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Fièvre d'Urbicande (La)

La Fièvre d'Urbicande [Fever in Urbicand] is the second volume of the chronicles of the Obscures Cities, published in 1984.

This story, which made its debut in the September 1983 issue of (A Suivre), was conceived from the start to be published in black and white. This was not a matter of financial considerations, but an artistic choice: the whole album has a turn-of-the-century engraving look perfectly in tune with the plot. We even see a street called Maserel, named after a famous engraver of that period.

At 94 pages, this story ran for considerably longer than the 48 that used to be considered an unbreakable tradition of the Franco-Belgian school of cartooning. A 1992 re-edition of the album also includes a report by Isidore Louis, from L’Archiviste, about the Network and its effects on the social fabric of the Obscure World. The original term Réseau has been translated by “Web” in some English versions, but “Network” is more accurate.

The deluxe edition of 1983 had an added booklet: Carnet de voyage. A very rare booklet these days.


Story

Eugen Robick, Urbatect of Urbicande has been working on restructuring Urbicande for the Commission of High Instances. The South side of Urbicande has been done and he wants to continu with the Northern part: to make the city symmetrical again. But the Rapporter General is not listening. Even the third bridge over the river is denied.

While thinking on how to convince the Commission of High Instances Eugen Robick receives a cube found by Klaus and Friedrich during ground works of the Von Hardenberg company. The cube starts to grow and turns into a network. Soon the network is too big for his house. Eventually the network connects the South and North side of Urbicande with each other. Together with his neighbor Sophie he visits the North side. The network disturbe the whole structure of Urbicande. After the winter the network starts to grow again and soon becomes so big you can not see it again. Robicks friend Thomas, who has become the new Rapporter General, tries to convince Robick to help him to recreate the network, but Eugen denies and tries his own way.

See also the in-depth review of the album by Julian Darius:

Angoulême 1985

At the 1985 comic festival of Angoulême La Fièvre d'Urbicande won the award for best album.

Former president François Mitterrand visited the stand of Casterman during the 1985 festival. You can see Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten on the right in the picture.

Editions / translations

YearTitleLanguagePublisherPagesHC/SCISBNRemarks
1984De koorts van UrbicandeDutchCasterman96SC9030384190
1985La Fiebre de UrbicandaSpanishEurocomics96SC84860001551
1987A Febre de UrbicandaPortugueseEdições 70n/an/an/a
1987Uro i UrbicandeDanishBogfabrikken88SC8772970731
1988De koorts van UrbicandeDutchCasterman112SC903038557XAdditional document by Isidore Louis: “De legende van het stelsel”
1990Fever in UrbicandeEnglishNBM Publishers96SC0918348862
1991Das Fieber des StadtplanersGermanFeest comics96SC3893431535
1991Kuumetta UrbicandessaFinishLike96SC9515780748
2000De koorts van UrbicandeDutchCasterman108HC9030385472Additional document by Isidore Louis: “De legende van het stelsel”
2009La Fièvre d'UrbicandeFrenchCasterman112SC9782203026346Additional document by Isidore Louis: “La légende du réseau & épilogue: la dernière vision d'Eugen Robick
2010우르비캉드의 광기Korean세미콜론96HC9788983715739
2011Urbikandska groznicaCroatianFibra112HC9789533210360Same as the 2009 French edition
2011闇の国々JapaneseShoPro Booksn/aHC4796871012Part of bundle 1
2013Fieber in UrbicandGermanSchreiber & Leser112SC9783943808285
2015La Fiebre de UrbicandeSpanishNormal Editorial112SC9788467918625

See also

Buy the album

François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters
ISBN 2203026340
EUR 22,00