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Yoko Tsuno
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Publication information
Publisher Dupuis (French and Dutch)
Cinebook (English)
Format Comics album
Genre Science fiction
Number of issues 26 (in Dutch and French)
9 (in English)
Creative team
Creator(s) Roger Leloup

Yoko Tsuno is a comics album series created by the Belgian writer Roger Leloup published by Dupuis in Spirou magazine since its debut in 1970. Through twenty-six volumes, the series tell the adventures of Yoko Tsuno, a female electrical engineer of Japanese origin surrounded by her close friends, Vic Video and Pol Pitron (see Yoko Tsuno characters). Their adventures bring them to, among other places, Belgium (Bruges), Germany, Scotland, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and also into Outer space. The stories are heavily technology driven, with concepts like robot Dragons (Le Dragon de Hong Kong), suspended animation (La Frontière de la vie), Time travel (La Spirale du temps and others), and even an alien species called the Vineans. Despite the often exotic settings and science-fiction plot lines, the stories generally remain realistic on the personal level between the characters and friendship, love and spirituality are some of the key themes of the series. The art is drawn in Ligne claire style. When depiciting real-world settings, Leloup aspires to be as true to reality as possible, with places like Burg Katz or Rothenburg ob der Tauber depicted with almost photographic skill.

Publication history

Yoko Tsuno first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Spirou on September 24, 1970 with the 8 page short Hold–up en hi–fi.[1] This and the following two shorter works La belle et la bête and Cap 351 served as precursors for the first full-length Yoko Tsuno adventure, Le trio de l’étrange serialised in Spirou from May 13, 1971.[2] Staying with Spirou for the following 30 years, the series still appears in the magazine to date. Accumulating 26 albums with three integral compilations, the fourth, Vinéa en péril, is announced to be released on October 3, 2007.[3]

Main characters

Main article: Yoko Tsuno characters

Yoko Tsuno

Main article: Yoko Tsuno (character)

Yoko Tsuno is an electrical engineer, who was raised in Japan but now lives in Belgium. She is quite compassionate and has a knack for making friends. Yoko is also a skilled scuba diver, holds a black belt in aikido, and can pilot both gliders and helicopters. This wide range of competences, together with her near-flawless behaviour, makes Yoko fall into the classic category of a competent woman. The flaw she does admit to having is the typically Japanese trait of valuing personal honour highly, which leads her at times to be trusting to the point of blindness. Yoko Tsuno's first name was inspired by Japanese actress Yoko Tani.[4]

Vic Video

Vic Video (Dutch language: Ben Beeld, but sometimes also referred to as Max): He has a strong personality, and is a close friend of Yoko (whom he seems to be in love with, though this is only hinted at). Before meeting Yoko, he directed live TV shows. He is often the voice of reason and prudence moderating Yoko's impulsiveness. Vic appears in all albums except Aventures électroniques, L'Or du Rhin and La Pagode des brumes.

Pol Pitron

Pol Pitron (Dutch language: Paul Pola, German language: Knut Knolle) is the comic relief of the trio. His name comes from French "pitre", literally "clown". Before meeting Yoko, he worked as a camera operator under direction of Vic. Pol is often lazy and grumpy, as well as a real gourmet. He is also playful and thus quite fond of children. Pol appears in all albums except La Pagode des brumes, although he appears in only two stories of Aventures électroniques. Where almost all other characters in the comics are drawn realistically anatomically speaking, in the early albums, Pol's nose and eyes are cartoonishly large and round.

Khany

Khany is a member of the extraterrestrial race of Vineans. As of the end of La Forge de Vulcain and the fall of Karpan's leadership, she is also their undeclared leader who directs the return of the Vineans from Earth to Vinea. She is also undertaking expeditions to find lost Vinean colonies. Like Vic, she is quite careful in her actions. Khany appears in Le Trio de l'étrange, La Forge de Vulcain, Les Trois soleils de Vinéa, Les Titans, La Lumière d'Ixo, Les Archanges de Vinéa, Les Exilés de Kifa and La Porte des âmes.

Rosée du matin

Rosée du matin (Morning Dew; Dutch: Roosje; German: Morgentau) is Yoko's adopted Chinese daughter, as of Le Dragon de Hong Kong. The child of two biologists who experimented with the artificial enlargement of animals, she was orphaned when her parents perished in a storm. She had been raised by her grandfather, but due to his deteriorating health, he entrusted guardianship to Yoko. She has so far also participated in Yoko's time travel exploits and her trips into outer space. Rosée appears in all albums from Le Dragon de Hong Kong onwards. She was inspired by Leloup's daughter, adopted from Korea.

Monya

Monya is a fourteen-year old Time traveler from 3872, whom Yoko meets during the events described in La Spirale du temps. After changing history during this adventure, Monya is unable to return to her native time. She is adopted by Yoko's cousin and the two girls become fast friends. With the help of Monya's time machine, the translateur, Yoko and her friends undertake several time-travelling adventures.

Synopsis

Yoko Tsuno first meets Vic and Pol when they catch her trying to break into a laboratory, in Le Trio de l'étrange. The moment the men confront her, the owner of the laboratory explains that he hired the Japanese girl to test a burglar alarm system. Vic, intrigued by Yoko's knowledge in electrical engineering and planning to do an independent television production with Pol as the cameraman, asks Yoko to come along.

The main characters are based in Belgium, although adventures take place around the world and even in the Vinean solar system, 2,500,000 light years away. When the stories are Earth-based, they mostly take place in existing settings, such as the German locations Burg Katz and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the Chinese city of Hong Kong, or the Belgian city of Bruges.

