Lucky Luke

Lucky Luke
Lucky Luke
Sous le Ciel de l'Ouest (1952), cover of an early softcovered issue.
Publication information
Publisher Lucky Comics (French)
Cinebook Ltd (English)
First appearance Le Journal de Spirou Almanach #47, December 7, 1946
Created by Morris

Lucky Luke is a Belgian comics series created by Belgian cartoonist, Maurice De Bevere better known as Morris, the original artist, and was for one period written by René Goscinny. Set in the American Old West, it stars the titular character, Lucky Luke, the cowboy known to shoot faster than his shadow.

Along with The Adventures of Tintin and Asterix, Lucky Luke is one of the most popular and best-selling comic-book series in continental Europe.[1] Popular in Canada, about half of the series' adventures have been translated into English. Lucky Luke comics have been translated into 23 languages, including many European languages, some African and Asian languages.


Publication history

First appearance of Lucky Luke and Jolly Jumper in Arizona 1880 (1946)

Both a tribute to the mythic Old West and an affectionate parody, the comics were created by the Belgian artist Morris who drew Lucky Luke from 1946 until his death in 2001. The first Lucky Luke adventure named Arizona 1880 appeared in the Almanach issue of the comics magazine Le Journal de Spirou on December 7, 1946.[2] After several years of solitary work on the strip, Morris began a collaboration with René Goscinny who became the series' writer for a period that is considered the golden age of the series. This started with the story Des rails sur la Prairie published on August 25, 1955 in Spirou.[3] Ending a long run of serial publications in Spirou, the series shifted to Goscinny's magazine Pilote in 1967 with the story La Diligence, subsequently leaving publisher Dupuis for Dargaud.

After the death of Goscinny in 1977, several writers have tried to fill the role of storyteller, including Vicq, Bob de Groot, Jean Léturgie and Lo Hartog Van Banda. In addition to continuing the series, Morris started the related spin-off series Rantanplan in 1987. At the 1993 Angoulême International Comics Festival, Lucky Luke was given an honorary exhibition.[4]

After Morris' death in 2001, French artist Achdé continued drawing new Lucky Luke stories in collaboration with writer Laurent Gerra.

Lucky Luke comics have been translated into Afrikaans, Arabic, Bosnian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (both in the Brazilian and Portuguese forms), Serbian , Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese and Welsh.

The stories

Although always described as a cowboy, Luke generally acts as a bounty hunter or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses. A recurring task is that of capturing bumbling gangsters the Dalton brothers, Joe, William, Jack and Averell, and sometimes even their mother, Ma Dalton. He rides Jolly Jumper, "the smartest horse in the world" and is often accompanied by Rantanplan, "the stupidest dog in the universe", a spoof of Rin Tin Tin.

Luke meets many historical Western figures like Calamity Jane, Billy the Kid, Judge Roy Bean and Jesse James's gang, and takes part in events such as the guarding of Wells Fargo stagecoaches, the Pony Express, the building of the first transcontinental telegraph, the Rush into the Unassigned Lands of Oklahoma, and a tour by French actress Sarah Bernhardt. Some of the books feature a one-page article on the background to the events featured. Goscinny once said that he and Morris tried to base the Lucky Luke adventures on real events whenever possible, but that they would not let the facts get in the way of a funny story.

The chronology of the albums is deliberately murky, and in most albums no particular year is given. The villains and incidental characters based on real persons lived over most of the mid- to late-19th century. For example, in the album Daily Star, Lucky Luke meets a young Horace Greeley, prior to his moving to New York. Although no year is mentioned in the album, this story must take place circa 1830, since the real Horace Greeley moved to New York in 1831. Judge Roy Bean, who was appointed judge in 1882, appears in another album, taking place some fifty years later – and in another album, Lucky Luke takes part in the 1892 Coffeyville shootout against the Dalton Gang. Lucky Luke himself is, of course, always the same age.

"Except for the first album, Lucky Luke has never killed any opponent but still, he seemed to carry along a heavy burden, never committing to anything or anybody, and always riding off into the sunset." [5]

At the end of each story, except the earliest, Lucky Luke rides off alone into the sunset on Jolly Jumper, singing (in English) "I'm a poor lonesome cowboy, and a long way from home...".

Jesse James

In 1969, Morris and writer René Goscinny (co-creator of Asterix) had Lucky Luke confronting Jesse James, his brother Frank James and Cole Younger. The adventure poked fun at the image of Jesse as a new Robin Hood. Although he passes himself off as such and does indeed steal from the rich (who are, logically, the only ones worth stealing from), he and his gang take turns being "poor," thus keeping the loot for themselves. Frank quotes from Shakespeare, and Younger is portrayed as a fun-loving joker, full of good humor. One critic has likened this version of the James brothers as "intellectual bandits, who won't stop theorising about their outlaw activities and hearing themselves talk."[6] In the end, the at-first-cowed people of a town fight back against the James gang and send them packing tar and feathers. - Note the parodic depictions of the Pinkertons.


