Pif gadget

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Pif Gadget was a French comic magazine for children that ran from 1969 to 1993 and 2004 to 2009. Its audience peaked in the early 1970s.

History[edit]

Created as an outlet of the French Communist Party, it was initially entitled Le Jeune Patriote. Published illegally from January 1942 under Nazi Occupation of France, then legally in 1944–1945, it was succeeded by Vaillant, Le Jeune Patriote in 1945.[1] The title was moderated in 1946 to read simply Vaillant, with the tag, "le journal le plus captivant" (The Most Captivating Magazine). For the April issue of 1965, the title was changed to Vaillant, le journal de Pif, in honour of the prominently featured Pif le chien, a dog character created by José Cabrero Arnal. Until 1969, Vaillant had, like all its competitors, printed "to be continued"-stories, but the magazine in this incarnation ended with issue number 1238 on February 23, 1969.[2]

Pif Gadget started again with issue number 1, released on February 24, 1969, but retained the old number relative to Vaillant.[2] The magazine was called Pif et son gadget surprise for a few months in the beginning. The name gadget referred to the 'free gift' with each issue, including the very popular Pifises (brine shrimp in stasis, which readers could raise as minuscule pets - known in English as sea monkeys).

The magazine spawned some international spin-offs such as Yps in Germany and Jippo in Scandinavia.[3]

Pif Gadget gathered interest through its determination to publish only "complete stories" (i.e.: unserialized). Its featured comics included:

Pif Gadget's record print run was one million copies, first on April 6, 1970, and again in September 1971. This set a record for a European comic strip that still stands. The paper also benefited from being able to reach the newly industrialized countries, and was one of the select few Western magazines allowed to be sold behind the Iron Curtain due to its left-wing credentials. It went into rapid decline at the same time as the Soviet Union faded, with content thinning and stories extended over several issues. Its last major feature was during the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989. The original version was last printed in 1993.

The magazine was revived in 2004 under the aegis of Pif Editions, with runs of approximately 100,000 units. Saddled with about 4 million euros of debt, the 6-person company went into receivership (redressement judiciaire) in March 2007. The company then went into liquidation (liquidation judiciaire) on January 15, 2009.[4]

References[edit]

  • Richard Médioni, Pif Gadget : la véritable histoire des origines à 1973, édition Vaillant collector, 2003.
  • La mémoire de Vaillant et Pif BDoubliées (French)

Footnotes

  1. ^ BDoubliées. "Vaillant, le journal de PIF et Pif gadget en 1945". (French)
  2. ^ a b BDoubliées. "Vaillant, le journal de PIF et Pif gadget en 1969". (French)
  3. ^ [1] Couik et Dicentim chez les Nordiques (French)
  4. ^ [2] "Pif gadget" met la clé sous la porte, Le Monde, January 22, 2009. (French)

External links[edit]