: Gelem

Tom Bolah, an ordinary Earthman, and his pusillanimous neighbor, Harry Kô, meet various aliens.

1. Un Étranger chez Tom Bolah
(A Stranger at Tom Bolah's)
Spirou No. 1566, Mini-Recit 407, 1968)

Tom Bolah is randomly selected to take care of a sick Saturnian, who then proceeds to create chaos in his life. Bolah accidentally cures the Saturnian (while trying to get rid of him), who then returns home, grateful.

Tom and Harry and the sick Saturnian.
(Healthy Saturnians are red.)

2. Le Maître des Ténèbres
The Master of Darkness)
Spirou No. 1572, Mini-Recit 413, 1968)

Tom Bolah and Harry Kô free a crew of stranded Plutonians who had been enslaved by the eponymous "Master of Darkness", who was plotting to use their advanced technology to take over the city.

The grateful Plutonian Leader says good-bye.
(The green dots mark him as the leader.)

3. Visa pour Saturne
Visa for Saturn)
Spirou No. 1583, Mini-Recit 424, 1968)

A grateful Spwatch the Saturnian insists on taking Tom and, inadvertently, Harry, to visit his home on Saturn. After a detour on Pluto, they reach Saturn, but Spwatch's wife hates the Earthmen, and wants them returned home.

Toom meets Spwatch's two children.
(The one in the middle is the neighbor's kid.)

4. Les Martiens Voient Rouge
The Martians See Red)
Spirou No. 1589, Mini-Recit 430, 1968)

The Plutonian Leader seeks Tom's help after one of their spaceships carrying Harry and a cow crashes on Mars. Tom convinces the Martian Leader to release the Plutonians (and Harry) by introducing him to the pleasures of milk-drinking.

Tom and the Plutonian Leader follow a Martian
(The cleats are on his feet are really his ears)

5. Le Pistolet Rose
The Pink Gun)
Spirou No. 1592, Mini-Recit 433, 1968)

Spwatch the Saturnian sends Tom a "teledream", a pink gun that has the power to materialize thoughts. But hostile Mercurians try to steal it. Tom uses the gun to summon Spwatch, who tells him how to get rid of them.

The Mercurians attack.
(They're mean and nasty.)

6. Le Souterrain Mystérieux
The Mysterious Tunnel)
(Spirou 1595, Mini-Recit 436, 1968)

Tom and Harry stumble upon a plot by the Mercurians to attack Earth with an invasion fleet hidden in underground caverns. Tom uses mercury, a substance deadly to the Mercurians, to force them to leave.

Tom shows a thermometer to the Mercurian Emperor.
(Mercury is deadly to Mercurians.)

Publishing History

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s,
Spirou published a double-page insert dubbed "Mini-Récit" (Mini-Story), which could be folded and assembled into a mini-comic. The Mini-Recit collection comprised well over 500 titles and featured numerous, long-running gag series such as Bobo, Cabanon, Le Baron, Sam, Superdingue, Pegg, Xing & Xot, Superherman, etc.

One endearing science fiction saga was the six-issue "
The Flabbergasting Adventures of Tom Bolah", written and drawn by a young artist using the pseudonym of "Gelem". Gelem went on to create other Mini-Recit series such as Bidule and Ted & Narcisse, but Tom Bolah remains a unique and his best creation.

Coffre-a-BD is reprinting the Tom Bolah stories.

Spwatch's House

Tom Bolah © 2003 Gelem. All rights reserved.