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Dupuis is a Belgianmarker publisher of comic books and magazines.

Based in Marcinellemarker near Charleroimarker, Dupuis was founded in the early 1930s by Jean Dupuis, and is mostly famous for its comic albums and magazines. It is originally a French language publisher, but publishes many editions both in French and Dutch. Other language editions are mostly licensed to other editors. Dupuis was for a long time a family business but was sold in the early 1980s and has since changed ownership a few times.

Origin

The growth of Dupuis towards the leading comic book editor of Belgium started in 1938, when Dupuis added to its portfolio of a men's magazine (Le moustique (the mosquito) in French, Humoradio in Dutch) and a women's magazine (Bonnes Soirées (good evenings) in French, De Haardvriend (the hearth's friend) in Dutch) a children's magazine, Le journal de Spirou (Squirrel). Originally, it was only in French, and contained a mixture of American comics (e.g. Superman, Bill Bradford, and Red Ryder) and new creations (Spirou et Fantasio and Tif et Tondu). A few months later, a Dutch edition called Robbedoes followed.

Growth after WWII

After some difficulties during the war (mainly because of the scarcity of paper towards the end of it, but also because American comics weren't allowed to be published anymore), Dupuis started to grow quickly. Le moustique became one of the leading magazines with info on radio and (later) television in Belgium, and Spirou was one of the two leading European comic magazines (together with Tintin magazine).

Dupuis started publishing some books as well, but had real success by republishing the comics that had appeared as serials in the magazine, collected as albums afterwards. Sometimes these were one shot, but mainly they came in series. Dupuis has some of the best selling comic series, including Lucky Luke, The Smurfs, Gaston Lagaffe and Largo Winch. Many of these comic books have been reprinted constantly for thirty or forty years, thereby generating a constant revenue for the editor.

Stabilization and diversification

In the early sixties, Dupuis started with other activities, including the merchandising of its comic series (puppets, posters, ...), and the making of animated movies. Most of these weren't very successful but raised the visibility of their comics even more. Still, towards the end of the 1960s, the golden age of Dupuis seemed to be over. Some of the magazines were struggling, the merchandising activities were vastly reduced, and the movie studio didn't seem to get any successful movies.But the core business, the comics and the magazines, continued to be hugely successful, with a comics catalogue of more than 2000 titles available in French. Many of the series have been turned into animated movies in the 1990s, including Papyrus and Spirou et Fantasio, and are being sold as movies and as comics throughout Europe. Dupuis has also started producing computer games.

In June 2004, Dupuis was bought by Média-Participations, which now owns almost all major European comic book publishers, including Dargaud and Le Lombard.

Pirate editions



Most Franco-Belgian comics are released in hardcover, which makes them expensive. Since about 1999, Dupuis has issued cheaper softcover editions under the label Collection Pirate, a cheeky reference from the publishers about copyright infringements.

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