Finally, after a year of reflection, the Belgian justice has decided: it authorizes the Dupuis editions to publish the new album of Gaston Lagaffe made for several years by the Quebec author Delaf.
This is the end of a terrible dispute relating to the publication of new adventures by Gaston Lagaffe. In Belgium, the private arbitrator chosen by Isabelle Franquin and Dupuis editions in March 2022, ended up agreeing with the publisher. Editions Dupuis have already announced that they are delighted to continue to be able to bring the legendary character of Gaston Lagaffe to life with this new 44-page album drawn and scripted by Delaf, whose circulation is estimated at 1.2 million. of copies.
The publisher Dupuis can therefore revive Gaston Lagaffe but on condition of consulting the daughter of the designer Franquin, authorized to object to such a project, decided on Tuesday a private arbitration requested by the two parties in this legal dispute.
"The principle of a resurrection of Gaston is lawful but Dupuis and Dargaud-Lombard did not respect the contractual process of approval and Isabelle Franquin always has the right to assert her observations", indicated Tuesday evening the lawyers of that here announcing the decision.
This arbitration decision rendered today definitively puts an end to the legal standoff between Isabelle Franquin and Dupuis. "We regret the misunderstandings and misunderstandings that may have led to this dispute," said Julie Durot, Managing Director of the publishing house. “Dupuis has always had the greatest consideration for Franquin's work and moral rights, as for that of all authors. The arbitration decision confirms our respect for the contract signed by André Franquin. »
With these new adventures of Gaston Lagaffe, Dupuis editions aim to continue to bring to life the masterful work of Franquin, this comic strip genius whose characters have entered the common cultural heritage. They also have at heart to be able to introduce nostalgic people as well as new generations to Delaf's album, which is the culmination of remarkable and passionate work over several years.
In a sign of appeasement, the cartoonist Delaf, the first interested party who was very affected by this whole affair also reacted: "I am delighted with this decision and look forward to sharing the fruit of my work with the public. I hope that by closing the album, readers will feel all the love and respect I have for Gaston and his incomparable creator André Franquin. »
As a reminder, “Gaston is a totally atypical character, declares comics historian Patrick Gaumer, author of the World Comics Dictionary. Ecologist, pacifist, as lazy as he is joyfully subversive, he is a licensed troublemaker, almost an anarchist before his time, who gently challenges the still very corseted society of the 1960s. With his faded sneakers, his threadbare green sweater, his worthy inventions of a quirky Lépine competition, his crazy cat, his laughing seagull, without forgetting the contracts never signed by Monsieur De Mesmaeker, or the enamored Mademoiselle Jeanne, Gaston participates in an eminently personal little world developed by Franquin. »