"A poor lonesome cowboy and a long way from home".

Lucky Luke is the title character of a far west parody created by Morris in 1949 as an indirect result of an extensive influence of American pop culture in Europe after World War II. Several american comics about cowboys appeared in Europe at this time, all with realistic drawings and serious storylines. Morris made an humourous twist on the tradition for Spirou magazine, and after Goscinny joined as a script writer the Lucky Luke series quickly became a success.

Lucky Luke is published by Dupuis. More than 200 million albums are sold by today, and Morris is still active producing new albums.

The humour in Lucky Luke's books is based on the intelligence gap between the hero and the bad guys, which avoids any real suspense and lets the reader laugh at the bad guys. However, the style is less elaborate than in Asterix and there are less allusions to the modern world. That is why, once and adult, you have less fun re-reading these books. They still have some interest because the parody covers many parts of the Old West mythology.

These are the main characters:

  • Lucky Luke. He is a tall and slim man. His face has a very simple shape, so that he is neither beautiful or ugly, like Tintin. He never angers, and succeeds in everything he does. He is so fast at shooting that he reaches his target before his own shade has even moved. As far as I know, he has no past and no family, at least in the "classical" books. He used to smoke, but now he chews a grass strand, because he doesn't make ads for Marlboro.
  • The Dalton brothers. They are four evil, but stupid, gangsters. They look exactly the same, except for their size and meanness. Joe Dalton is the smallest and the worst of all. He always decides what silly thing they will do next. Jack and William, who are taller, are undistinguishable. Averell is the tallest, and he really thinks about nothing but food.
    The Dalton brothers do not appear in all the comics. When they appear, they usually evade from a penitentiary at the beginning, and are brought back by Lucky Luke at the end.
    They are the cousins of the real Dalton Brothers (Frank, Grat, Bob, Emmett), who appeared in an early Lucky Luke comics and died.
  • Jolly Jumper. He is Lucky Luke's horse, and his animal counterpart. He is the most intelligent horse in the West, and plays chess with Lucky Luke. He can also run and sleep at the same time.
  • Rantanplan. He is the animal counterpart of the Dalton brothers, since he is the dumbest dog in the West. He never knows who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in the story. However, his mistakes ultimately produce the right thing.

A lot of real XIXth century people appear at one time or another, like Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Sarah Bernhardt and Calamity Jane.

A spinoff series features Rantanplan as the main character. A separate book also tells us about Lucky Luke's childhood. You probably don't want to read these books.

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