Gaston Lagaffe celebrates his sixtieth birthday


On the sixtieth birthday of André Franquin’s famous character, in 2017, the Public Library of the Centre Pompidou will present the exhibition "Gaston, au-delà de la gaffe" (Gaston: Beyond the Gags) from 7 December to 10 April 2017.

Wearing his famous green jumper with his long mane of black hair, famous for his humour and his original gags, Gaston Lagaffe was drawn for the first time on 28 February 1957 by André Franquin in the magazine Spirou. He has inspired moments of laughter and joy in many generations, thanks to his escapades and his penchant for napping at the office.

In a few months, this "unemployed hero" will celebrate his sixtieth birthday during an exhibition wholly dedicated to him that is entitled "Gaston, au-delà de la gaffe" (Gaston: Beyond the Gags), which will run from 7 December to 10 April 2017. Why unemployed? Well, unlike his friends and other comic-strip heroes, Gaston’s only goal in life is to make mischief, as much in his escapades as in the pages of the magazine. With over 900 pages published between 1957 and 1996, this hero’s adventures have become a unique body of work in the world of comics.

The exhibition will make it possible to rediscover Gaston – a character who is near and dear to our hearts – through original pages and publications, unique drawings, photographs, and never-released jokes of all sorts. These jokes will showcase the incredible talent of cartoonist André Franquin. Far from being just a genial simpleton, Gaston embodies his creator’s ideas. Revolutionary, militant, environmentalist, crazed genius, he is a messenger for current questions on the way we live in today’s society. He has become a veritable icon in the world of the so-called "ninth art" – comics.

The exposition will shine a spotlight on this loveable character, who was on the fringes of the changes taking place between the 1950s and 1970s. The first part will show Gaston’s arrival on the scene and his exploits. The second part will be devoted to the series and its place among the period of changes that took place in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the illustrious André Franquin. A final third part will call attention to the cartoonist’s other works, such as "Trombone illustré" and "Idées noires".