24: A cosmetic appendix to Le Garage Hermétique  



Jerry lost all sense of passing time, began to suspect that time had stopped... 


(Michael Moorcock, The Final Programme p.93)



Aside from the addition of a page, and an adjustment to the running order of several pages, little in 1979 could be considered a significant change to the look of the Garage. And if we discount the application of color in 1987, there has been very little since. As a consequence, what follows is little more than a rather dull addendum to the section on textual changes, for anyone curious about minutiae.

     If you disregarded my advice, and tried to read the immediately preceding section from beginning to end, and found it dull, you’ve only yourself to blame. Same goes double for this. Even for those who are insanely curious, the details recorded here—particularly under the second heading—are probably too dull to bear reading.

     As in the note on textual changes, occasional reference is made to the second edition (1981), the Marvel edition (1987) and, for comparison, a more recent republication by Humanoïdes (2018).

     Adjustments to the visuals are addressed under three headings: (1) Pages & panels, (2) To be continued, and (3) Extra pages




     (1) Pages & panels


In episode 1, there are two panels on each page. In 1979, the horizontal space between the two panels was increased. In addition, the two panels on the first page were enclosed within a border not present in the original.


In episode 6, several minor variations to the art may be noted. In 1/7, the fine mechanical tones on the hat, waistcoat and wall either dropped out of the reproduction, or were deliberately lightened. Support for the latter conjecture may be found in 2/7, where some details on the buildings, the train, the figures and the station are picked out in white. This was not originally the case.


     The most noticeable change, however, is in 2/6, where Grubert and his malro were originally moving placidly toward an arch of overhanging foliage, or possibly a tunnel. This was removed in 1979. Above the line of grass level with Grubert’s feet, there is now only white. 



     A few other variations at the edge of several panels on page 2 may indicate some shrinkage of the tone sheets over the course of three years.


In episode 13, the tone on the shaded side of the holog in 2/2 became much less distinct in 1979. (At least, this is the case in my copy.) Possibly this was unintended. In the second edition (April 1981) it is as dark as it had been in Metal Hurlant, and so it remains in the 2018 edition.


In episode 14, tone was added in 1979 to page 1...  



... and to the first panel on page 2: 



When printed, the tone sheet on page 2 showed signs of damage. This increased dramatically in the second edition, and was still visible when Marvel printed the story. (The damage has since been repaired.) 


At the top and on the right-hand of the fourth page of episode 20, a hard edge to the illustration was partly visible when printed in Metal Hurlant #25:



This was corrected in 1979, but returned in the second edition of 1981. By 2018, the hard edge has gone again, but there’s a small, faint “50” written on a bolted panel, which wasn’t in Metal Hurlant:



This is page 50, and the number made its first (presumably accidental) appearance in 1979. It wasn’t there in 1981.


The twenty-fourth installment to appear in Metal Hurlant—the one with the cowboys—became episode 23 in 1979. What were originally pages 58 & 59 are now pages 55 & 56. A curious, but unquestionably deliberate alteration was made to the illustration in the last panel of the second page. The woman looking down at Larc Dalxtré originally had (as befits her collar) a rather stiff and straight neck.



In 1979, her head was dropped forward. The top of her head (originally hidden by the panel border) has been patched in. What was originally an expression of surprise now looks more pronouncedly solicitous.

     A third page was added to this episode in 1979.

     The installment that was originally the twenty-third (the original pages 55-57) is now episode 24, occupying pages 58-60. There are reasons for supposing these two episodes were not printed out of order on original publication, but that the re-ordering was quite deliberate. (See 13: Out of the garage, two by two.)


On the other hand, the two pages of episode 33 were printed in the wrong order when they first appeared in Metal Hurlant #38. This was corrected for book publication.


Only four pages of episode 34 were printed in Metal Hurlant #39. The fifth page was printed as the first page of the next installment in the following issue. The page order is the same in both cases.




     (2) To be continued


Published originally as a serial, each installment ended with a notice that the story would be continued—À SUIVRE. Most episodes also had a RÉSUMÉ of what had gone before, and this, having become an integral part of the play and invention that formed the Garage, was retained (if sometimes revised) for book publication. The À SUIVRE, however, was removed.

     Where it was originally written below the border of the last panel of a particular installment, its removal was undetectable; but where it had been inscribed within the last panel (episodes 1-3, 5-9, 11, 13, 16-18, 23, 30-32)—sometimes beside or under the “MŒBiUS” signature, or in a box of its own—its absence in 1979 was in some cases visible (3, 6, 8, 9, 13, 18, 32).

     You can stop reading and skip this part before you fall asleep, but here are a few details, if you’d care to know what you’re looking at. Issues concerning the signature alone, or the numbering of pages, are also addressed here. 




In 6 and 8, the boxes containing the À SUIVRE were emptied in 1979—but in Marvel’s 1987 translation TO BE CONTINUED filled the box in 6.

In the 2018 edition, the À SUIVRE has been reinstated in 6, while a MŒBiUS signature occupies the box in 8.


In 10, the pages were originally numbered, but in 1979 these numbers vanished. Each page originally bore a signature, but these vanished from pages 1 and 4.


In 13, the Ā SUiVRE following the signature was removed—along with the signature. (The signature on page 1 was also removed.) In the second edition (and in the later Marvel edition) a line in the last panel of the fourth page was continued, eliminating all trace of the change. This cosmetic adjustment has been repealed in the 2018 printing by Humanoïdes.


In 16, the Ā SUiVRE.... was removed, along with the page number, 4. All pages in this installment were originally numbered, but while 1 and 3 survived, 2 was also removed. In the second edition, the 3 also disappeared. (It has since been reinstated, and is present in the 2018 edition.)


In 17, the Ā SUiVRE.... under the signature was blacked out to blend in with the archer’s headgear.


In 18, the À SUIVRE was eliminated from the box where it nestled below MŒBiUS 77, leaving a space. In the Marvel edition, the signature too was absent, leaving the box empty. In the 2018 edition, the original signature has been discreetly repositioned to eliminate the gap—likewise in 9 and 32. The signature in the box in 26 has been similarly centered, despite the fact that nothing but the signature ever occupied the box.


In 23 (originally the twenty-fourth installment) where the Ā SUiVRE below the signature was removed, the illustration was repaired in 1979 to disguise the change. Similarly, a simpler repair was made in 30.




     (3) Extra pages


The twenty-fourth installment to appear in Metal Hurlant—the one with the cowboys (pages 58 & 59)—became episode 23 in 1979. A new third page was added, featuring (in addition to the cowboys) Malvina, Cervic and the Airplane of Destiny. The extra page now occupies page 57 of the story.


In 1987, for Marvel’s edition of The Airtight Garage, a third page was added to episode 32, forming page 77 of the story.


For Marvel’s 1993 reprinting of The Airtight Garage as a four-issue comic book series, Giraud provided full-page illustrations that would serve as splash pages in the first three issues:

     The first forms an opening page—page 0, effectively—and features an aerial view of the garage seen in episode 3, shortly before the action begins.

     The second is a wordless page that prefigures the look of Armjourth as it would appear in the uncollected installments of The Man from the Ciguri. Giraud had embarked on that series by the time he drew it, and there’s even a copy of a slim book by (or about) John Larcher lying on the sidewalk.



The page precedes episode 11, so it’s effectively page 24b.

     The third page



is inserted into the middle of episode 20 (broken between issues 2 and 3), so it might be counted as page 48b.

     None of the pages added to the American editions are integral or necessary to the Garage; all are superfluous, and may be safely ignored—as they are in French editions which reprint the story in black and white.