I am Back and have a story to tell about my recent absence at Comicology, which is by the way reserved for the end of the post; to save you from my blabbering and more importantly to pave way for the topic which turbo-charged me to comeback quicker: Euro Book’s Lucky Luke venture.
I am no stranger to the generation of kids who have grown reading Lion Comics, a Tamil comics brand from Southern India. My first encounters with Lucky Luke (for an Intro about this famous Franco-Belgian character, refer to the Lucky Luke debut post, here), were only through them. Even though later on I read on the web that few other publications have tried their hands on Lucky adventures in India, with mixed success. (For eg. Gowarsons).
Offlate, I need to admit that the humour in Lucky Luke stories have failed to tickle the fun bone in me, may be because we could have grown out of that target audience, or maybe because the Morris & Goscinny era is now over.
But the sheer glimpse of holding a Lucky Luke adventure and flipping through its pages is matched only by a handful of other series. It’s sure to bring you Nostalgic feeling and also take you back to your favourite childhood moments.
And not to forget Lucky Luke series own style of featuring historical figures from the wild west in their comic books time and again with a comical style of representation (for eg., Dalton Brothers, Calamity Jane, Jesse James, etc.), and also for cultivating the good habits, as the series progressed into more titles (for eg., Lucky used to be featured as a smoker in his initial run, before turning to a non-smoker in response to the non-smoking campaign on the rise in those times).
Lion Comics continues to feature Lucky Luke in their line-up, but their infrequent releases (their last Lucky exclusive release was in early 2008) meant that seeing a Lucky Luke adventure was increasingly difficult in India.
Surprisingly in 2007, Tara Press launched a limited edition 5 Set Luke series, and had plans to feature another series in Iznogoud, having obtained the copyrights for both of them. For whatever reasons, they chose not to continue the comics venture forward.
Later on CineBook’s debut in India, brought a host of Lucky Luke titles along with it, and they continue to release and add more titles on an incremental basis, every month. I have always been a great fan of CineBook, ever since they made their foray in India on 2008, due to their top notch quality of releases. So, these incredible Lucky Luke titles filled the void, now and then.
But in early 2009, Euro Books India, a comics publisher known for a set of graphic novel releases in one bunch (Ref. Biggles & Spirou and Fantasio Set releases in 2007), announced that they were working on a 24 set Lucky Luke release. Ever since hearing the news, I had been checking the stores, and bugging their local distributors, to check on their availability, but the announcement remained as Coming soon until now.
A couple of weeks back, I heard from some friends in the other cities that they have started to see the 24 set Lucky Luke Euro books editions on their local bookshops. I couldn’t wait to grab the copy, as the Chennai stores were still not showing any signs of their availability. So I managed to procure a set and had it shipped to me last week, through a friend.
So here is the list of 24 titles and their incredibly drawn cover arts, online first-up at Comicology.
Typical to Euro Books Quality, these editions of Lucky Luke are incredibly well packaged. Waxed good quality papers, carefully bound on the edges, cost priced at INR 199 each, with A4 Size, all adds up to the value. Euro Books this time around, even decided to not feature their logo on the front-cover, instead pushing it to the back-cover. It highlights that they themselves didn’t want to disturb the incredibly drawn cover-art of each of these Lucky Luke golden titles. Look at the funny extras found inside the books.
Unlike Tara Press and CineBook, who relied on the Original albums released in early 60s (starting from 1962) to early 70s (up to 1971, as of their latest release); Euro Books have steered away from the current CineBook’s selection lot, by mostly selecting titles from the original albums released in 80’s, to the recent editions released a couple of years ago in 2006.
Talking more about that 2006 edition, The Beautiful Province, is said to be the highest sold Lucky Luke title post Morris & Goscinny’s successful partnership, where various writers worked with Morris to fill the void left by Goscinny’s demise in 1977. Later when Morris passed away in 2001, the series was taken over by French artist Hervé Darmenton, who is more famously known under his pseudonym Achdé. He was assisted in writing duties by Laurent Gerra.
It is said that the duo of Achdé and Gerra, relied heavily on the instruction left over by Morris to base their storylines. Isn’t it a tribute to the legendary man who revolutionised the Lucky Luke series in his time with the venture. Thanks to Euro Books for bringing this landmark title to India, which was the first title to have been produced under Achdé and Gerra partnership.
And does the title, From the Gallows to the Altar, remind you something very recently. Yes it’s indeed the title which fellow comiker, Lover of Dreams Shankar, enriched us with his wonderful translation on his blog, over here.
I would remember him, while reading this story. I don’t have high hopes over the English translation though, as compared to our desi version :). Moreover, there are no credits given for the English Translation in these Euro Book set. (Just like the Spirou & Fantasio series released a couple of years back).
