When the Marsupilami steals from the Comte de Champignac a substance that softens metals, “metomol”, it wreaks havoc in the city. Spirou and Fantasio then decide to bring him back to Palombia. But once there, they discover that a dictatorship has taken place in this peaceful country. And the person responsible for this tyranny is none other than Fantasio’s cousin: Zantafio! The latter also wishes to invade the neighbouring country and asks for the help of the two travelling adventurers.
Pacifists at heart, the latter want to refuse, but an idea to avoid war comes to them and they decide on a double-cross … Thanks to Seccotine and the count, they will do everything to thwart Zantafio’s plans!
The “Version Originale” collection presents Franquin’s facsimile plates, published in the format of their creation. It is thus possible to detect the virtuosity of the line, the construction of the sketch, the repentance scratched with a razor blade or the lines erased with strokes of gouache. An exceptional way to immerse yourself in the work of the creator.
- Dupuis, November 2019
- ISBN 979-1034738113
- 30cm x 42cm, 120 pages, hardcover
- Order online: Amazon.fr, Amazon.de
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.
It’s hard to imagine a more complete look at a comic than what Dupuis has done here with Le Dictateur Et Le Champignon Version Originale, or The Dictator and the Mushroom. The introduction looks at the material in a historical context, then moves to the original art. After that comes the original magazine story, four pages of printed story to a page. Then the album covers opposite the original art, some colour overlays, and finally ancillary magazine pages.
All but nine “pages” are shot from original art. Since a page in Spirou magazine could be a half to a three-quarters page, I’m counting a full page here as two pages of original magazine page art.
The scans are all without issue or artifact: in a word, clear. The pages have aged well, light to medium tan. The blacks show gradients, but there aren’t a lot of black patches. Tape marks, correction fluid, blue pencil, paste-ups, margin notes: all the hallmarks of original comic art are present.
The design is clean and well laid out, with white paper emphasizing the tanning of the original art. Each section has a title page or header. The section with the printed magazine pages has a lot of empty margins; the pages could have been printed much larger.
Perhaps the greatest addition to the AE format is the two pages showing samples of the original art pages explaining what all the elements are. They make no assumptions on the knowledge of the reader and infinitely help define the format.
Production is outstanding: a luxurious heavy matte paper in a sewn binding. The paper is quite thick and in your hand has the ability to justify the price. A numbered edition of 2000 with each number handwritten in pencil.
I wanted to show and discuss the packaging since it’s so different from North American AE format books. This book came in a bubble wrap bag inside a sealed cardboard sleeve. It’s designed for single use but the bubble wrap gives it that extra layer of protection that practically guarantees the book will arrive flawless, even through Amazon.
I recommend picking this up along with a copy of the album in English from Cinebook, either in print or digital. This way you can read the story and follow along with the original art for a memorable experience.