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Magazine / Spirou

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Spirou, originally published under the name Le Journal de Spirounote , is a weekly Belgian magazine created by publisher Jean Dupuis, and published for the first time on April 21st, 1938. It is titled after the hero of the same name, who first appeared on the very first page of the magazine's very first issue.

The pages of Spirou are a collection of various gag-a-day and serial Franco-Belgian Comics, most of which are either a mixture of adventure and humor or purely humor-based. Many of the series featured in Spirou have since gone on to become classics, such as Morris' Lucky Luke, Peyo's The Smurfs, Les Tuniques Bleues, and of course Spirou & Fantasio. The magazine was also where the "Marcinelle School" style of drawing originated, which contrasted with the "Ligne Claire" style of drawing favored by the competing magazine Tintin.

    Series published in Spirou

While comics are the main focus of the magazine, a few pages feature other content, such as readers' letters, author interviews, games, and short written stories. Readers who subscribe to the magazine also receive "supplements" with each issue, in the form of gifts or mini-comics. Issues of the magazine have been compiled into "collections", with each volume collecting around ten issues.

The magazine has an official website, which can be found here. See also this page, which documents every comic, story, author and supplement ever published within the pages of the magazine.

Spirou provides examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: One of the longest Running Gags of the magazine was the Curse of Page 13. In issue #2958, page 13 featured a 30-year old article from issue #1381. No explanation was given. In every following issue, page 13 featured comics that were either written in a foreign language, distorted beyond the point of legibility, or even part of a series published by a competing magazine. Editorial notes stated that authors that had been published on page 13 had fallen victim to accidents or into insanity. Letters to the editors even reported that some readers had also suffered similar fates. Therefore, in issue #2967, the page was sealed off, and later left blank. It wasn't until issue #2970 that a solution was finally found: renaming page 13 into "page 12bis". Thus, to this very day, every issue has a page 12bis instead of a page 13. Issue #3681, a Halloween special issue, defied that rule by having every page numbered as page 13.

  • Abusive Advertising: The cover of issue #3479 shows someone holding a pair of scissors open around the paw of a Billy the Cat plushie, with a Cut-and-Paste Note stating "Buy this magazine or we'll cut Billy the Cat".

  • Darker and Edgier: Issue #4000 features a gritty re-imagining of Marsupilami, in which the titular character is a serious and violent vigilante who fights criminals in the night, in an obvious Shout-Out to Batman.

  • Lighter and Softer: Opposite to the Darker and Edgier example above, issue #4000 also features an alternate version of Zombillenium in which Aurélien was turned into a unicorn rather than a demon, and is working at "Ponyllénium", a theme park filled with rainbows, fairies and ponies.

  • Reunion Show: Issue #3839 from November 9th, 2011 was comprised almost exclusively of one-shot stories from long-discontinued series, all written and drawn by their original authors and artists. Those included Docteur Poche (which had its last original story published in the magazine in 1997 and its last volume released in 2000), L'Élan (last published in 1987note ), Le Gang Mazda (last published in 1996), Les Bogros (last published in 1989), Pauvre Lampil (last volume in 1995 and last published in 2006), Les Grandes Amours Contrariées (last published in 1981), Tom Carbone (last published in 1997note ), Les Crannibales (last published in 2005), Un Papier de Broussaille (last published in 2003note ), Bidouille et Violette (last published in 1985note ), Puddingham Palace (last published in 2004), Les Indésirables (last published in 1982), Le Boss (last published in 2005 and last volume in 2007), and Germain et Nous (last published in 1992).

  • Un-Installment: Issues were initially numbered by year, meaning the first issue of a year would be marked as issue #1, then the number would be incremented until the first issue of the next year, which would go back to #1. In 1946, the magazine moved on to a more traditional numbering system, starting with issue #404, which corresponded to the number of weeks that had passed since the magazine creation. However, the events of World War II caused several pauses in the magazine publicationDetail . As a result, issue #404 is actually only the 326th issue to have been published. This was lampshaded in issue #4078, which claimed on the cover to be the real issue #4000. Even though the numbering issue was acknowledged, this didn't stop the previously published issue #4000 from being a Milestone Celebration. invoked