For the German comic artist Flix it was a great honor to invent a “Spirou”Band”,” he has read the stories of the bellboy in red livery even as a child, loved and traced. The star has met the author and Illustrator of “Spirou in Berlin” and asked how it came to be. He talked a bit of the beans.

You got to draw the new Band for “Spirou”, how it came to be?
This is quite exciting, because this was a first.

You’re the first German, or?
I’m the first non-Franco-Belgian artist, who is allowed to do that. And how that came about: “Spirou” has now 80-year anniversary. About three and a half years, the Dupuis publishers and the licensee of Carlsen sat together and talked about the upcoming projects. Similar to “Asterix” there are places in the Spirou and Fantasio go and you have not thought about where the two were. Since you came to Germany and was associated with Berlin. And then you thought: “Spirou in Berlin”, cool title. What could be the content, you might not know yet. Carlsen has then suggested to try that with a German draftsman, what not could not imagine Dupuis at first, because we have this Comic Tradition. With Graphic Novels, we are recognized in France now, but the Mainstream “can’t the Germans”. That’s why they have offered that we do a Pitch. Carlsen asked me whether I could imagine. And I was immediately Yes! I said, because I’ve always loved Spirou as a child. I knew 70 percent of the nearly 80 volumes.

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“Spirou in Berlin”, Flix, Carlsen Verlag, 16 Euro. Here can be ordered.

©Carlsen Verlag

“Spirou in Berlin” is a special band outside of the series, a so-called One-Shot. Why does it exist?
So fresh Is clean. Many artists would like to make a Band, but don’t like the series to continue. Established about ten years ago in France, the series is designed so openly, that it works. That’s why we had a Chance at all. After many, many drafts, and sample pages, Dupuis said: “Okay, you can’t do that, but we know if we do that.” So we had only the permission to make a German Band for the German market. In the meantime, it looks quite good, “Spirou will be translated in Berlin,” also in French. There is not yet a date, maybe the first year is what, then, of the fall of the Berlin wall marks the 30. And Yes, this is a European issue, because it is also the end of the Cold war.

Your heroes miss but Yes the fall of the wall.
Yes and no, you can spin the story in the head. It is not true, the Album ends with the Opening of the wall, but a bit in front of it. But anyone who knows a little about the history, knows what the Monday demonstrations. It was important for me that the story has all the Slapstick, even some real core. For me, it would have fit, if Spirou had been the reason to open the wall. I think that would be too thick. Everyone knows that David Hasselhoff has done that.

So how do you describe the GDR, suddenly, what a strange country this was. There is a historical Vepflichtung to not shake at certain facts?
The main series is relatively detached from the reality. In the special volumes, the again and again. Émile Bravo has made, for example, a Band that is like an origin story of the “Spirou” – from the year of creation of the Comics in 1938. Since Belgium is occupied and the start of the Second world war. In the Hotel, in the Spirou works, meet again emissaries of the Begien and Germany, to negotiate, if peace is possible. What does not succeed then, as we know. The plays, therefore, even in a fictional universe, in which reality is mixed. It could have been so. It was not a failed peace negotiations, but, of course, in the Hotel Moustique place. But you could! And that’s exactly the point: I find it exciting to tell a story. What proportion could have Spirou in the peaceful Revolution, the fall of the Berlin wall?

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The comic book artist Felix Görmann aka Flix lives with his family in Berlin. He is the first Non-French Belgians, the write a “Spirou”and drawing was allowed.

©Mari Boman, Carlsen Verlag

Spirou experienced in Berlin a lot with a freedom fighter. Have you thought about that he could fall in love?
This is quite difficult in this universe, that is dominated by men – all the main characters are male, until the squirrel Pips. I also got pads. In the Spirou universe, there is no Sex, no blood and even Die is difficult. It is time shot, it is also time someone is hit, but it may not squirt blood. I can understand that, because it is a youth series and which is subject to certain conditions. And as it is to watch then exciting to how far you can go.

If Spirou is a man in his best years, what ever that means, as of interest to a women, or at least to be interested in Sex. To represent that in the universe also serious partners could be, I find important to tell female characters, the something hand are fixed. No wasp-waist slender beauty, the work of the heroes, but those that are themselves in life and are able to act independently. Since I can’t change the main characters and wants to, should at least be the main secondary characters female, this was important to me.

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Trabant, Stasi, a gang of monkeys and a strong woman: Momo (bottom middle). Flix has been thoroughly researched, to draw an authentic picture of the GDR (the monkeys lived at the time, of course, in the animal Park). And for Resourceful Flix has hidden some Easter Eggs that delight the heart. For the star, for example, the “Honnecker diaries”. 😂

©Carlsen Verlag

The relationship between Spirou and the freedom fighter has become very tight.
The two are a Team. I think it’s great that this is perceived as a character that only appears on a few pages. I imagined when Writing, Momo lives in East Berlin. And I thought, if Spirou should go there again sometime, and it was only on the trip to Moscow, then he can meet her again.

it Is the goal of a signer to create a character that can even show up once?
That would be really great, but it is not, of course, in the Hand. But there’s a lot of, it is conceivable that it questions are still open. Since there is in case potential, you could continue to count, about the time after the fall of the wall. This is told also great in the series “Weissensee”.

the idea of a German draughtsman, came up, were there only you asked?
It was considered who’s a good fit. With Marvel, we have wondered whether I write and Marvel signed, I would have found a good. Sascha Wüstefeld was in conversation with him you know “The little ICE” of the Deutsche Bahn. It can be wonderful to draw, this could have been very beautiful in appearance. But he said– and this was a common Problem, the signatories from Eastern Germany – that you are aware of Spirou but not so love because they are not so large. And then it showed me in Writing that I thought, I have the images already in my head, I would also like to. I’ve written and drawn, only the colors has someone done differently. The Marvin Clifford, my friend and Studio-mate, great work with colors and light.

You were restricted when you Draw differently than if you invent a story completely. You must be able to know the characters again. Did you miss Fantasio this hair wreath?
Yes, the release of from the ends of hair looked at me like a New-Wave hairstyle, which I found stupid. I had more of a Stromberg-type. The is so choleric, and so funny and also a bit stupid. And then I just get rid of this Fuddelhaare up there. The also had what Deutscheres.

You get the impression that Fantasio has become old and Spirou, the Hero.
he Must also, this is a “Spirou”-Album. In one of my first versions, the focus was more on Fantasio and Spirou with the delivery. I like Fantasio rather, I find him interesting and he makes the drawing more fun. Spirou looks always so nice. At Fantasio, you can do more Slapstick.

you’ve held yourself back quite nicely.
Yes, you can be a hero, Yes, not outshine. That was actually a clear message.

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