French Disney weekly
mouse-ducks at wanadoo.fr
Tue Aug 24 01:53:31 CEST 2004
>>>> Droped from 200,000 to 150,000 in 4 years. I think
>>>> this is also due to the horrible editorial concept,
>>>> which is to avoid comics for articles about music or
>>>> cinema or stars that you find in teen magazines.
Exactly, with this addition: the so-called "articles" consist in a few
paragraphs made of the simplest sentences possible. You'll find as much
prose on a box of corn flakes, maybe even more. Oh, and said prose is
naturally of the "hip" kind.
>>>> Recent French issues don't show Disney characters on
>>>> their covers, and almost as much non-Disney comics
>>>> than Disney comics.
Absolutely. it's hard ot tell they're Disney comics, starting with the
There were non-Disney comics in my youth as well ('74-'80's), but they were
quality strips: Flash Gordon, Mandrake, the Katzenjammer Kids (well,
whatever incranation of them; I know there was a split and the name
changed; I'm not sure which run it was, but that's of little concern here),
And what few Disney comics remain are of pretty poor quality and little
The worst example I know of: the issue of Le Journal de Mickey released on
Donald's birthday was a terrible shame. A short "paragraph" in the inside
cover and 4 pages of pictures of Interduck's paintings (with silly
commentaries). The real main event the issue celebrated was the soccer
championship! The Donald story featured Donald playing soccer.
I did not buy that thing. It was an utter disgrace to years and years of
By trying to appeal to kids that are not interested in reading, let alone
Disney comics, they have surely lost a good part of their readership. I am
sure many parents who had fond memories of LJdM bought it for their own
children, read a few issues, and stoped buying it.
I must say I was disappointed to find soccer stories in Gemstone's comics as
well. I find it all the stranger as it is not even an American sport.
French Disney magazines are indeed doomed if they maintain such editorial
policy. A huge nostalgia wave has been developing for a few years, with
people rediscovering the cartoons they loved when they were children, buying
the DVD's and even CD's of children's TV programs themes. I ahve bought
such DVD's as well, and have been moved to tears visiting websites and
watching the opening titles of shows I haven't seen in ages, that I grew up
The same people that buy those DVD's and CD's and make those sites are now
old enough to have children, and would most certainly love to buy them
Disney magazines and find the same kind of comics, of real articles, of
overall quality, that they enjoyed in their childhood and have even faint
but fond memories of.
There's no big secret, just an age-old principle: the most successful
children's stories, comics, TV shows and movies have always been those that
respect their target audience, that don't talk down to them, that don't dumb
down everything to please they silliest that won't ever be interested anyway
(those that prefer to follow the dumb crowd and like what they're told to
Incidentally, Don wrote it again recently; "I don't write for children, but
what I find interesting & amusing stories" (please forgive my paraphrasing).
That what makes Disney's 30-40 year old movies classics, or the success of
Pixar's movies, or of La Fontaine's tales: the form is deceptively simple
and aimed at children, but there's more to it, so that children can learn
something as they read, keep discovering things as they grow up and return
to those stories, and "grown-ups" cna ejoy them.
Sadly, French Disney editors have been doing exactly the opposite. The
so-called articles deal with the most trivial subjects imaginable, and are
poorly written. Three-elementary-sentence paragraphs don't make a text, just
barely a caption.
Of course, now that they have gone this far, turning 180 degrees and
offering *shudder* quality and *gasp* real articles, with-- the horror!--
well-constructed complex sentences consisting of richer vocabulary than
street & TV lingo would probably be a risk, now that an entire generation
has been endoctrinated with a distate for culture, be it through TV, movies,
or the one thing that could have best shown them that culture & learning are
alright and can be fun: Disney magazines.
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