André Franquin was an influential Belgian comics artist, whose best known creations are Gaston and Marsupilami. He produced the Spirou et Fantasio comic strip from 1947 to 1969, a period seen by many as the series' golden age. Franquin was born in Etterbeek in 1924. Although he started drawing at an early age, Franquin got his first actual drawing lessons at École Saint-Luc in 1943. A year however, the school was forced to close down because of the war and Franquin was hired by Compagnie Belge d'Animation|CBA, a short-lived animation studio in Brussels, it is there he met some of his future colleagues: Maurice de Bevere, Pierre Culliford, Eddy Paape. Three of them were hired by Dupuis following CBA's demise. Peyo, still too young, would only follow them seven years later. Franquin started drawing covers and cartoons for Le Moustique, a weekly magazine about radio and culture, he worked for Plein Jeu, a monthly scouting magazine. During this time and Franquin were coached by Joseph Gillain, who had transformed a section of his house into a work space for the two young comics artists and Will.
Jijé was producing many of the comics that were published in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Spirou, including its flagship series Spirou et Fantasio. The team he had assembled at the end of the war is referred to as La bande des quatre, the graphical style they would develop together was called the Marcinelle school, Marcinelle being an outskirt of the industrial city of Charleroi south of Brussels where Spirou's publisher Dupuis was situated. Jijé passed the Spirou et Fantasio strip to Franquin, five pages into the making of Spirou et la maison préfabriquée, from Spirou issue #427 released 20 June 1946, the young Franquin held creative responsibility of the series. For the next twenty years, Franquin reinvented the strip, creating longer, more elaborate storylines and a large gallery of burlesque characters. Most notable among these is the Marsupilami, a fictional monkey-like creature; the inspiration for the Marsupilami's long, prehensile tail came from imagining an appendage for the busy tramway conductors the Franquin and his colleagues encountered on their way to work.
This animal has become part of Belgian and French popular culture, has spawned cartoons and since 1989 a comic book series of its own. The cartoons have broadened its appeal to English-speaking countries. By 1951, Franquin had found his style, his strip, which appeared every week on the first page of Spirou, was a hit. Following Jijé's lead in the 1940s, Franquin coached a younger generation of comics artists in the 1950s, notably Jean Roba and Jidéhem, who both worked with him on Spirou et Fantasio. In 1955, following a contractual dispute with his publisher Dupuis, Franquin went for a short stint at rival Tintin magazine; this led to the creation of Modeste et Pompon, a gag series which included contributions from René Goscinny and Peyo. Franquin returned to Spirou, but his contractual commitment to Tintin meant that he had to contribute to both magazines, an unusual arrangement in the comic industry; the series was passed on to authors such as Dino Attanasio and Mittéï. In 1957, Spirou chief editor Yvan Delporte gave Franquin the idea for Gaston Lagaffe.
A joke designed to fill up blank space in the magazine, the weekly strip, detailing the mishaps and madcap ideas and inventions of a terminally idle office boy working at the Spirou offices, took off and became one of Franquin's best-known creations. However, Franquin soon suffered a period of depression, which forced him to stop drawing Spirou for a time; this happened in the middle of QRN sur Bretzelburg. During this time, he continued to draw Gaston despite ill health, most because of the lighter nature of the series. In 1967, Franquin passed Spirou et Fantasio on to a younger artist, Jean-Claude Fournier, began to work full-time on his own creations, he was part of the team that developed the concept of Isabelle, the adventures of a little girl in a world of witches and monsters. The character was named after Franquin's daughter. Gaston evolved from pure slapstick humor to feature themes important to Franquin, such as pacifism and environmentalism. Franquin used its characters in paid ad strips he drew, worked with the strip on and off until his death.
