"Pilote" was a French cartoon periodical published from 1959 to 1989. Showcasing most of the major French or Belgian comics talents of its day the magazine introduced major series such as "Astérix le Gaulois", "Blueberry", "Achille Talon", and "Valérian et Laureline". Major cartoon writers like René Goscinny, Jean-Michel Charlier, Greg, Pierre Christin and Jacques Lob were featured in the magazine, as were artists such as Jijé, Morris, Albert Uderzo, Jean (Mœbius) Giraud, Enki Bilal, Jean-Claude Mézières, Jacques Tardi, Philippe Druillet, Marcel Gotlib, Alexis, and Annie Goetzinger.

Pilote also published several international talents such as Hugo Pratt, Frank Bellamy and Robert Crumb.


Following the publication of a teaser issue number 0 on June 1, "Pilote" made its debut proper on October 29, 1959.cite web | last =BDoubliées | title = Le journal Pilote en 1959 | url =http://bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/annees/1959.htm fr_icon] The magazine was started by experienced comics writers Goscinny and Charlier, and artists Albert Uderzo and Jean Hébrard. Previously this team had worked together on several other projects, creating "Le Supplément Illustré", a cartoon supplement for newspapers, and providing cartoons for "Radio-Télé", a magazine published by Radio-Luxembourg. "Pilote" was marketed by Radio-Luxembourg, and featured editorials written by popular radio personalities of the day. The 300,000 copy first issue sold out in one day.

Charlier and Goscinny handled most of the initial writing. Although Charlier came up with two popular series, Tanguy et Laverdure with Albert Uderzo and "Barbe-Rouge" ("Redbeard") with Victor Hubinon, it was Goscinny and Uderzo’s "Astérix le Gaulois" which was the biggest hit and the magazine’s initial mainstay.


Financial problems arose in 1960, but were resolved when the magazine was bought out by Dargaud publishers. Dargaud expanded the magazine with several new series, including Charlier and Giraud’s "Blueberry" and Greg's "Achille Tallon" in 1963. In 1967 the popular science-fiction series "Valérian et Laureline" debuted and in 1968 the popular Western comedy "Lucky Luke" (by Morris) was transferred to "Pilote" from "Spirou". Other notable appearances included series from the British comics magazine "Eagle" such as "Fraser l'Africain" ("Fraser of Africa") and "Winston Churchill" by Frank Bellamy.

Attempts were made in the 1970s to update the magazine with material of more interest to adults, but many artists like Druillet and Giraud felt "Pilote" was no longer the appropriate vehicle for their aspirations and left to found new magazines such as "Métal Hurlant" (French origin of "Heavy Metal"). Partly as a result, Dargaud reduced "Pilote"’s publication schedule from weekly to monthly in 1974, and René Goscinny was replaced as editor-in-chief. At this time, a new generation of artists also started publishing in "Pilote", namely Caza, Lauzier, and F'Murr. Their comics reflected the new, more adult direction.

Sales initially improved but a steady erosion took place through the 1980s as interest in the medium declined. "Pilote" was merged with the comics magazine "Charlie Mensuel" in 1986 and continued as "Pilote et Charlie" until 1988, when the name was changed back to "Pilote". However, declining sales prompted Dargaud to suspend publication after what became the final issue on October 1, 1989.cite web | last =BDoubliées | title = Le journal Pilote en 1989 | url =http://bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/annees/1989.htm fr_icon]


* [http://bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/annees/index.html "Pilote" publications by the year] BDoubliées fr_icon


External links

* [http://www.bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/ La mémoire de "Pilote"] issue descriptions on BDoubliées fr_icon

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