Books

Albums

  1. Le Trio de l'étrange (The Curious Trio), 1972 ISBN 2-8001-0666-2
  2. L'Orgue du Diable (The Devil's Organ), 1973 ISBN 2-8001-0667-0
  3. La Forge de Vulcain (Vulcan's Forge), 1973 ISBN 2-8001-0668-9
  4. Aventures électroniques (Electronic Adventures), 1974 ISBN 2-8001-0669-7
  5. Message pour l'éternité (Message for Eternity), 1975 ISBN 2-8001-0670-0
  6. Les Trois soleils de Vinéa (The Three Suns of Vinea), 1976 ISBN 2-8001-0671-9
  7. La Frontière de la vie (On the Edge of Life), 1977 ISBN 2-8001-0672-7
  8. Les Titans (The Titans), 1978 ISBN 2-8001-0592-5
  9. La Fille du vent (The Daughter of the Wind), 1979 ISBN 2-8001-0633-6
  10. La Lumière d'Ixo (The Light of Ixo), 1980 ISBN 2-8001-0687-5
  11. La Spirale du temps (The Time Spiral), 1981 ISBN 2-8001-0744-8
  12. La Proie et l'ombre (The Prey and the Ghost), 1982 ISBN 2-8001-0908-4
  13. Les Archanges de Vinéa (The Archangels of Vinea), 1983 ISBN 2-8001-0971-8
  14. Le Feu de Wotan (Wotan's Fire), 1984 ISBN 2-8001-1029-5
  15. Le Canon de Kra (The Cannon of Kra), 1985 ISBN 2-8001-1092-9
  16. Le Dragon de Hong Kong (The Dragon of Hong Kong), 1986 ISBN 2-8001-1378-2
  17. Le Matin du monde (The Morning of the World), 1988 ISBN 2-8001-1585-8
  18. Les Exilés de Kifa (The Refugees of Kifa), 1991 ISBN 2-8001-1748-6
  19. L'Or du Rhin (The Rhine Gold), 1993 ISBN 2-8001-1999-3
  20. L'Astrologue de Bruges (The Astrologer of Bruges), 1994 ISBN 2-8001-2101-7
  21. La Porte des âmes (The Gate of Souls), 1996 ISBN 2-8001-2340-0
  22. La Jonque céleste (The Celestial Barge), 1998 ISBN 2-8001-2587-X
  23. La Pagode des brumes (The Pagoda of the Mists), 2001 ISBN 2-8001-2948-4
  24. Le Septième Code (The Seventh Code), 2005 ISBN 2-8001-3762-2
  25. La Servante de Lucifer (The Servant of Lucifer), 2010 (FR: 2010-11-26, NL: 2010-11-10) ISBN 978-2-8001-4775-8 (FR) or ISBN 978-90-314-3090-1 (NL)
  26. Le Maléfice de l'améthyste, 2012 (FR: 2012-11-16) ISBN 978-2800148625 (FR)

L'Écume de l'aube

Main article: L'Écume de l'aube

Roger Leloup also wrote a novel with Yoko as the heroine, published in 1991: L'Écume de l'aube (The Foam of the Dawn) (ISBN 2-203-38033-0), which relates the childhood and youth of Yoko Tsuno.

Translations

Books from the Yoko Tsuno series have been translated from French to sixteen languages: Basque,[5] Catalan,[6] Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

English translations

As of 2012, only a limited number of Yoko Tsuno comics have been translated to English. Books #3 and 6 (La Forge de Vulcain and Les Trois soleils de Vinéa) were released in English in 1989 under the series title, The Adventures of Yoko, Vic and Paul by Catalan Communications under their "Comcat" line. Some liberties were taken in the translation to English. For example, Yoko's last name was changed to "Suno", Khany was renamed "Kani" and the Vineans became "Vinans" from the planet "Vina". Comcat planned next on reprinting books #8, 10, 13, and possibly #17, but the company went under.

Seven books have been translated into English and published by Cinebook Ltd:[7]

Cinebook have announced that the next volume to be published will be "The Devil's Organ" ("L'orgue du diable").[8]

Chinese translations

The Hong Kong-based Bayard Press Asia–Le Grain de Seneve Publishing Co. Ltd has published two Yoko stories in Chinese:

  • Le Dragon de Hong Kong to 大龍的秘密 (The Secret of Great Dragon), and
  • Le Matin du monde to 巴里島時光歷險 (Time-venture of Bali) in the 90's.

The series title for these albums was changed to 海羽傳奇 (The Legacy of Yoko Tsuno).

Sources

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Footnotes
  1. BDoubliées. "Spirou année 1970" (in French). http://bdoubliees.com/journalspirou/annees/1970.htm. 
  2. BDoubliées. "Spirou année 1971" (in French). http://bdoubliees.com/journalspirou/annees/1971.htm. 
  3. Yoko Tsuno official site. "Les albums de Yoko Tsuno" (in French). http://www.yokotsuno.com/fr/albums.html. 
  4. Clicking on the link on this page will redirect to Wikipedia's Yoko Tsuno article. Template:Cite video
  5. Zeruko Junkoa (La Jonque céleste)
  6. El Trio de l'estrany (Le Trio de l'étrange)
  7. Cinebook: The 9th Art Publisher. "Cinebook catalogue - Yoko Tsuno". http://www.cinebook.co.uk/index.php?cPath=189. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  8. Leloup, Roger (2012). The Curious Trio. Yoko Tsuno. 7. Canterbury, Kent: [[wikipedia:wikipedia:Cinebook Ltd|]]. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-84918-127-3. 

External links

Template:Yoko Tsuno

Category:Yoko Tsuno Category:Franco-Belgian comics Category:Comics characters

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