The 1960s saw a clear evolution in Franquin's style, which grew more intricate. This graphical evolution would continue throughout the next decade. Soon, Franquin was considered an undisputed master of the art form, on par with the likes of Hergé and his influence can be seen in the work of nearly every cartoonist hired by Spirou up until the end of the 1990s. Early comic fanzines from around 1970 featured Franquin's Monsters, individual drawings of imaginary beasts highlighting his graphical craftmanship; the last, most radical, shift in Franquin's production happened in 1977, when he went through another nervous breakdown and began his Idées Noires strip, first for the Spirou supplement, Le Trombone Illustré and for Fluide Glacial. With Idées Noires, Franquin showed the darker, pessimistic side of his nature. In one strip, a pair of flies are seen wandering through a strange landscape, discussing the mistakes
Marsupilami is a comic book character created by André Franquin, first published on 31 January 1952 in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Spirou. Since it appeared in the popular Belgian comics series Spirou et Fantasio until Franquin stopped working on the series in 1968 and the character dropped out soon afterward. In the late 1980s, the Marsupilami got its own successful spin-off series of comic albums, written by Greg and Dugomier and drawn by Batem, launching the publishing house Marsu Productions. Two animated shows featuring this character, as well as the Marsupilami Sega Genesis video game and a variety of other merchandise followed; the asteroid 98494 Marsupilami is named in its honour. The name is a portmanteau of the words Pilou-Pilou and ami, French for friend. Marsupilami's adventures had been translated to several languages, like Dutch, Greek, Spanish and several Scandinavian languages. More than three million albums of the Marsupilami series are claimed to have been sold by Marsu Productions.
One album of Spirou and Fantasio featuring Marsupilami, number 15, was translated to English by Fantasy Flight Publishing in 1995, although it is out of print. Plans on releasing number 16 ended halfway through the translation process, due to bad sales. In 2007, Egmont's subsidiary Euro Books translated albums number 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14 for the Indian market. In 2013, Dupuis bought Marsu Productions and its characters, thereby allowing a new production of Spirou and Fantasio adventures including Marsupilami; the marsupilami is a black-spotted yellow monkey-like creature with dog-like ears. Male marsupilamis have an long, flexible, prehensile tail, used for any task. Female marsupilamis still long compared to real animals. Both the male and female are able to use their tail as a weapon, by tightening the end into a fist and the remainder of the tail into a spring-like spiral for maximal force; this attack was responsible for the Danish and Norwegian translators choosing words similar to "spiral" over "marsupial" as the creature's name.
Unlike the males, the females walk on the tips of their toes. When the animal rebounds, he makes the noise: "Boing". Males have eyes that are not separate while females have two separate eyes. Female marsupilamis have a different voice than the males. Males say "houba" most of the time, while females say "houbii". According to the L'Encyclopédie du Marsupilami, they are monotremes like the platypus and echidna, which explains why they lay eggs while having mammalian features. "The Marsupilami" refers to the individual captured and adopted by Spirou and Fantasio, which they never bothered to name because he was the only known specimen. The Spirou et Fantasio album Le nid des Marsupilamis is concerned with a documentary-within-the-comic about the life of a family of marsupilamis still living in the wild in Palombia; the spin-off comics drawn by Batem star those, the title of the series now refers to the - unnamed - father in this family, not to Spirou's original Marsupilami. In these series, Marsupilami's wife is referred to as Marsupilamie but their three young are named Bibi and Bobo.
Mars le noir is another specimen. A former captive marsupilami, he first finds it hard to live again in the forest. After failing to seduce Marsupilamie, he becomes jealous of Marsupilami and nearly gets into a fight with him, he meets a black female marsupilami, named Vénus, who becomes his mate. In Baby Prinz, another specimen, an elderly male who lives in a zoo, is featured. Altogether, that comes to Spirou and Fantasio's pet. Marsupilamis can come in colours of yellow, yellow with black spots, dark blue, white with black spots, dark blue with yellow spots, they can be black. Only the yellow, yellow with black spots and dark blue marsupilami's show up in cartoon; these albums of Spirou and Fantasio feature the Marsupilami 4. Spirou et les héritiers. First appearance of the Marsupilami. 5. Les voleurs du Marsupilami; this story picks up where Spirou et les héritiers ends. 7. Le dictateur et le champignon 8. La mauvaise tête 9. Le repaire de la murène. 10. Les pirates du silence. Le gorille a bonne mine. Le nid des Marsupilamis.
