In this article I propose to elucidate the pioneering role played by the publishing house Fayard at the beginning of the twentieth century in the promotion of French comic strip and in the development of its distinctively national characteristics. I firstly review the chronology of events and publications, situating the picture stories in the wider context of the company's output, and considering their function as part of its marketing strategy. I then go on to discuss Fayard's innovations in relation to the choice of publishing formats, which cemented the link between comic strip and mass-circulation weekly newspapers, and defined it for almost three-quarters of a century as a popular genre aimed mainly, if not exclusively, at young readers. Finally, I will analyse the major formal, graphic and thematic features of the comic strips created in these magazines.
Jan Baetens, Martha Kuhlman, Farbice Leroy, Mark McKinney, Annie Renonciat, and Tanitoc
Notes on contributors