News: Personality-Driven French Comics Magazine Launches posted June 3, 2004
June 2 -- Comics creations are generally more famous than their creations, and magazines covering the form in all languages have largely reflected this fact. Launching today, Bande Dessinee Nouvelle sticks out as a personality-driven magazine that covers the French comics market through its leading cartoonists. Published by Soleil, the magazine features photos of cartoonists on its debut cover in a way that makes it look like the European version of a magazine like People rather than a comics-related periodical.
Whether or not that approach will work in today's market is an entirely different matter. "It will be a tough uphill climb for a magazine like this one," says Journal European comics columnist Bart Beaty. "Their advantage will be that Soleil is a well-financed genre-comics publisher with a solid fanbase. The disadvantage will be that there really isn't that large a celebrity culture around comics in France to justify a magazine that is being sold at newsstands, with their attendant returns." Beaty notes that newsstand comic magazines have been in a long period of decline in France, which makes a magazine about comics that much more of a longshot.