Gaston Lagaffe will be able to be reborn on the condition of consulting Franquin’s daughter

Lovers of Goofs galore can rejoice. The publisher Dupuis will be able to 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 legal 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 Isabelle Franquin announcing the decision.

Delaf to succeed Franquin

In March 2022, at the Angoulême festival, Dupuis created a stir in the world of Franco-Belgian comics by announcing the upcoming release of a new episode of the adventures of Lagaffe, a new album entitled The Return of Lagaffeunder the pencil of Canadian designer Marc Delafontaine (alias Delaf).

But that was without taking into account the pugnacity of Isabelle Franquin, daughter and sole beneficiary of the cartoonist André Franquin who died in 1997. Refusing that her father’s star character revive in the guise of another cartoonist, the latter took legal action. in Belgium. And she first obtained, in the context of an action in summary proceedings a year ago, the suspension of the publication of the Feedbackinitially scheduled for October 2022.

The “inalienable moral right” of Isabelle Franquin

In fact Dupuis has undertaken not to publish a new album before 2023 at the earliest, the time for the dispute to be settled on the merits by private arbitration, in this case a Brussels lawyer chosen by the two parties. Dupuis editions believe that they own the economic rights to Franquin’s characters, through the acquisition in 2013 of the company Marsu Productions with which the creator of Lagaffe had concluded a transfer agreement in 1992.

For her part, Isabelle Franquin argued that her father himself “did not want Gaston Lagaffe to be taken over by another designer after his death”. It is “an inalienable moral right” that she can exercise, her lawyer Martine Berwette insisted in May 2022.

In the end, the arbitration, a procedure which is not subject to appeal, concludes that Lagaffe can be reborn “provided that Isabelle Franquin’s prior approval is sought in accordance with the forms provided for in a contract concluded between the parties in 2016”. . “Gaston’s project by Delaf has not been approved by Isabelle Franquin” and “the moral right” exercised by the latter “spring intact”, is it stipulated. “His agreement is essential for any new creation, including the choice of the author”, insists the arbitrator, who specifies that “any refusal on his part must be justified by ethical or artistic reasons”.

Source: 20Minutes – Une by

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