JayJay here. Jim is suffering through a power outage, so while he sits in the dark I thought we could just do a blog post ourselves, and by ourselves I mean done by our readers! There’s the Mickey Rooney/Andy Hardy side of me coming out! To add to Jim’s story from yesterday about the X-Men team’s European tour in 1985
our reader, the wonderful Stéphane Garrelie, has scanned an article from Strange Magazine and translated it for us. And many thanks as well to Ferran Delgado for the photos from the Barcelona convention.
Strange Magazine was published by Editions Lug located in Lyons, France and headed at the time by the lovely Claude Vistel, one of two French publishers, that did translated reprints of Marvel Comics. Our reader Xavier Lancel explains that Lug is short for Lugdunum, the roman name of Lyon. Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr., Ann Nocenti and Dan Green went to Paris to promote the X-men and partly to research issue 200 which has Magneto on trial in Paris. That story was, of course, reprinted in Special Strange as well.
And that sparked their European tour!
Here to do reconnaissance on location for the scenery of the 200th issue of the X-Men in Paris, they didn’t want to leave for London without visiting us.
Chris Claremont, John Romita Junior, Dan Green, Ann Nocenti….
FOUR AMERICANS IN LUGDUNUM!
Chris Claremont: We were hesitating between Greece, Egypt, and other dream countries, but when John mentioned France and most of all Paris, everybody agreed. The 200th issue of the X-Men had to be set in Paris!
Lug: So you came to do reconnaissance of the scenery?
John Romita Jr: Yes. We leave with lots of ideas and sketches, and impregnated forever with the extraordinary mood of this capital!
Lug: Will we see the X-Men as tourists in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés?
Chris Claremont: Not exactly! -Laughs- The theater of the events will be the Hall of Justice… which by the way the X-Men will blow up!!
Lug: But that’s a provocation! A “casus belli”!
Ann Nocenti: You know, at Marvel, we like to stir controversy!
John Romita Jr: We love it, you wanna say! See, Storm… Why do you think we made a punk out of her?
Lug: Who got that idea first? You John, or you Chris?
Chris Claremont: I couldn’t say, All the four of us probably!
Lug: The four of you?… But how do you organise yourselves? Do you work together?
John Romita Jr: No. Most of our contacts are by phone. We rarely see each other! When Chris has the plot written, he gives it to me to draw. It’s only when my art is finished, and submited to the appreciation of Ann, that Chris adds matter to his script and put the dialogue in place. Dan does the inks at the very end, after the lettering.
Lug: What is precisely your role as an “editor”, Ann Nocenti?
Ann Nocenti: To read, reread, correct… to verify that there’re no contradiction from a script to another… to give my opinion on some drawings: the page layout, the angles, the close-up shots.. To sum it up: I supervise.. aim for perfection.
Lug: The “Editor”, then, it’s in a way the “directeur de publication” (literally: director of publishing)?
Ann Nocenti: That’s it, I think.
Lug: What do you think of our books?
Ann Nocenti: I am very impressed by the quality of your covers!
Chris Dan and John (chorus): They’re great!
Ann Nocenti: Yes, way more spare, way more artistic than ours! By the way, I’d love to meet your artists!
On those words, we lead our “New Fantastic Four” to our studio, where they look with interest at the pages of Cyrus Tota, Jean Mitton, and all the others. Their enthusiasm is so great that they almost forget that a Toque Blanche (white hat=a chef) is dressed for them his best table. And that’s with a few Lug covers under their arm, that they leave for other wonders: Those of Lyonnaise gastronomy!
They will leave for London the next day, swearing to themselves to come back soon. Our country seduced them!
Translated from the article published in Special Strange #41 copyright: Editions Lug 1985.
A few notes from Stéphane:
-Lugdunum is the old name of Lyon, meaning something like “hill of the (celtic) god Lug”. The editions Lug (Got it?), were based in there, 6 rue Emile Zola.
-In Special Strange where published every 3 months two issues of the X-Men, one of Marvel Team-Up and one of Marvel Two in one.
-The covers where most of the time drawn by Jean Frisano or his son Thomas.
-Jean, by the way is the french for John.
Farther along on their whirlwind tour of Europe the X-men team went to Barcelona to the Saló del Comic convention. Photos provided by Ferran Delgado!
|Here’s Chris looking dashing at sign-in.
|And here’s Chris signing.
I’m sure the team had some fun along with all of the hard work and it looks like a fantastic trip. Did I mention how jealous I was? lol.But I did eventually get to go to Paris many years later thanks to the wonderful Dominique Boniface, Marvel’s former international licensing guy who Jim mentioned yesterday. What a terrific guy! He got me a job designing a web site for a Paris shop and put me up for 10 days while I was working. It was truly a dream come true. I love Paris in the springtime! Now, if only someone has a job for me in Barcelona?
Here is an interesting article in French on The history of Lug
Here is an interview in French with Claude Vistel: