by Philippe Capart
Translated by Annick Pellegrin
Original publication: Capart, Philippe. “École de Marcinelle.” Capart, Philippe. “École de Marcinelle.” La Crypte tonique nov/déc 2012: 21-27. Print.
In 1998, I was thousands of kilometres away from Belgium, poring over a light table in an animation studio under the Californian sun. I had brought with me issues of the magazine Spirou from the late 50s. The magazine contained in its pages some of the most beautiful creations by Franquin, Morris, Tillieux, Roba, Peyo, Jijé. I was trying to share my enthusiasm for these works with my US colleagues. Flipping through the pages of one issue, one of them had this naively violent reaction: ‘Did the same artist illustrate the whole issue?’. Appalled, I went through the magazine with him, trying to explain the profound originality of the authors of my childhood… only to gradually perceive, insidiously, the accuracy of his remark. The noses, the eyes, the ears, the attitudes, the mouths, the speech bubbles, the lettering, the framing, the colours all plotted to reinforce this appearance of uniformity. I was discovering the automatic graphic processes scattered in the pages of the magazine Spirou and that swarmed and gratified us with the famous ‘école de Marcinelle’ (Marcinelle School).
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