type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
[personal profile] type_wild
The Thing With Franco-Belgian Comics is that I buy them 110% for the nostalgia value, though which nostalgia here is debatable - the only one of them belonging to my childhood is Asterix. I never much cared for Tintin (it's the art); Spirou and Fantasio I only really discovered as an adult, and I love it but it's also kinda... hard to defend, on quality measures? It's essentially a fifties boys' adventure series that never really grew out of the fifties, and god only knows what it sells itself on these days. It's not parody the way Asterix was parody, it's not really comedy, very shallowly political, and the format is too short to allow for drama or engaging plots. I guess it's essentially aimed at the same market as the Donald Duck pocket books, except that they clearly have some kind of artistic ambition; The Moran and Munuera run might've had some storytelling issues, but I forgive them all of it, all of it, for how bloody gorgeous those pages are.

So also with The One With Borneo. No, no panning citiscapes or actions scenes in breathtaking angles, but a lot of really gorgeous animals, really pretty Franco-Belgian backgrounds, and that one thing that I love so much about modern Spirou: they've taken the European caricatured style out of its original stiff format and made it work with dynamic panels, in closeups and in serious scenes. This one is particularly good at it. There are also some dream sequences that honestly work a lot better for me than non-verbal dream sequences in comics normally do. Can't say much about the story: It's Spirou and Fantasio, it's a fifties boys' adventure story with a fixed ending and an appropriately politically correct moral. I'm not reading this for the plot and neither are you.

I'm also 95% certain that Spirou and Fantasio are a couple in this one, and believe me, having Spirou flirt with the Cute Art Teacher on the literal final page of the story just cements it further.
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