The first director of Linus was Giovanni Gandini. The magazine published famous foreign comics books like Peanuts, Popeye, Li'l Abner, Bristow, Dick Tracy, and others. Linus was also the place where important Italian comics found space for the first time: notable examples include Neutron/Valentina by Guido Crepax and Girighiz by Enzo Lunari.
Since the very beginning, the comics section was accompanied by an extensive section dealing with society, politics, mass media, literature and other cultural themes. The first issue, for example, featured an interview done by Umberto Eco with novelist Elio Vittorini. Satirical strips by famous Italian authors like Altan, Alfredo Chiappori, Sergio Staino, Ellekappa, Angese, Vauro, Bruno D'Alfonso and by foreigners like Jules Feiffer are regularly published. Under Gandini's successor, intellectual, journalist and writer Oreste del Buono (since 1972), Linus became one of the most renowned culture magazines in Italy.
Adventures comic book series like Dick Tracy or Jeff Hawke were initially published separately on special issues. These later were moved into a monthly series, Alterlinus (later Alter Alter and simply Alter, 1974), where more adult-themed comics found place, including works by innovative French authors like Moebius, Enki Bilal or Philippe Druillet and Italian artists like Sergio Toppi, Andrea Pazienza and Lorenzo Mattotti. Pure adventure themes were published in the monthly spin-off magazine Corto Maltese, created in 1983, named after Hugo Pratt's famous character.
Enzo Baldoni, the Italian journalist and writer killed in Iraq in 2004, worked as translator for Linus, notably for the Doonesbury comic strip. Gary Trudeau wrote about him in his website shortly after the accident.