Editions Lug

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Editions Lug was a French comic book publisher created in 1950 by writer/editor Marcel Navarro and businessman Auguste Vistel.


When it started, Editions Lug only reprinted old French and Italian comics in digest-sized magazines.

Among its most popular Italian imports were:

The latter three from Studio EsseGesse.

Another notable non-French comic book series published by Editions Lug at the time is Dan Dare (in 1962).

However, early on, Navarro decided that his company needed some original characters. He enlisted a number of French and Italian studios to script and draw original series and began experimenting with a wide variety of genres. The look and feel of these series was often evocative of 1960s DC Comics.

Editions Lug's first major original success was a Tarzan-like jungle lord named Zembla (1963); its eponymous title was an immediate hit. Among other notable characters created at the times were Rakar, a masked Lakota chief, Tanka, another jungle lord, Gun Gallon, a John Carter of Mars-type hero lost on a parallel world with three moons, World War II hero Rick Ross aka Baroud, kung-fu cowboy Jed Puma, Barbary Coast corsair Dragut and superhero Pilote Noir.

In 1968, Claude Vistel, Auguste Vistel's daughter, returned from a trip to New York and convinced Navarro to publish the first translations of Marvel Comics in France, in a magazine entitled Fantask (1969), which featured Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the Silver Surfer.

Sensing that he was on to something, Navarro followed suit with his own creations. Wampus was launched the same year; it featured the eponymous alien monster sent by an evil cosmic intelligence to destroy the Earth, and the exploits of a S.H.I.E.L.D.-like organization named C.L.A.S.H.. Unfortunately, Editions Lug had run-ins with French censorship, and both Fantask and Wampus were cancelled after only six issues.

The following year, Navarro re-launched the Marvel characters, first in a magazine called Strange, then in Marvel (which also fell victim to censorship a year later). At the same time, he continued to introduce more new French characters in magazines such as:

The late 1970s and early 1980s were arguably the best years of the company. Its line of French-language Marvel editions thrived with titles such as Titans (1976), Nova (1978), Spidey (1979) and graphic novels of The Fantastic Four (1973), Conan the Barbarian (1976), etc.

A number of new original titles were added, including a revamped version of Mustang (1980), which published Photonik, Mikros and Ozark. Other characters introduced during this period included Phenix (1978) and Starlock (1980). It even licensed its own creations to Spanish and Italian companies, where they sold with great success.

Around this time, a shared universe began to emerge. It wasn't nearly as tightly integrated as the Marvel Universe. While the titles made references to each other, characters from different titles never interacted directly.

In the mid-80's, Auguste Vistel died. This was the beginning of the end for Editions Lug. Eventually, Marcel Navarro chose to retire. The company was sold to the Semic Group, a Scandinavian comic book publisher, and later became a French company, Semic Comics.

In 2004, a group of former Lug writers and artists reclaimed the rights to their characters and reorganized under the banner of Hexagon Comics.

Selected Titles[edit]

Selected characters[edit]

External links[edit]