"Lucky Luke's famous cigarette not only identifies a profile but allows the tempo to be modified and extended, expressing a feeling: in Le Pied-tendre (The Tenderfoot), Morris shows Lucky Luke's feelings at the death of a friend in a series of three frames in which the hero rolls and spills a cigarette."[7]

Morris, who has been criticized over Lucky Luke's cigarette for a long time, answered his critics : "the cigarette is part of the character's profile, just like the pipe of Popeye or Maigret".[8] It is claimed that, Morris was forced to remove cigarettes Lucky Luke smokes from his strip and Lucky Luke who "used to be a heavy smoker", had to give up smoking for "commercial reasons", "apparently to gain access to the American market".[7][9][10] On World No Tobacco Day in 1989, the magazine Spirou published a militantly anti-tobacco issue, #2668. [7][11] Morris won an award from the World Health Organization in 1988 when he replaced Luke's omnipresent cigarette with a wisp of straw in 1983, "an anti-cigarette poster today proclaims "Even Lucky Luke can't stand them!" and shows the happy cowboy in a radical reversal of his image".[7][12][13] In the 2007 animated film "Tous à l'Ouest: Une aventure de Lucky Luke", Lucky Luke is seen using what appears to be a nicotine patch and mentions that before that he had to "chew on a piece of straw for a while" right after he quit smoking. In the story "The bridge over the Mississipi", he is seen rolling a cigarette again, although he claims it was just to hide his boredom.


Some of the humour in Lucky Luke is based on clichés and stereotypes, including many ethnic stereotypes of "sneaky" Chinese or "lazy" Mexicans,[5] Native Americans, Irish and Italians[10] as well as "darky" depictions of Afro-Americans. According to the Forbidden Planet (bookstore) correspondent: "They played on the clichés of the genre, with humour that nowadays probably would be considered quite racist (lazy Mexicans, sneaky Chinese), but also with a special sort of being satire, mirroring contemporary social platitudes." [5] Lucky Luke himself however, treats everyone with respect and protects any (stereotype-or-not) vulnerable person against injustice.

Lucky Luke characters of non-fiction origin

Lucky Luke in other media

French DVD cover for the Terence Hill film


Four theatrical animated films were created. In 1990, Disney released one of them, The Ballad of the Daltons, on VHS. Three of the movies were part of a trilogy. The first of the films was titled Daisy Town (1971), followed by La Ballade des Dalton (1978) and finished by Les Dalton en cavale (1983), meaning The Daltons on the Loose in English. In addition to the theatrical animated movies, there was also an animated Lucky Luke television series: In 1983, Hanna-Barbera studios and Morris released 26 episodes, and in 1991, 26 more episodes were released. In 2001, Xilam produced a new series of 52 episodes known as Les Nouvelles aventures de Lucky Luke (Lucky Luke's new adventures). It is now available on 8 DVDs with French and English audio tracks. This series also featured colonel Custer, in this incarnation an Indian-hater and a dwarf. Xilam recently produced a theatrical animated film (the fourth film), Tous à l'Ouest: Une aventure de Lucky Luke (Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure), which was released in France on December 5, 2007.[14]

Live-action film and television

In 1991, two films (Lucky Luke and Lucky Luke 2) and in 1992 a television series (The Adventures of Lucky Luke) starring Terence Hill as Lucky Luke were produced.

In 2004 the film Les Dalton featured Til Schweiger as Lucky Luke.

In 2009, Yves Marmion and UGC, the producers of Les Dalton, produced the film Lucky Luke starring French comedian Jean Dujardin as the gunslinger. The film was released on October 21, 2009 in Europe.

Television Shows

Video games

Over the years, several Lucky Luke video games were released for many platforms, most of them by Infogrames, and only released in Europe (the only ones released for the North American market were the Game Boy Color and PlayStation versions). A Lucky Luke game was also developed for mobile phones by The Mighty Troglodytes.[citation needed] Lucky Luke: Go West was released in Europe for the PC, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS in the end of 2007.

Collected editions

By Morris (1949-1958)

Dupuis Publishing

By Morris & Goscinny (1957-1986)

Dupuis Publishing

Dargaud Publishing

By Morris and various writers (1980-2002)

Dargaud Publishing

  • 47. Le Magot des Dalton, 1980, by Vicq (The Daltons' Loot)
  • 48. Le Bandit manchot, 1981, by Bob de Groot (The One-Armed Bandit)
  • 49. Sarah Bernhardt, 1982, by Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche
  • 52. Fingers, 1983, by Lo Hartog Van Banda
  • 53. Le Daily Star, 1983, by Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche (The Daily Star)
  • 54. La Fiancée de Lucky Luke, 1985, by Guy Vidal (Lucky Luke's Fiancee)
  • 56. Le Ranch maudit, 1986, by Jean Léturgie, Xavier Fauche and Claude Guylouis (The Cursed Ranch)
  • 57. Nitroglycérine, 1987, by Lo Hartog Van Banda
  • 58. L'Alibi, 1987, by Claude Guylouis (The Alibi)
  • 59. Le Pony Express, 1988], by Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche (The Pony Express)

