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The Belgian Cowboy
I can't remember having seen Lucky Luke before at least 1955, but his character was created in 1945 by Morris, a false and assumed nom de plume probably derived from Maurice. George Stevens' classic western movie Shane (1953) seems to have made some slight impression on him.
Shane (1953) DVDLater, from The Singing Wire, Goscinny started writing the scenarios and, gradually, the strip degraded (if I may use the word - well, try and stop me) to mere greasy kids' stuff. Small wonder, as Goscinny also did Asterix which was on that level right from the start. (Strangely, I do know Goscinny's first name was René). After Goscinny died, regretted by almost all, this trend steadily grew worse and I finally stopped buying the damn things. Absolutely infantile c'est le mot juste. Old stuff by Morris was dusted off and published as well. A real pity. I guess many people agreed with me, seeing how publisher Dargaud eventually left Luke in the lurch.
Western saga with Alan Ladd as a former gunfighter who defends homesteaders and is idolized by a young boy. Two-fisted action and a tearful finale mark this George Stevens classic. Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde, Jack Palance, Jean Arthur. 118 min. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; audio commentary; theatrical trailer; scene access.
A very good and funny strip. From the titles you'll notice Morris often took existing names and worked them into a book; he also was inspired by books and old-time Western situations. The strips are full of references to actual characters like Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln, as well as to actors, movie directors and what-have-you. But here, as always, you have to watch out for overdetecting; I jumped to the conclusion that the drunk sheriff in Dick Digger's Gold Mine was inspired by Dean Martin in Rio Bravo, complete with set design.
Rio Bravo (1959) DVDBut Rio Bravo was only released in 1959 and the strip is signed 1947. (There are dating problems with the strip, some of which I have been figuring out as a Public Service service to my fellow maniacs). There is much less racism here then in Tintin : Non-whites are not more stereotyped than Irishmen or Italians. The closest thing to bigotry I have found really is not something I can take exception to. Also contrary to Tintin, Lucky Luke is a ladies' man. There even exists a rip-off porno version, but that's another story.
Howard Hawks' western classic stars John Wayne as a sheriff whose town is under siege by the army of gunmen brought in by crooked cattle baron John Russell to free his brother, trigger-happy Claude Akins, from Wayne's jail. The Duke's only allies are elderly sidekick Walter Brennan, drunken ex-deputy Dean Martin, and fiery young gunslinger Ricky Nelson. Angie Dickinson, Ward Bond also star. 141 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese; theatrical trailer; scene access.
What I always liked about these books is how the drawing style kept changing. Not only through the years; all of a sudden there's a book that's completely different from what came before and after.
Lucky Luke used to be a heavy smoker, but he had to give up, cold turkey too - for commercial reasons.
They were not healthy and it just goes to show where giving in gets you: Public appeal dropped more and more. Still, my friend Ruud den Drijver tells me Hanna-Barbera insisted on this when paying him 1 million dollars for the television animation rights, so for Morris it was worth it. My, I would have stopped smoking myself for that sort of money, but nobody ever paid me for it.
There did not seem to be a problem with liquor. Still, when I tried to get this site on the Lucky Luke ring, just like with Tintin they never bothered to reply. Too much cussing and nudity here? But I'll have to admit I like cussing and nudity.
more on the Joy of
List of Lucky Luke titles in order of publication
(with the last frames of all albums)
Lucky Luke in the Movies
Real Daltons real dead.
Morris took the worst crook he knew
as model for these monsters
the real Billy the Kid
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