It took the patient and painstaking work of collector François Hébert to enumerate the plethora of publishers that began publishing dime novels in Quebec between 1940 and the mid-1960s. To date, Hébert has been able to identify 66 publishing houses having printed some 238 series, for an astronomical total of over 11,000 dime novels.
Within this vast continent, Éditions Police-Journal occupied a large part of the territory, with 8 series totaling some 5,500 dime novels. This publishing house, founded by Edgar L’Espérance (who purchased Éditions du Bavard from Eugène L’Archevêque), therefore produced nearly half of the titles available on the market. Within no time, Éditions P-J began centering their promotion on the “quality” of their output relative to their competitors, urging readers to beware of imitations.
The history of Police-Journal’s main competitors, notably Éditions Irène and Éditions Bigalle, remains to be written… Nevertheless, the titles of series published by the competition reveal an effort on their part to borrow Éditions Police-Journal’s recipe for success: “Les aventures extraordinaires de l’agent ZED 29, l’as des as du contre-espionnage canadien,” “Les aventures extraordinaires de l’espion no 13, l’infaillible espion canadien,” “Le génial espion X-14, agent secret canadien,” all published by Éditions Irène, border on plagiarism of the famous series launched by Éditions Police-Journal, “Les aventures étranges de l’agent IXE-13, l’as des espions canadiens”