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Court orders temporary suspension of new Gaston comic
A Brussels court ordered the temporary suspension of the new Gaston Lagaffe comic strip during summary proceedings on Wednesday, Bruzz and RTBF report.
The news was confirmed by the lawyer of Isabelle Franquin, the daughter of Belgian comic book artist André Franquin, the creator of Gaston, and its publishing house Dupuis, which had already put the publication on hold.
Charleroi-based publisher Dupuis had announced in March that Gaston was making a comeback after 30 years. The new comic “Lagaffe Strikes Again” has been drawn by the Canadian artist Marc Delafontaine, better known as Delaf, a move which, according to Isabelle Franquin, goes against the wishes of her deceased father. This forms the basis of her injunction.
André Franquin, who died in 1997, is said to have forbidden the resumption of his character’s adventures by another cartoonist after his death. Several authors and journalists who knew Gaston's creator and spoke with him on the topic have confirmed this.
Isabelle Franquin demands the "urgent and provisional suspension" of any form of "pre-publication, advertising or distribution of the new comic."
Meanwhile, publisher Dupuis has said its decision to temporarily suspend the new comic’s publication and prepublication of jokes was to "allow for a serene and objective debate, pending the court ruling on the merits of the case." The new comic book was due to be released on 19 October.
Dupuis lawyer Alain Berenboom told RTBF earlier this year that Franquin had sold the works and copyright to Marsu Productions, which had later been bought out by Dupuis.
A final ruling on the case will follow in the autumn.