December 7, 2021

Casterman is a comic book and children's book publishing house founded in 1777 in Tournai (Belgium) by Donat Casterman, founder of a line of publisher-printers who have known seven generations of Casterman until today. hui.


The founder, Donat Casterman (1755-1823), moved as a bookseller-bookbinder in 1777 in Tournai (Belgium) where he then became a printer and publisher. His sons Charles and Joshua helped him develop the business, and during the first half of the 19th century, it was Henri Casterman, son of Joshua, who developed an important catalog. Largely dedicated to religious or edifying publications and to works intended for young people - in particular "price books" -, printing and binding are provided in the Tournai workshops which will employ up to 170 people. He also created a subsidiary in Paris, rue Bonaparte, which will allow the publisher to develop strongly in France. When he died in 1856, his sons Louis and Henri took up the torch before dying almost simultaneously in 1906. The business then took the form of a public limited company. In the interwar period, business prospered considerably in the two departments, publishing and printing, the latter now turning to an external clientele of French publishers (Hatier, Michelin, etc.) and directories (telephone, chemin of iron...). In 1934, with Les Cigares du pharaon, Louis Casterman took over for the album publication of the adventures of Tintin that Hergé had self-edited until then in partnership with his mentor Abbé Wallez. From 1942, with L'Étoile mystérieuse, Casterman published Hergé's novelties in color on 62 pages in a presentation that would become the standard for comics published later by the house. In a few years, revamped and color versions of the adventures originally published in black and white came out. Thanks to the success of Hergé's comics, Casterman offers new series of adventures: Petzi by Vilhelm and Carla Hansen, Alix and Lefranc by Jacques Martin or Chevalier Ardent by François Craenhals. The catalog of illustrated books for children is also expanding very significantly. Brussels-born Elisabeth Ivanovsky illustrated twenty-one titles from 1949 to 1987. The Martine series, illustrated by Tournaisien Marcel Marlier, has enjoyed worldwide success with more than a hundred million copies sold today. In the 1970s, Casterman decided to conquer a more adult comic book readership by offering the first Corto Maltese albums by Hugo Pratt, in 1973 and by creating the comic book review (TO BE CONTINUED) in 1978. This last one was launched. origin of a catalog of authors such as Tardi, Schuiten, Geluck, José Muñoz, Loustal, Mattotti, etc. In the 2000s, the comics department opened its catalog to authors such as Régis Loisel and Enki Bilal, launched the “Écritures” collection (which published foreign authors such as Craig Thompson and Jirö Taniguchi, but also French people such as Catel and Bocquet or Charles Masson), the “Sakka” manga collection and the KSTR collection where the first works of Bastien Vivès appear. After many managerial and economic turbulences (in 1999, the publisher was bought by the Flammarion group, which in turn was taken over by Gallimard in 2012), Casterman is now part of the Madrigall group, the third French publishing group, him - even from the Gallimard group. Charlotte Gallimard, already at the head of Alternatives editions, was appointed CEO of Casterman by her father Antoine Gallimard, replacing Louis Delas. Editorial directions are shared between Céline Charvet for the youth department and Benoît Mouchart for the tape department

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