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Lucky Luke: A Slow On The Draw Review

Rob Ayers Rob Ayers
Contributor
September 25th, 2015

Resides in Vienna, Austria where he constantly wrangles his weird world into shape as a comic book artist, storyboard artist, writer & performer.

Lucky Luke: A Slow On The Draw Review
Comics
44 Comments
Review of: Lucky Luke
Price:
Excellent

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On September 25, 2015
Last modified:September 25, 2015

Summary:

A steady ray of sunshine good for everyone, regardless of how dark your predilections may be.

Review of: Lucky Luke
Price:
Excellent

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On September 25, 2015
Last modified:September 25, 2015

Summary:

A steady ray of sunshine good for everyone, regardless of how dark your predilections may be.

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Our Rob Ayers likes to go back and review older comics and make sure they get the attention they’re due. This week, he looks at Lucky Luke in this Slow On The Draw Review.

Did you know they have comics in Europe?

Weird, right?

Once you’ve absorbed that crazy idea, I recommend you rush out to your local comic shop, head straight to the back where they keep the old, odd, oversized books with the funny writing in them – you know the ones I’m talking about – in that box with the masking tape holding the corners together, under the table display of vintage tin lunch boxes nobody buys anymore- and find yerself the one titled Lucky Luke.

You can thank me later.

Run-on sentences & passive sarcasm aside, this is an infinitely cool book. I’m sure many of you have heard of it, or have come across it, and for our European readers, you probably have a fistful of issues in your collection right now.

Story continues below

In the spirit of full disclosure, I was never really jazzed about the comics that came out of the countries of Europa, and to be honest, I still only check them out after I’ve looked at the Yankee & Brit releases.

Being an American-born comic junky, I was naturally hooked on superheroes, and later darker, weirder things from indie creators & publishers in America & England. The light, humorous & high-adventure fare of France, Belgium, and Spain, among other countries, just didn’t catch my attention the way Marvel, DC, Vertigo & Dark Horse did, and still do with the addition of all the rising publishers we find on the selves today. When I go to my local comic shop, here in Vienna, I bypass all the bright, slightly to not-so-slightly cartoonish covers, and head straight for the American books at the back.

But somebody finally got one of these silly books in my hands, and I realized I had been remiss to forsake the forefathers of modern comics! How could I have been so foolish?!

It’s easy, really. No need for the dramatics. The top titles across Europe are cute & fun & funny, or serious, quasi-realistic, usually historical & classically adventurous. Like I mentioned in a previous article, I have preferences. We all do. These common attributes among the top titles here just don’t fall into my parameters of “Oh, wow!”. They do, however, suit many others’ idea of “Oh, wow!”, and it was one of these dear people that slipped a copy of Lucky Luke into my stash.

Lucky Luke, by Morris, Pilote Magazine

Lucky Luke, by Morris, Pilote Magazine

Lucky Luck is a Belgian title created by Maurice De Bevere, back in 1946. It’s evolved quite a bit since then in appearance, but it’s always maintained the clever wit it started with: cartoonish, funny, and everything I want when I occasionally feel the need to crawl out from the damp shadows & take in a little sunshine.

Lucky Luke himself is a lone cowboy in the old west of 1800’s America. He roams the land on his trusty steed, Jolly Jumper, getting into adventures like a ronin samurai (never killing, only swiftly disarming & foiling the villains with an expertly placed bullet), and generally being really cool & silly over & over again in every book. Maurice De Bevere, also known simply as Morris, wrote & drew the series from 1946 to 1955, when he handed over writing duties to René Goscinny, though Morris continued to draw the book until his death in 2001. Other writers took the scripting helm in those decades, and another artist, Achdé, took over the art duties of the book after Morris’ death, and through it all Lucky Luke, the adventures he had, the characters he met & loved & fought with, and the world they inhabited never faltered. It was & is consistently, naturally & fluidly maintained for all to enjoy, regardless of the publishing date.

If you have any reservations about dropping a few dollars on such a book, I kindly direct you to check out the animated film Go West: a Lucky Luke Adventure or Tous à l’Ouest: Une aventure de Lucky Luke, in the original French. This movie perfectly captures the sharp humor of the characters & the fullness of the atmosphere in the book. It’s also easily found with solid translations in English, among other languages, in most, if not all, movie providing services such as Netfilx & YouTube.

So there’s that. This is a fun, funny book full of bright colors & goofy escapades, and I love it. It’s a strange place for me to be in, as I’m normally most comfortable in darker, surreal realms of storytelling, but for ole’ Lucky Luke, I happily take a break from the gritty gloom & vicious absurdities I’m used to.

I think, in the end, it’s simply something humanly familiar in the very nature of the book that makes it so addictively appealing. Lucky Luke himself sums it up pretty tightly with his common closing line at the finale of each book;

Lucky Luke, by Morris, Pilote Magazine

Lucky Luke, by Morris, Pilote Magazine

I think we’ve all felt that, if we’re not feeling it right now.

Story continues below

It’s just refreshing to hear a sentiment like that with a wink and a smirk, rather than a squint and a grimace.

What do you think?

What are your favourite European comics?

Let us know!

 

Rob Ayers is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: S_R_Ayers

Lucky Luke

  • 5

Excellent

A steady ray of sunshine good for everyone, regardless of how dark your predilections may be.

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