Lot 18: André FRANQUIN (1924-1997) - Gaston Lagaffe – Un gaffeur sachant gaffer
December 11, 2016
Bruxelles, BelgiumLive Auction
Indian ink for the gag 472 published in the issue No. 1531 from 1967.
As a seasoned humourist, Franquin was entirely at home with running gags, the most famous of which must surely be the one about Monsieur De Mesmaeker and the contracts which never get signed! Others were to follow, like the one about the cop Longtarin and his parking meters.
The gag about the office burglary by Freddy-les-doigts-de-Fée
(fairy-fingered Freddy) was extended through at least four episodes.
Number 472 was the very first gag and it was followed by three others – nos. 497, 757 et 816.
Franquin’s famous “Idées Noires” (Dark Thoughts) sprang, in the 1970s, from the artist’s preference for drawing characters all in black. This preference is apparent here, where Freddy-les-doigts de Fée et Cloclo-l’Acrobate – two “artists” with typical Franquinesque names – turn up at night at the offices of Ducran Lapoigne et Cie, a company famous for manufacturing metal bridges, which are housed in a building immediately adjacent to the offices of Journal Spirou.
Gaston sleeps during the day and works at night: everyone knows that. Here we see him once more, in the company of his faithful friend Jules-de-chez-Smith-en-face (Jules-from-Smith's-acrossthe-
street), wrecking Beethoven with the sound of sirens.
Nine months before the events of May 1968, this was something of a bold move on Franquin’s part! Gag no. 472 was published in Spirou no. 1,531, on 17 August 1967.
Then, in 1969, it was incorporated in album no. 7, entitled Un gaffeur sachant gaffer (A Joker Who Knows How to Joke).