then combined to form pages for the album. All pages here are labeled with their halves as A and B.
The scans are consistent and wonderful. The paper has aged quite well over the fifty-plus years, with most being off-white to lightly tanned. There is discolouration where the halves were joined with tape. Margin notes are just the page portion, page numbers, and printing reduction percentage. Editor corrections are in blue pencil. The blacks are fairly consistent with some gradients. Page 17 has an odd look to it, as if it’s a scan of a copy of the original page. The lettering is just wonderful and needs to be as appreciated as the art.
I’ve grown quite fond of Ghieletti’s designs, and this one carries all the elements we’ve come to expect from this line. I really enjoy the quarterbound cloth spine, the hot stamping, the repeated pattern endpapers, and the attention to a clean and elegant introduction. The enlarged material on the covers and frontispiece are a bit blurry. The double page spread before the introduction presents very well.
Production is superb: a sewn binding of thick matte paper with a slight coating, perhaps 150gsm. Most pages lay flat when the center is smoothedd, except for where the signature meet and are glued. The book comes shrink wrapped in a cardboard case which is also shrink wrapped. There is a colour sticker showing the cover image, title, and number of the edition.
As usual, my only complaint about the Dupuis Artiste Éditions is the cost. I understand paper and printing have gone up, but this line seems to continue to rise at an alarming rate. It’s a limited production of a quality product, so perhaps my complaints rise from comparisons to North American AE format books, which don’t do quarterbound cloth covers with hot stamping. Still, it’s 80 pages at approximately $250 USD, while we’re used to 160 pages for $150 USD. Plus cross-Atlantic shipping.