Spirou and Spip, as drawn by Janry
|Other Names||Robbedoes (Dutch)|
Sĩ Phú (Vietnamese)[note 1]
|Age||Unknown, but looks young|
|Character Voicing||Thor Bishopric (English)|
Vincent Ropion (French)
Tony Neef (Dutch)
Peter Sjöquist (Swedish)
|Moe Points||reporter, |
Pet squirrel: Spip
Spirou is the main character of the Belgian comic book series Spirou & Fantasio, published by Dupuis.
First appearing in the comic book magazine of the same name, on April 21st, 1938, Spirou was a young hotel groom working at the Moustique Hotel. He was "brought to life" by an artist who was asked by Mr. Papillon (who worked at Moustique) to create a groom for him, with his "life water".[note 3] Over the years, Spirou left behind his job as a bellhop, dedicating himself to reporting and going on adventures along with his partner Fantasio, but he still retains his bellhop costume. A hypothesis for this had been presented and reimagined in a Spirou story by Emile Bravo (Le journal d'un ingenu): Spirou was too poor to buy new clothes.[note 4] In the main canon of the Journal de Spirou, the reason for this was that Spirou was forced to wear this costume because he was the "mascot" of the journal.[note 5]
Spirou was created and first drawn by Robert Velter, aka Rob-Vel, and since, the torch has been passed to authors over the years, with the most recent being Yoann Chivard and Fabien Vehlmann (credited as Yoann & Vehlmann). In the beginning, Spirou's stories consisted of short, humorous gags, but over time, the character has embarked on large-scale adventures, largely due to the influence of author André Franquin, who expanded upon Spirou's universe.
Spirou is youthful, has a kind and brave heart, and is always ready to go on adventures, solve mysteries, or help those in need. He is the opposite of Fantasio, as he is able to be logical and find solutions, whereas Fantasio is more impulsive and emotional. He rejects injustice, and stands for what is right, as he is seen fighting for peace[note 6] and other causes such as protecting the environment.[note 7]
Despite this, Spirou also has his flaws.
- Once, out of fear of being forgotten or considered as outdated, he became a superhero called "SuperGroom".[note 8]
- Spirou is one of the most popular Belgian comics characters, next to Tintin.
- Spirou is the official character of a campaign organized by the Belgian inter-municipal environmental agency Tibi, which raises awareness on reducing waste.
- In a special supplement that came along with Issue #3570 of Spirou magazine (dated September 2, 2006), Spirou became a Japanese manga character. This short manga story was created by Jean-David Morvan and Hiroyuki Ooshima.
- In 2018, on the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Spirou was named a Human Rights Defender by the United Nations. He is the only fictional character on the list...
- Outfit in the cover of Spirou & Fantasio in Tokyo
- Le Journal de Spirou #1, 21 April 1938.
- Bravo, Emile: Le journal d'un ingénu. Dupuis, May 10, 2018.
- Back to the rédak'. Spirou Hebdo #3653, April 16, 2008.
- Franquin, André. Le dictateur et le champignon. Dupuis, 1956.
- Fournier, Jean-Claude: Kodo, le Tyran. Dupuis. May 30, 1979.
- Spirou #4080. Dupuis, June 22, 2016.