In Memoriam

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Today 15 years ago, one of the godfathers of Belgian comics passed away. André Franquin must have inspired the large majority of comic book artists in Belgium and France ever since his first drawings appeared in Spirou magazine in the late 1940s. I've been a very big fan of his work from the moment I laid my hands on an album of Gaston Lagaffe, the lazy, accident-prone, inventive anti-hero that supposedly worked for Spirou magazine.

André Franquin

I believe this was the very first Gaston Lagaffe (or Guust Flater) album in my collection. I currently have them all, most of them even two times in different versions.

Franquin also had a dark side. Towards the end of his life, he suffered more and more from depressions, which prevented him from doing any more work. But he also managed to turn this dark ideas into something creative, in the form of the 'Idées Noires' (Dutch: 'Zwartkijken') albums.

In short: if you don't know Franquin yet and you understand half a word of French or Dutch, drop everything and run to your comics dealer and ask - nay demand - every single album you can get your hands on.

 

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