There will be no new Gaston Lagaffe album in October. The Dupuis editions announced, Monday, May 16, the temporary abandonment of their controversial project consisting in reviving “the unemployed hero”, twenty-five years after the death of its creator, the Belgian André Franquin. “Editions Dupuis take the initiative to suspend the publication of the new album by Gaston Lagaffe”, announced the publishing house of Marcinelle (a district of Charleroi) in a press release made public after an interim hearing , in Brussels.

Belgian justice having decided to postpone until 2023 the pre-publication of the gags of this remake of Gaston in the newspaper Spirou, Dupuis advocates appeasement in this decision, without giving up his initial idea. The second part of the action initiated by Isabelle Franquin, the daughter and beneficiary of the designer – an arbitration on the merits – must indeed decide by September on the future of the album. “Editions Dupuis are certain that the next few weeks will make it possible to demonstrate their right, and to find a solution that allows Franquin’s work to continue to live to perpetuate the legacy of this genius of comics”, also specifies the press release.

Suspicions of copy-paste

A lively controversy had ignited the ninth art after the announcement, on March 17, of the revival of the famous office boy by the Canadian designer Marc Delafontaine, alias Delaf. To the sometimes violent comments of a part of the profession, believing that Gaston was too intimate a work to be taken up one day by another author, were added the voice and the complaint of Isabelle Franquin. She then did not fail to recall that her father did not want Gaston to survive him.

Confusing resemblance on a graphic level, Delaf’s work had also earned him the suspicion, by fans and peers, of copying and pasting details from Franquin’s original gags, which he strongly defended.

A stakeholder in the Média Participations group, Dupuis considers himself entitled to relaunch Lagaffe as the owner, since 2013, of the company under Monegasque law, Marsu Productions, to which Franquin sold his character in the early 1990s. of this contract specifies as follows: “No adaptation (…) can take place without the agreement of the author who can only refuse it for ethical or artistic reasons. The same is true for any creation of a new work (…). The publishing house was counting on a circulation of 1.2 million copies and on a novelty in bookstores every two years.