Aad Goudappel 2015-01-21 14:51:21

If only I had my way with words…. I would describe what I feel looking at this picture. I would find a better substitute for ‘proud’. Proud sounds to much like you think you’re good, you have accomplished something. It would be something more like a silent joy, afraid someone would come along and take it from you. Feeling blessed. Fortunate.
Last year I was invited by Johnny Bekaert for a group show tributing the famous comicbook character Spirou/Robbedoes who turned 75. Each illustrator was asked to contribute a fake bookcover.
I was both thrilled and terrified. The artist who made Spirou famous, Andre Franquin, is my hero, one of the reasons I wanted to become an artist myself. Especially his series of Gaston and Idées Noires are beyond comparison. One of the most vivid childhood memories I have, I must have been 8 yrs old or so, was the, for me devastating, dissapointment he did not show up at a comicbook fair for a signing session as he was suffering from depressions.
Anyway, trying to make a tribute would be nothing less then a blasphemy. I ended up with this image where Spip the squirrel, Spirou’s sidekick is taking over spirou’s identity. Not without coincidence my daughters, especially the oldest, happens to be fans of Spip.
About a month ago the publisher of the Spirou books, Dupuis, contacted me because they wanted to use my work, and some other works from the exhibition, for T-shirts for their employers to wear on a publishers convention. The honor! Part of the deal was they would make two in my daughters’ sizes.
So in this picture some of my favorite and most important things come together. This picture shows for a large part who I am. But I’m not half the illustrator nor half father I would like to be. So much to learn, so proud is not the right word. But I’m carefully glowing inside. I’m one lucky bastard

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