Lucky Productions

  • 60. L'Amnésie des Dalton, 1991, by Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche (The Daltons' Amnesia)
  • 61. Chasse aux fantômes, 1992, by Lo Hartog Van Banda (Ghosthunt)
  • 62. Les Dalton à la noce, 1993, by Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche (The Daltons at a Wedding)
  • 63. Le Pont sur le Mississippi, 1994, by Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche (Bridge Over The Mississippi)
  • 64. Kid Lucky, 1995, by Pearce and Jean Léturgie
  • 65. Belle Star, 1995, by Xavier Fauche
  • 66. Le Klondike, 1996, by Yann and Jean Léturgie (The Klondike)
  • 67. O.K. Corral, 1997, by Eric Adam and Xavier Fauche
  • 68. Oklahoma Jim, 1997, by Pearce and Jean Léturgie
  • 69. Marcel Dalton, 1998, by Bob de Groot

Lucky Comics

  • 70. Le Prophète, 2000, by Patrick Nordmann (The Prophet)
  • 71. L'Artiste peintre, 2001, by Bob de Groot (The Painter)
  • 72. La Légende de l'Ouest, 2002, by Patrick Nordmann (The Legend Of The West)

By Achdé & Gerra (Since 2004)

Lucky Comics

  • 73. La Belle Province, 2004 (The Beautiful Province)
  • 74. La Corde au cou, 2006 (The Noose)
  • 75. L'Homme de Washington, 2008 (The man from Washington)

By Achdé, Benacquista & Pennac (Since 2010)[15]

Lucky Comics

  • 76. Lucky Luke contre Pinkerton, 2010 (Lucky Luke vs Pinkerton)

English translations

Apart from the collections mentioned below, Lucky Luke comics were published in British comic book magazines such as Film Fun Comic or Giggle (in 1967). The Giggle version had Luke's name changed to "Buck Bingo".[16] Cinebook Ltd have been publishing English language translations of Lucky Luke since 2006. One new volume is released every two months. In India only, Euro Books, a division of Euro Kids International Ltd. published English versions of 24 Lucky Luke titles in 2009.

Brockhampton Press (UK)

Knight Books (UK)

  • The Stagecoach, 1976
  • Apache Canyon, 1977

Dargaud USA and Canada

  • The Stage Coach, USA, 1980s
  • The Greenhorn, USA, 1980s
  • Dalton City, USA, 1980s
  • Jesse James, USA, 1980s
  • Western Circus, USA, 1980s
  • Ma Dalton, USA, 1980s
  • The Dalton Brothers' Analyst, Canada, 1982
  • Curing the Daltons, Canada, 1982

Fantasy Flight (US)

Ravette Books (UK)

  • The Dalton Brothers Memory Game, 1991

Glo'worm (UK)

Cinebook Ltd


See also



Further reading

  • Lefevre, Pascal. 1998. Lucky Luke, a 'lonesome cowboy' for more than half a century. In The Low Countries, 1998-1999. Rekkem: Stichting Ons Erfdeel.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lucky Luke — Statue in Siegershausen Lucky Luke ist die Titelfigur einer seit 1946 erscheinenden belgischen Comic Serie des Zeichners Morris. Lucky Luke ist mit mehr als 30 Millionen verkauften Alben in Deutschland die erfolgreichste Comic Serie im Alben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lucky Luke —   [ lʌkɪ luːk], Titelheld der gleichnamigen französischen Comicserie von Morris (eigentlich Maurice de Bévère, * 1923, ✝ 2001), deren erste Geschichte »Arizona 1880« 1947 im »Almanach Spirou« erschien. Texter war 1955 78 R. Goscinny (seit 1980… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lucky Luke — es el protagonista de la serie de historietas de origen francés que lleva su nombre. La misma está ambientada en el lejano oeste. Parte parodia y parte tributo al mítico lejano oeste, los albumes fueron ilustrados por el belga Morris (1923 2001) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Lucky Luke — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Lucky Luke (homonymie). Lucky Luke Série Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lucky Luke — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lucky Luke — Western tegneserien Lucky Luke blev skabt i 1945 af den belgiske tegner Morris, hvis rigtige navn var Aldus Maurice de Bevère …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Lucky Luke —    Dessin animé de Morris, René Goscinny et Pierre Tchernia, d après les bandes dessinées de Morris.   Pays: France et Belgique   Date de sortie: 1971   Technique: couleurs   Durée: 1 h 16 …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Lucky Luke (bande dessinée) — Lucky Luke Pour les articles homonymes, voir Lucky Luke (homonymie). Lucky Luke Série Genre(s) Franc …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lucky Luke (film, 2009) — Lucky Luke Données clés Titre original Lucky Luke Réalisation James Huth Scénario James Huth Jean Dujardin Sonja Shillito Acteurs principaux Jean Dujardin Michaël Youn Yann Sarfati …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lucky Luke (serie televisee d'animation, 1991) — Lucky Luke (série télévisée d animation, 1991) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Lucky Luke (homonymie). Lucky Luke Titre original Lucky Luke Genre Série d animation, western Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

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