What: Spirou & Fantasio: Adventure Down Under

Who: Tome and Janry.

When: Original French version published in 1985 as Spirou & Fantasio‘s 34th book, English translation published as book 1 in Cinebook’s series in 2009.

Where: I had to get it off of Amazon. These characters have been going since the 30’s, and yet no English versions have really been published until now, and that’s only 2 books in as many years. I’m dying for more. It’s torturous.

Why: The Franco-Belgian comic style (specifically the Marcinelle school) might be some of the most (in my opinion) aesthetically pleasing art in the world. The style shared by the artists that have brought The Smurfs and Asterix to the world is best reflected (again, in my opinion) by the artists who have put Spirou & Fantasio to paper. These adventures are the epitome (it’s my blog, I’ll say what I want!) of the cartoon adventure tales.

Spirou and Fantasio (often accompanied by their squirrel Spip) are investigative reporters whose friend summons them to Australia where they run afoul of miners, criminals, archeology and Indigenous Australians (i.e. Aborigines). It’s like all the best parts of DuckTales, but, you know…without Ducks.

If you like all-ages (but by no means childish) comics with fun characters, exciting adventures and some of the most gorgeous cartooning ever, go track down some Spirou & Fantasio, even if it’s in French. Still worth it.