I wonder, how would that change the storyline, as everyone knows that Translation plays a major part in making or breaking a series originally released in another language. I am not staying too optimistic, but let me give a final verdict after going through these titles. If not for anything, I would at least enjoy the incredible artwork, for which Lucky series is known for.
Other than the regular series, this lot of Euro Book also includes two unique titles to have been released in the Lucky Luke series. The ones which talked about the Lucky Luke’s early years as a kid.
Kid Lucky is the title, in which Lucky is said to have befriended Jolly Jumper, his most loyal friend and companion in many adventures. Oklahoma Jim is the other title which wraps up the Kid Lucky twin title limited edition series.
Everyone knows that Lucky is credited to be the man who shoots faster than his own shadow.
Not many know that his trusted ally, Jolly Jumper, is credited as the most intelligent horse in the world.
Not only that, Lucky is also accompanied in many of his adventures by a prison dog named Rantanplan, which is credited as the dumbest dog in the world. I don’t remember reading such a diverse character set in any of the comic series in my collection. Talking of Rantanplan, it had its own spin-off series which lasted for some years. Clearly, the dumbest dog, scored over the smartest horse, in fan-base .
So with this batch of Euro Books, the total number of English editions of Lucky Luke in my collection has risen up to 41 (12 CineBook + 5 Tara Press + 24 Euro Books). , astonishing to know that 2 years back it was a total blank. Thanks To Tara Press, CineBook, and Euro Books, and Bye-Bye, my hard earned money, once again .
Euro Books Lucky Luke Series’ Origins: Here is the list of titles published by Euro Books in their 24 issue set, with their corresponding original reference. Morris was involved in all of them, until his demise in 2001. But he was mentioned in the credits even when other Artists or Writers took over the reigns.
|#||Euro Books Title||Original Album (French)|| |
|1.||Daisy Town||#51: Daisy Town||Goscinny||DG, 1983|
|2.||Fingers||#52: Fingers||Lo Van Banda||DG, 1983|
|3.||Marcel Dalton||#67: Marcel Dalton||Bob de Groot||LP, 1998|
|4.||The Artist||#69: L'Artiste peintre||Bob de Groot||LP, 2001|
|5.||The Legend of the West||#70: La Légende de l'Ouest||Patrick Nordmann||LP, 2002|
|6.||The Daily Star||#53: Le Daily Star||Léturgie, Fauche||DG, 1983|
|7.||Lucky Luke’s Fiancée||#54: La Fiancée de Luky Luke||Guy Vidal||DG, 1985|
|8.||Nitroyglycerine||#57: Nitroglycérine||Lo Van Banda||DG, 1987|
|9.||The Cursed Ranch||#56: Le Ranch maudit||Léturgie, Fauche & Guylouis||DG, 1986|
|10.||The Beautiful Province||#71: La Belle Province||Achdé, Gerra*||LC, 2004|
|11.||From the Gallows to the Altar||#72: La Corde au cou||Achdé, Gerra*||LC, 2006|
|12.||The Daltons’ Loot||#47: Le Magot des Dalton||Vicq||DG, 1980|
|13.||The Alibi||#58: L'Alibi||Claude Guylouis||DG, 1987|
|14.||Ghost Hunt||#61: Chasse aux fantômes||Lo Van Banda||LP, 1992|
|15.||Kid Lucky||Kid Lucky (Kid Lucky Series-1)||Leturgie, Pearce||LP, 1996|
|16.||Oklahoma Jim||Oklahoma Jim (Kid Lucky Series-2)||Leturgie, Pearce||LC, 2003|
|17.||The Prophet||#68: Le Prophète||Patrick Nordmann||LC, 2000|
|18.||Belle Star||#64: Belle Star||Xavier Fauche||LP, 1995|
|19.||The Klondike||#65: Le Klondike||Yann, Léturgie||LP, 1996|
|20.||The Pony Express||#59: Le Pony Express||Léturgie, Fauche||DG, 1988|
|21.||Sarah Bernhardt||#49: Sarah Bernhardt||Léturgie, Fauche||DG, 1982|
|22.||The Bridge on the Missippi||#63: Le Pont sur le Mississippi||Léturgie, Fauche||LP, 1994|
|23.||The Hanged Man’s Rope and Other Stories||#50: La Corde du pendu||Goscinny||DG, 1981|
|24.||The Ballard of the Daltons and Other Stories||#55: La Ballade des Dalton et autres histoires||Goscinny||DG, 1986|
Here is the back-cover one of the issue, which provides a checklist for the 24 titles available in this series of Euro Book. Also a familiar back-cover of all Lucky Luke Titles, which showcases the myth that the man his faster than his own shadow.
