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Taking their name from the Bach cantata used as funereal accompaniment in the 18th century, Rutu Modan and Yirmi Pinkus were making a point when they chose the name. Comics had deadly sales figures in their native Israel, and if they wanted to bring life to the form, they'd have to create comics of sufficient quality on their own.
They started small in 1995, producing the four-booklet series, A Shot in the Dark. They quickly sold out of the series, thanks in no small measure to deciding to publish in English, and to take the publication to the Angouieme Comics Festival in France. The buzz on the comic was therefore good both in Israel and abroad, encouraging the group to go forward with additional publications.
Interestingly, while they were bringing high quality, Israeli-made comics to the world, the world was having an impact on Actus. As they put out additional titles, the technical influences of other markets began to creep into Actus' product line, moving them to produce works in larger formats and to introduce full-process coloring. As a result, the output of Actus has steadily risen in technical quality, while retaining the group's core intent to tell stories no one else in the world was telling.
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