Original illustration made in the 1970s
Indian ink and coloured ink on paper
41.3 ×110 cm (16.26 × 43.31 in.)
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When in 1968, Franquin gave Spirou to Fournier, he took care to keep for himself his other great personal creation, apart from Gaston Lagaffe: the Marsupilami. The two characters meet at the very beginning of the 1970s, which is normal considering their respective proximity with Spirou and Fantasio. This rare direct color set for a packaging reunites the two characters with a set of fantastically sketched birds. Franquin excelled in this bestiary often requested by his colleagues (let's remember that Franquin had created the Cracoucass for Peyo's Smurfs) but also for his own use: Gaston's Laughing Seagull is the best example.
What!? There are still drawings by Franquin that are unknown to the public? That's crazy! And this one is not just any drawing, besides its rather exceptional format, especially for a color illustration, we discover a magnificent Marsupilami armed with a guitar sitting on a branch, some exotic birds coming from nowhere perched on the tail of the master of Palombia and especially a tiny Gaston Lagaffe dozing in one of the rings of the caudal appendage, longer and more flexible than ever! This "poetic license", a term I heard for the first time from André Franquin, must have a good reason, which one? A mystery! The master never does anything for nothing and without having thought about the smallest detail, all this must have a good reason. What announcement or inscription had to be placed in the last loop of this yellow and black coil? Gumdrop! One thing is certain, the drawing is superb, with this incomparable stroke of pen, in Indian ink and probably inks of colors somewhat tarnished by time adding to the charm of this incredible illustration.
The life that animates this drawing is one of the essential marks of the immense talent of Franquin, this genius.