Talking about which, the Kid Lucky series had its own spin-off from this most famous back-cover feature, which wasn’t featured in the Kid Lucky series released by Euro Books. Nevertheless, here is a glimpse of that for your view.
If you say that was innovative, then wait till you see the Rantanplan’s own version of this famous Lucky Luke Shadow spin-off, showcasing that unlike Lukes, Rantanplan is dumber than its own shadow :).
I hope that someday these Rantanplan series will also be available in India, as I have heard good reviews about them.
Closing Notes: To wrap up our Lucky Luke post, let’s discuss about the closing scene, which is a familiar scenario of every Lucky Luke title, where Lucky rides solo on his horse under the sunset singing is famous Lonesome Cowboy song.
I recently came across a wonderful blog, which discusses the various ending scenes on the Lucky Luke titles with a comparison chart and extensive study. Have a look at The Looniverse page. The man behind that website, really deserves all the accolades.
That brings us to the close of Euro Books Lucky Luke Preview post. So use this as a checklist for your comics shopping next time around, or enjoy the cover-scans of these wonderful titles. If you are a Lucky Luke fan, it surely deserves a place in your collection. If you are not, then it’s time you experience the series in the top most quality in which it could ever be available.
Apart from the INR 199 single edition, these Lucky Luke set is also available in the 3-in-1 bound edition for INR 450 from Euro Books. It’s a nice deal, but you might have to lose the chance of owning these titles with their cover arts in a full-blown page. That’s a choice you got to make, I couldn’t.
Book Facts: Publisher: Euro Books | A4 Size | Single Title: INR 199 | 3 in 1 Title: INR 450 | 24 Individual Titles
Places to Buy:
Available at all leading book stores, like Landmark, Odyssey, Crosswords, etc. including individual stores like Blossoms. flipkart.com offers around 10% discount. All the Lucky Luke titles are available at present.
indiaplaza.in offers aroound 25% discount generally, but you need to wait as the Lucky set is yet to arrive on their listings.
Trivia for Tamil Comics fans: The titles published by Euro Books may be new for CineBook fans, but not certainly for their counterparts from Tamil Comics. Many of the titles published by Euro Books, have already been released by Tamil comics giant Lion Comics (and in their erstwhile brand Mini Lion). Looking just at the Euro Books cover, itself would bring that nostalgia feeling, as many of them were used as it is in our Tamil Comics.
Could anyone point out the respective Tamil Comics titles for the ones printed out of this 24 set batch? Not only full titles, even the small stories found in the two Other stories titles were also used throughout the run of Lion Comics as an additional feature. I will post the respective Tamil comics title names, in a month’s time, to keep the suspense, and the contribution going.
My Blabbering: By the way, I promised to talk about my recent procrastination at Comicology (Did you think I forgot or what?). It was more to do with a personal emergency, which didn’t allow me to sit on and complete a post for long hours. But, I did manage to sneak around in fellow comikers blogs during this time, and have made every effort to comment on those wonderful posts, whenever time permitted.
Also in the interim, I was able to obtain my long time ambition to change the background for post pages; from White text on Black Background to
Black text on White Background. It was a long standing request from fellow comikers, which I had to oblige, even though Black background was one of my personal favourite (which was a commonality ever since the blog was started in 2005, and the very reason why it still finds its place on the Sidebar).
But, after working out a lot of changes, I hope that the reading pleasure is now improved at Comicology. The only drawback was that I had to individually edit all the 60+ posts at Comicology, to adopt to the new style. In this spent effort, I could have actually created 2 to 3 newer posts itself. But, I hope the hard-work paid-off, if it has made it eye-pleasant for all comikers.
And for those who came in late, a list of all the posts at Comicology, until today could be found in the Bibliography page, which is now categorised into wider groups, for easy access; and for any help refer to the newly revamped Help page of Comicology. I would be eager to hear about your view on this Euro Book series, and the changes which have gone on to the template of Comicology through your comments, so keep them coming.
Euro Books’ Other Series: Before we wrap-up, here is the two-page flyer, which prominently finds place in the Lucky Luke series, and talks about the other Graphic Novels or Comics titles released by Euro Books in the last couple of years.
What’s left are Phantom, and Quick & Flupke series, if we eliminate the other failed attempts of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Agastha Christie comic series.
Also there is another series which was missed out from this list. We will see more about them in the coming months at Comicology.
I hope your prying eyes would have noticed the advertisement about the Iznogoud series too on the flyer. Well, it is yet to be published, and as per Euro Books officials, it would only be available in the mid of July. After witnessing Euro Books quality release of Lucky Luke, I am all set to grab the Iznogoud series too, when it is available.
Some more dear money has to be shed. Comics collection is a costly hobby, I bet you on that .
Adios Amigos !