I meant to tell you about this yesterday, but didn't get the time: The lavish, 208-page French book that goes behind the scenes of the DiC studios - loaded with rare art, in-depth articles and never-before-seen interviews - was finally released in France yesterday and can be ordered directly from the site of the publishing company. (
As you might have noticed in the news column to the right, I've already linked to the publishers' pre-order site for the last few weeks; but now that the book is officially out, I thought a last plug would be appropriate (at least it will be the last until I receive it myself). One thing I haven't mentioned properly before - aside from the delayed release date - is the change to the final cover (above) just a few weeks ago. I personally think it's a vast improvement over the first draft... it really tells you much more clearly what the book is about. (The only small weakness I can think of, perhaps, is that the drawing of Penny has been flipped from the first cover version... so that now, her communicator watch is actually on the wrong wrist. But that's so nit-picky I'm not even gonna mention it. ;)
To quickly recap what this book is all about: "Les séries de notre enfance: Ulysse 31, les cités d'or, Inspecteur Gadget..." (directly translated: "The series of our childhood: Ulysses 31, The Cities of Gold, Inspector Gadget ...") is a fan project written and compiled by two extremely dedicated DiC fans named Maroin Eluasti and Nordine Zemrak. They've spent the last 5 years researching the history of the DiC cartoon studios: gathering background information, interviewing as many as possible of the folks working there, collecting rare artwork like model sheets, cels, development sketches and publicity art... all with the goal of eventually publishing a book dedicated to DiC, and particularly dedicated to its golden age in the 1980s. (Note the focus of the title: It's probably no coincidence that the three cartoons mentioned by name are arguably DiC's all-time most memorable ones.) A few months ago, Zemrak and Eluasti started a Ulule project to raise money for the publication of their love letter to DiC, and succeeded with flying colors in the beginning of September. Their fan-funded book has since been moving rapidly through production (accompanied by a number of great Facebook teasers both before and after the fundraising was completed) until the release on November 14.
So here's what you get: For DiC fans of all languages and nationalities, the book will consist of 65% (or more) images - rare production art, vintage cels and promotional material related to all of DiC's most famous shows. For those who understand French, there's also 35% text, consisting of detailed background info and in-depth interviews also related to DiC's famous series. Either way, the book ought to make a very interesting experience for any fan of 80s cartoon shows. I still have a hope there might be an English-language edition someday... but as I said earlier, that will most likely be completely dependent on the success of this French edition. So if you're a fan, and if you like this initiative, it might be a good idea to buy a copy now rather than wait for a possible English edition far into the future. Buying the French-language version will probably increase the chances of getting an English-language version.
Anyway, I'm hoping for the best of luck and the best of sales for this book. And most of all, I'm hoping it lives up to expectations! It should reach my mailbox (or nearby post office) any day now...