Semic Comics is one of the leading comic book publishers in France, also known as Semic S.A. Along with French comics, formerly the company published the official translations of products produced by DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Today, Semic publishes translations from others American publishers Avatar Press, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, and Top Cow Productions, among others.
Main article: Editions Lug
In 1950, writer/editor Marcel Navarro and Auguste Vistel founded Editions Lug. At first, the company only reprinted old French and Italian comics. But soon, Navarro decided that his company needed some original characters. He enlisted a number of French and Italian studios to create new series. Although many of them invoked characters featured in American comics, they had enough differences to make them unique.
In 1969, Editions Lug began publishing licensed translations of Marvel Comics in a magazine called Fantask. That year also saw the creation of Wampus. But French censorship forced Editions Lug to cancel both of these magazines after six issues.
In the next two decades, Editions Lug continued to expand, thanks to its growing program of French editions of Marvel Comics, which began to include Conan the Barbarian. Many new magazines and series were added to their French line. A shared universe began to emerge, although not nearly as tightly integrated as the Marvel Universe.
In the mid-1980s, Auguste Vistel died. Eventually, Marcel Navarro chose to retire. The company was sold to the Semic Group, a Scandinavian comic book publisher.
After Navarro's departure, the Semic Group continued to publish French editions of Marvel Comics, but discontinued the creation of original material. The half-dozen original Lug titles that remained became reprints-only.
During the late 1990s, the Semic Group transferred all of its French business to Tournon, their French distributors. Tournon soon broke up from the Semic Group and created their own company, Semic S.A.
In early 2004, after Semic had discontinued a line of comic books, a multinational group of writers and artists formed Hexagon Comics and reclaimed the rights to the characters they had created for Éditions Lug.