The Vroom by James Zee
France Vroums into Selecciones Ilustradas
The earliest identified publication of The Vroom (and the only other known printing) is in the French series Carabina Slim (Editions Aventures et Voyages), issues 95 to 111 (1975-1976)—under the title Les Vroum.
Carabina Slim is a pocket size ("petit format") title, mainly composed of western stories from a mix of international sources. In additon to translated text and an amended masthead (the "U" is noticeably altered), the artwork underwent significant reworking for this printing. The stories are recut from 20 standard-size pages to 30 digest-size pages, tragically destroying the distinctive whole-of-page designs in the original artwork.
It seems likely that these 14 episodes are the complete series and that it was popular during its run. The final episode was followed in the next issue by Les Aigles Volants (Carabina Slim 112-122), a similarly themed series about bikers and their sport, sourced from the UK (Tallon of the Track in Fleetway's Tiger 1973-1975).11Written by Scott Goodal with art by James Bleach, the series focuses on tomboy Jo Tallon, who runs the "Flying...
The publication of this obscure SI series in France reflects the strong relationship between that country and the SI agency, particularly its founder and director, Josep Toutain.
When Toutain could not find regular comics work in Spain, he travelled to France where he found more than he could cope with. He began passing work to his friends and formed SI in 1952 to manage the process. Ultimately, he abandoned his career as an artist as he devoted himself to building international networks for his colleagues in Barcelona.
Half a decade before the UK market opened up for Selecciones Ilustradas in the late 1950s, France provided the agency with constant work on commission.22See further information on Selecciones Ilustradas' various styles of operation in the article on Sunday.... Many noted SI artists produced anonymous work for France, including Ramon Torrents, José Beá, Josep Maria Miralles (Editions Artima), Fernando Fernández (Ray Comet for Artima), Juan Antonio Abellán (Ray Alcotan) and César López Vera (Ögan for Imperia).
As Selecciones Ilustradas expanded its syndication model from the late 1960s, Aventures et Voyages was among the most prolific publishers of these works. Established in 1946 with the large format weekly "Mon Journal", the publisher later specialised in "petit format" comics. By the 1970s, it produced around 30 titles, selling in excess of two million comics each month.33See bdmonjournal.free.fr....
Its stories were sourced from across the world, from countries the the UK (Fleetway, DC Thompson), Australia (Air Hawk) and Spain—including one of the most comprehensive printing programs of Selecciones Ilustradas output. The comic Atemi (1976-1990), in particular, specialised in SI's martial arts series.44"Atemi" is probably taken from the same word in Japanese martial arts, which refers to blows to the body, as...