Art For Art’s Sake # 119: Génie De La Bande Dessinée, Andre Franquin

by Richard Bruton

Art for Art’s Sake, bringing the art into your lives, one week at a time. This week, more great comic art. Even more great comic art. And then EVEN MORE great comic art. All ending with André Franquin, a comics master so good that Herge considered himself a mere ‘mediocre pen-pusher’, next to him.

Thanks to Today’s Inspiration, here’s a Charles Addams cartoon I’d never seen before – making this a very, very good day indeed…

Boulet on 2021 thus far…

David Roach does Mick McMahon:

Commission time – a recreation of Mick McMahon’s stunning cover for the Titan collection of Block Mania. In this case the original is fully painted but I’ve rendered it in Black and White as it might have looked if Mick had just inked it rather than painted it back i 1985. Lot’s of fun- and so different to my own work.”

After which, of course I have to put the original Mick McMahon piece up…

And speaking of McMahon… here’s Mark Montague

I was channelling Mike McMahon & Mort Drucker.

Two great John McCrea commissions… Dredd/Mars Attacks…

And a Leopard From Lime Street piece

Dan Cornwell – Halo Jones sketch for the Rok of the Reds Kickstarter.

Hunt Emerson – Casanova’s Last Stand pages for sale…

Walt Simonson – original art to Thor #338

“This was a scan of the art by Steve Hoveke for the Thor Omnibus from some years back. We had to reconstruct the lettering on the hammer, except of the word, THOR, which was drawn on the art, probably by me. The rest of the lettering was a pastedown and that has vanished over the years. Not sure now who lettered it. The drawing was a tip of the hat to Jack Kirby’s cover for Thor 126 showing Thor battling Hercules. Jack and that run on Thor are two of the reasons I got into comics in the first place. These days, there have so many homages to old covers that I might be disinclined to do one again, but I’m glad to have done this one. Thanks, Jack.”

Art Spiegelman New Yorker cover –

Bill Sienkiewicz – Into The Spiderverse –

Greg Staples – Dredd commission

Definitely a big nod to those early Bisley influences I had back in the early ’90s.

Bernie Wrightson – House Of Mystery #225 (1974)

Paul SmithCreeper #4

And finally, the wonderful André Franquin

Franquin (1924-1997) was an incredibly beloved and respected Belgian comics artist, whose creations, including the likes of Gaston and Marsupilami, as well as his work on the Spirou and Fantasio comic from 1947 to 1969, have sold millions of copies worldwide.

He’s simply a European master of comics…

How good? Well, here’s what Hergé has to say:

Franquin is a great artist. Next to him, I’m only a mediocre pen-pusher.

Let’s begin with a few of Franquin’s Spirou covers…

Spirou & Fantasio…

Marsupilami…

Gaston…

And finally, Franquin’s Idées Noires (Dark Thoughts), a series of cartoons and strips made from 1977 onwards, begun shortly after Franquin’s second breakdown. Dark certainly, but stunning cartooning…

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