Cedric volume 2: Dad’s Got Class


By Laudec & Cauvin with colours by Leonardo and translated by Erica Jeffrey (Cinebook)
ISBN: 978-1-84918-003-0

Raoul Cauvin is one of Europe’s most successful comics scripters. Born in Antoing, Belgium in 1938, he joined publishing giant Dupuis’ animation department in 1960 after studying the dying – and much-missed – print production technique of Lithography.

Happily, he quickly discovered his true calling – comedy writing – and began a glittering, prolific career at Spirou where he devised (with Salvérius) the astoundingly successful Bluecoats as well as dozens of other long-running, award winning series such as Sammy, Les Femmes en Blanc, Boulouloum et Guiliguili, Cupidon, Pauvre Lampil and Agent 212: cumulatively shifting more than 240 separate albums. Bluecoats alone has sold in excess of 15 million copies thus far.

His collaborator on sharp, witty yet kid-friendly family strip Cédric is Italian born, Belgium-raised Tony de Luca who studied electro-mechanics and toiled as an industrial draughtsman until he could make his break into comics.

Following a few fanzine efforts in the late 1970s, Laudec landed soap-style series Les Contes de Curé-la-Fl’ûte at Spirou in 1979. He built it into a brace of extended war-time serials (L’an 40 in 1983 and Marché Noir et Bottes à Clous in 1985) whilst working his way around many of the title’s other strips.

In 1987 Laudec united with Cauvin on the first Cédric shorts and the rest is history… and science and geography and PE and…

We have Dennis the Menace (the Americans have one too but he’s just not the same) whilst the French-speaking world has Cédric: an adorable lovesick rapscallion with a heart of gold and an irresistible streak of mischief dogging his heels. Collected albums of the variable-length strips – ranging from a ½ page to half a dozen – began appearing in 1989 (with 29 released so far) and are always amongst the most popular and best-selling on the Continent, as is the animated TV show spun off from the strip.

This second Cinebook translation – from 2009 and originally continentally released as Cédric 4: Papa a de la classe – hauls straight in to the action as the little lout is invited to a party at the palatial home of posh-boy and romantic rival The Right Honourable Alphonse Andre Jones-Tarrington-Dupree

Previously, overly-imaginative Cedric had been utterly enamoured of his teacher Miss Nelly but once new girl Chen joined the class Cedric’s life changed forever. She’s different; her skin isn’t the same colour as everybody else’s and she talks really funny. He just can’t stop thinking about her…

All’s fair in love and war as ‘Milady and the Geisha’ finds Dupree tricking Cedric into wearing the most embarrassing fancy dress costume imaginable, only to see his devilish scheme badly backfire, after which ‘There are Flakes, and then there are Flakes…’ reveals how not everything falling from the sky is snow, before ‘Cats, Cats, Cats…’ sees Cedric and best pal Christian try to extort extra New Year’s gifts from feline fancier Aunt Jean only to fall at the first hurdle…

A young man’s first encounter with grooming products and cologne is always a heady experience and the ‘The A-Scent of Man’ shows the result of Cedric’s lack of impulse control whilst the grown-ups take centre stage in ‘A Story That’ll Make Your Hair Stand Up Straight’ as Grandpa starts dangerously criticising his useless son-in-law’s visit to a tonsorial stylist, after which ‘To Each His Own’ renews the simmering war after each tries and fails to hang a picture on the living room wall…

When Chen gets ill, Cedric goes to extreme efforts to be with and be like her in ‘Love, Love, Love’ before ‘Tails of All Sorts’ finds Cedric and Grandpa checking out each other’s romantic fascinations…

Kicking and screaming, Cedric is forced into the local Cub Scout group, and even after yomping all over the countryside in ‘Valderee, Valderah’ uses every opportunity to sabotage the experience. Just as he’s being kicked out, however, the Girl Guides march past with little Chen happily with them in line.

When she becomes obsessed with her headphones, Cedric decides to record a message for darling Chen, but his delivery is no match for his heartfelt enthusiasm in ‘Message Not Received’ and, after Mum and Dad have one of those blazing row over nothing, Grandpa has to explain a few painful facts of life about ‘The Big Scene’ to the appalled kid…

‘Hair Apparent’ deals with the 8-year-old’s first attempt at shaving whilst ‘A Tough Choice’ finds the cash-strapped kid having to choose between a present for Mum or Chen before the episodic antics close on a slapstick high note as another Cubs camping trip is disrupted as ‘A Man Misses His Calling’ sees Cedric seemingly lost in the woods…

Rapid-paced, warm and witty, the exploits of this painfully keen, adorably amorous scallywag are a charming example of how all little boys are just the same and infinitely unique. Cedric is a splendid family-oriented strip perfect for enticing youngsters and old folk alike…
© Dupuis 1991 by Cauvin & Laudec. All rights reserved. English translation © 2009 Cinebook Ltd.