Le voyageur du Mésozoïque. Le prisonnier du Bouddha 15. Z comme Zorglub. First appearance of Zorglub. 16. L'ombre du Z. Concludes a diptych. 17. Spirou et les hommes-bulles; these stories, along with Tembo Tabou, first appeared in a newspaper, Le Parisien Libéré. 18. QRN sur Bretzelburg (Q. R. N. Ove
International Astronomical Union
The International Astronomical Union is an international association of professional astronomers, at the PhD level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy. Among other activities, it acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations and names to celestial bodies and any surface features on them; the IAU is a member of the International Council for Science. Its main objective is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation; the IAU maintains friendly relations with organizations that include amateur astronomers in their membership. The IAU has its head office on the second floor of the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. Working groups include the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, which maintains the astronomical naming conventions and planetary nomenclature for planetary bodies, the Working Group on Star Names, which catalogs and standardizes proper names for stars.
The IAU is responsible for the system of astronomical telegrams which are produced and distributed on its behalf by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. The Minor Planet Center operates under the IAU, is a "clearinghouse" for all non-planetary or non-moon bodies in the Solar System; the Working Group for Meteor Shower Nomenclature and the Meteor Data Center coordinate the nomenclature of meteor showers. The IAU was founded on 28 July 1919, at the Constitutive Assembly of the International Research Council held in Brussels, Belgium. Two subsidiaries of the IAU were created at this assembly: the International Time Commission seated at the International Time Bureau in Paris and the International Central Bureau of Astronomical Telegrams seated in Copenhagen, Denmark; the 7 initial member states were Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece and the United States, soon to be followed by Italy and Mexico. The first executive committee consisted of Benjamin Baillaud, Alfred Fowler, four vice presidents: William Campbell, Frank Dyson, Georges Lecointe, Annibale Riccò.
Thirty-two Commissions were appointed at the Brussels meeting and focused on topics ranging from relativity to minor planets. The reports of these 32 Commissions formed the main substance of the first General Assembly, which took place in Rome, Italy, 2–10 May 1922. By the end of the first General Assembly, ten additional nations had joined the Union, bringing the total membership to 19 countries. Although the Union was formed eight months after the end of World War I, international collaboration in astronomy had been strong in the pre-war era; the first 50 years of the Union's history are well documented. Subsequent history is recorded in the form of reminiscences of past IAU Presidents and General Secretaries. Twelve of the fourteen past General Secretaries in the period 1964-2006 contributed their recollections of the Union's history in IAU Information Bulletin No. 100. Six past IAU Presidents in the period 1976–2003 contributed their recollections in IAU Information Bulletin No. 104. The IAU includes a total of 12,664 individual members who are professional astronomers from 96 countries worldwide.
83% of all individual members are male, while 17% are female, among them the union's former president, Mexican astronomer Silvia Torres-Peimbert. Membership includes 79 national members, professional astronomical communities representing their country's affiliation with the IAU. National members include the Australian Academy of Science, the Chinese Astronomical Society, the French Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the National Academies, the National Research Foundation of South Africa, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, KACST, the Council of German Observatories, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Science Council of Japan, among many others; the sovereign body of the IAU is its General Assembly. The Assembly determines IAU policy, approves the Statutes and By-Laws of the Union and elects various committees; the right to vote on matters brought before the Assembly varies according to the type of business under discussion.
The Statutes consider such business to be divided into two categories: issues of a "primarily scientific nature", upon which voting is restricted to individual members, all other matters, upon which voting is restricted to the representatives of national members. On budget matters, votes are weighted according to the relative subscription levels of the national members. A second category vote requires a turnout of at least two-thirds of national members in order to be valid. An absolute majority is sufficient for approval in any vote, except for Statute revision which requires a two-thirds majority. An equality of votes is resolved by the vote of the President of the Union. Since 1922, the IAU General Assembly meets every three years, with the ex