Actuel (France)

Creator Type
Biographical/Historical Note

Actuel is a French monthly magazine founded in 1967 that has had four versions: first a sort of fanzine devoted to avant-garde jazz and alternative music, it became in 1970, thanks to Jean-François Bizot, the main French-speaking alternative periodical, echoing the post-May 68 libertarian movements and offering a large place to underground comics. Having played a pioneering role in the dissemination of the counter-culture in France, the newspaper scuttled in October 1975, believing that it had nothing to express in the immediate future, and this in the first year in which it was profitable.

In 1979, Actuel was reborn from its ashes in its third version and over the years became the trendy monthly magazine of the 1980s. At its peak, it flirted with 400,000 copies and popularised gonzo journalism, undertaking ambitious investigative or social reports, often offbeat, insolent or surprising, on totally new subjects.

At the end of the 1980s, the magazine ran into difficulties. The loss of its originality, competition from television photo stories and the departure of important journalists for Canal+ meant that sales fell to less than 100,000 copies. In 1991, a last formula was launched, but it could not revive the title, especially since the Loi Évin prohibited tobacco and alcohol advertising that year, which caused it to lose 45% of its advertising revenue.

The magazine disappeared in December 1994.

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Book(s) by Actuel (France)

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