| France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada|
Comic albums and magazines
Marcinelle, Belgium, Hainaut, Belgium, Belgium
Spirou et Fantasio, Les Tuniques Bleues, Lucky Luke, Boule et Bill, XIII
Éditions Dupuis S.A. is a Belgian publisher of comic albums and magazines.
Based in Marcinelle near Charleroi, Dupuis was founded in 1922 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 publishers. Dupuis was for a long time a family business but was sold in the early 1980s and has since changed ownership a few times.
The growth of Dupuis towards becoming the leading comic book editor of Belgium started in 1938, when Dupuis added to its portfolio a men's magazine (Le moustique [the mosquito] in French, Humoradio in Dutch), a women's magazine (Bonnes Soirées [good evenings] in French, De Haardvriend [the hearth's friend] in Dutch) and the children's comics magazine Spirou. The latter was originally only in French, and contained a mixture of American comics (e.g. Superman, Brick Bradford, and Red Ryder) and new creations (Spirou et Fantasio and Tif et Tondu). A few months later, a Dutch edition called Robbedoes followed.
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 information on radio and (later) television programs in Belgium, and Spirou was one of the two leading Franco-Belgian comics 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 shots, but mainly they came in series. Dupuis has some of the best-selling European comic series, including Lucky Luke, The Smurfs, Gaston Lagaffe and Largo Winch. Many of these comic albums have been reprinted constantly for thirty or forty years, thereby generating constant revenue for the editor.
In the early sixties, Dupuis started with other activities, including the merchandising of its comic series (puppets, posters, etc.), and the making of animated movies. Most of these weren't very successful but further raised the visibility of their comics. 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 be producing any successful movies. But the core business, the comics and the main magazines, continued to be hugely successful, with a comics catalogue of more than 2000 titles available in French. Many of the series were turned into animated movies in the 1990s, including Papyrus and Spirou et Fantasio, and are being sold as movies and 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. More recently, in 2015, Dupuis joined with twelve other European comics publishing actors to create Europe Comics, a digital initiative co-funded by the European Commission's Creative Europe program.