Okay. I know some of you got the reference, but I won’t talk about R.Kelly’s first album on my blog. No, I will talk about the day I was literally born in professional comics. And it all began on July 10th, 1998 with the publication of COMIC BOX#1.
This coming week, COMIC BOX#84, the magazine’s 15th anniversary issue will be on shelves. If I’m correct, COMIC BOX is one of the few regular professional magazines still in print in the world. And apart from a “short” hiatus (June 2001-July 2005) it has been released continuously (first monthly, then bimonthly). In France, it’s the oldest magazine about comics still published.
Believe me, when I created it, I hoped it would last, but not that long! 😉
If you omit issue #1 which is probably the weakest issue ever produced due to a lot of unfortunate circumstances, COMIC BOX has matured but remained basically the same: a blend of information, in-depth interviews with creators, features on the medium– its impact on economy or society throughout the years, as well as cult-columns such as “Dr Psycho” which is a view at comic heroes’ qualities and flaws with irony and tenderness.
I have a lot of memories from the first issues. How it was hard to explain to everyone what we were doing, because there was no equivalent of COMIC BOX on the French market. Even to the Americans. Most of them were like : “What? There’s a magazine about American comics in France? Who are you?”.
I remember that the first American to trust us and grant us interviews was Top Cow. In issue #1, we got to interview Mike Turner and David Finch for Fathom and Ascension, respectively. I’ll always have nice memories of the late Mike Turner. Especially when Lise made a bet with Frank Mastromauro (Aspen’s boss) about a Fathom sketchpad we wanted to make and that he said Mike would never do. But he did it! And we published it in COMIC BOX#24.
There are so many stories to share from these days… I’ll probably need a few more posts to tell all of them. 😉 But i will.
I left COMIC BOX in 2011 but I’ll be connected to the magazine for as long as it exists. In a lot of the readers’ minds, for sure. But also because I guess it’s like seeing your baby growing up, leaving home and watching him from a distance to make sure everything’s okay. That said, I couldn’t be happier with how the actual team works. Xavier Fournier, Lise Benkemoun and Pierre Bisson, the three surgeons who make COMIC BOX’s heart beat (plus a handful of freelancers) cook up, every two month, a challenging product. How do you stay fresh after all this time? How can you be relevant as a print magazine when so many readers aren’t buying paper products anymore? Well… Looks like COMIC BOX is unique. It survived the internet. It defied logic many times. COMIC BOX is like a boxer. Always coming back for another round! 😉
After 15 years, I’m still amazed by how this little idea of mine is still alive and well.
Thanks to everyone that made the journey possible. The readers. The retailers. The enemies. The publishers. COMIC BOX, I had a ball being part of your creation once again for issue #84, but I’ll go back to my own writing projects. Oh, I’ll still be there if you need me. Don’t worry. 🙂
Et si vous êtes francophones, et que vous en avez la possibilité, COUREZ ACHETER COMIC BOX#84, en vente dès le 17 aout 2013!