Franquin's Last Laugh by Kim Thompson 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by Kim Thompson
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Franquin's Last Laugh by Kim Thompson
Author
Kim Thompson
Publisher
Fantagraphics
Date of release
Pages
72
ISBN
9781606996218
Binding
Hardcover
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
3
63
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Book review

The Franco-Belgian gag cartoonist’s darker work, translated into English for the first time.

André Franquin, the creator of arguably the greatest Franco-Belgian gag strip of all time (Gaston Lagaffe) and the custodian, for close to a quarter century, of the second greatest Franco-Belgian comedy-adventure strip (Spirou, behind the untouchable Tintin), was also a moody guy who suffered from crushing bouts of depression. With his late-career “Idées Noires” series of gags from the late 1970s and early 1980s, created mostly for the independent/underground comics magazine Fluide Glacial, Franquin harnessed his still-virtuoso graphic style to his increasingly morbid worldview, and the result was a series of joyfully morbid “blackout” pages that postulated the world as a bleak, miserable, and hopeless hell ― executed in a phenomenally controlled, exquisitely dark black-and-blacker symphony of pen lines. (Franquin had intended to work with stylized silhouettes, but his obsessive doodler’s nature overpowered him and resulted in an utterly unique look that he himself once complained looked like his regular style “covered in soot.”) Franquin may have been hanging on by his fingernails, but his graphic mastery was undimmed, and the bracing despair, hopelessness and misanthropy he laid down onto the paper evidently helped him survive many a bleak day and night. Most of these strips have never been read in English. Fantagraphics is proud to present the complete “Idées Noires” collection (under the title Franquin’s Last Laugh), with a new translation and introduction by editor Kim Thompson. Yes

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