Like “Amarcord” and “The 400 Blows” Rolled Into One : Tome and Janry – “Little Spirou”

I’ve talked before about the friendly rivalry between”Spirou” and “Tintin” magazines as being the Franco-Belgian kids’ comics version of Marvel and DC.  “Spirou” magazine published titles like “Lucky Luke,” “The Smurfs,” “Yoko Tsuno,” and “The Bluecoats,” and “Tintin” had “Clifton” and “Blake and Mortimer.”

ABOVE : Harder to draw than Tintin

Spirou’s haircut beats Tintin’s.

Lil Spirou takes us to Spirou’s hell-raising childhood. It’s a much more carnal take on childhood that American comics could tolerate. Lil Spirou is always up to some sexual crusade.

A typical joke: Lil Spirou goes to the news-stand timidly, and rapidly asks the news vendor for a “Wholesome Reading Weekly”/”Kids Comics”/”Illustrated Classics”/ “SEXY TABOO”/”Good Samaritan Magazine.” Unfortunately, the news vendor only hears half of it: “Ok, here’s ‘Wholesome Reading’ and ‘Good Samaritan.’ I missed what you said in the middle there.” Spirou sighs: “Tintin Magazine.” As he returns to his friends with the worthless magazines, he announces: “Mission failed.”

ABOVE: Playing doctor! Yeah, this would totally cause major controversy if it was in “Peanuts”…

A second typical joke: Lil Spirou has been bragging about his “Mr. Thingy” and his crush, Suzette, giddily asks Spirou to show it. So Lil Spirou takes her to the forest and introduces Mr. Thingy.  Mr. Thingy is a pet squirrel. A sexually frustrated Suzette then punches Spirou for NOT showing him the Thingy she was actually interested in.  The confused Spirou confides on the squirrel: “There goes another girl! I wonder if maybe I should have shown her something different, Mr. Thingy?”

A third typical joke: Lil Spirou tricks Suzette into thinking he’s made a machine that turns people invisible. When Suzette comes out of the machine, still quite visible, Spirou points out: “Duh, you’re invisible but we can see where you are because of your clothes. Once you take them off, THEN, you’ll be truly invisible.” So gullible Suzette strips.

RATING : I’m not the European demographic, but it’s COOL! there.

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