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Seccotine is a recurring character from the Spirou et Fantasio comics, and the first major female character of the series, a strong-willed reporter. She was created by André Franquin, and made her first appearance in La turbotraction serialised in 1953 and published in the album La corne de rhinocéros in 1955.
She is an energetic journalist with a knack for outwitting Fantasio as they compete to uncover interesting and/or sensational stories, much to his frustration. Because of this, there is always some antagonism between them, though Spirou is much more friendly with her. However, she has also been very helpful, such as during the events in Palombia in Le dictateur et le champignon, when she helped Spirou and Fantasio send a secret message to the Count of Champignac, and later assisted Spirou with co-piloting an English Electric Canberra bomber plane to prevent General Zantas (a.k.a. Zantafio) from starting a war.
Seccotine disappeared from the series when Fournier took over (her only appearance in Fournier's period was a brief appearance in the Franquin tribute Joyeuses Pâques, Papa!). Fournier replaced her with Ororéa, another rival reporter but with whom Fantasio was madly in love, whereas he loathed Seccotine.
Love interest with Spirou
There have been various hints towards a romantic link between Seccotine and Spirou. In "Machine qui rêve" she gets in touch with him to do a report she actually wanted Fantasio to do. When she speaks to him over the phone detailing the mission and he addresses her as "Seccotine" she tells him to drop that silly nickname and instead use her real name. Later in the album she and the Spirou clone are seen on board a ship with her asking him what his real name is.
In the stand-alone comic "Le tombeau des Champignac", by Yann and Fabrice Tarrin, Seccotine and Spirou are seen flirting and are even caught kissing by Fantasio. As the album ends and Seccotine and Spirou depart, they can be seen looking at each other with the look of two lovers departing.
Finally in "Aux sources du Z" as Spirou uses the time shifter to get back to the events of "La corne de rhinocéros", he encounters Seccotine wandering around their yard waiting to snap pictures of the brand new Turbot he and Fantasio had just received. Seccotine notes how different Spirou acts from the way she's gotten to know him, he's far more like a man, a fact that she deems not to be all that unpleasant. To silence her Spirou kisses her on the mouth which leaves her frozen in surprise. As he makes his way inside the house he admits to himself that he has wanted to kiss Seccotine for a long time and thanks Zorglub for creating the opportunity to do so.
- La corne de rhinocéros (Franquin) 6.
- Le dictateur et le champignon (Franquin) 7.
- 11. Vacances sans histoires (in Le gorille a bonne mine) (Franquin)
- 12. Le nid des Marsupilamis (Franquin)
- HS4. Joyeuses Pâques, Papa! (Fantasio et le fantôme et 4 autres aventures) (Fournier)
- 34. Aventure en Australie (Tome & Janry)
- 38. La jeunesse de Spirou (Tome & Janry)
- 46. Machine qui rêve (Tome & Janry)
- 47. Paris-sous-Seine (Morvan & Munuera)
- 50. Aux sources du Z (Yann, Jean-David Morvan & José-Luis Munuera)
"Seccotine" is an old brand of fish glue, sold in France tubes or in small jars. The character name chosen by Franquin comes from this well-known glue which had a very peculiar smell. This is a kind of "Madeleine de Proust" for all past schoolchildren. The phenomenon was so important that the brand 'Seccotine' has now become a usual common name, or a friendly adjective designating somebody who behaves in a clingy way, like the character who pestily sticks to Spirou and Fantasio.
In Dutch Seccotine is called "IJzerlijm" which means "Iron glue" again noting at how sticky she is.
In Finnish, (where the series is named Piko ja Fantasio) Seccotine is known as Kitariina (a wordplay based on Katariina "Catherine" and kita "jaws", hinting at Seccotine's loquacity). In the early seventies, an earlier translation published by Semic Press under the name Tipsu ja Tapsu, had her name varyingly as Sirpa Sirpakka and Sini Sirpakka.
In English translations by Cinebook, she is known as Cellophine.
Her actual name was revealed in "Machine qui rêve" to be Sophie.
- franquin.com. "Un vie - 1953" (in French).