Sunday, September 25, 2011

Foreign Favorites: Lieutenant Blueberry

Created in 1963, Lieutenant Blueberry was written by Jean-Michel Charlier and illustrated by artist Jean Giraud for the French magazine Pilote for their first story entitled "Fort Navajo." One of the most exciting and authentic Westerns to date, Mike Blueberry was a disillusioned solder assigned to the mythical Seventeenth Regiment to the U.S. Calvary assigned to the New Mexico territory. As well as his soldering duties, Blueberry usually ended up fighting his own private wars against lots of different foes, from marauding Apaches to savage gunrunners. With the help of his trusty sidekick, Jimmy McClure, the two adventurers enjoy fighting, whiskey, wild women, and gambling in their many stories together. Jean Giraud, who signed the work simply as Gir, made each character distinct and original, with his wonderful attention to detail, fantastic locals, and dramatic use of color. Considered by many to be one of the best strips in European comics, Gir left the strip to follow other projects after a few years. However, the talented artists Colin Wilson and William Vance both picked up the reigns at one time to continue these mighty yarns of the American wild west.

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