Lucky Luke is a Western bande dessinée series created by Belgian cartoonist Morris in 1946. Both a tribute to the mythic Old West and an affectionate parody, Morris drew Lucky Luke from 1946 until his death in 2001. In this episode we take a look a Lucky Luke’s first appearance in a story called “Arizona 1880”.
“Arizona 1880” ist published in the Lucky Luke comic book titled “Arizona”, which can be ordered here: https://amzn.to/3yScDDg (Affiliate Link leads to AMAZON.com)
“Believe me, we at Cuyel are your friends!” Professor Yefimov didn’t move. It looked like he had become a statue of himself. The expression on his face was unreadable. But there was a rumbling behind his forehead. What was that stupid sentence he just had to hear? “Friends”? Cuyel, a multi-million dollar corporation, is anyone’s friend? The man who said this sentence sat across from Yefimov. A suit wearer. That was what Yefimov had called him in his mind. His name was… something… The professor hadn’t remembered it. Wasn’t important anyway. All the giant companies had people working, but somehow it was a faceless crowd to him. Nobody who stood out from the crowd. And certainly not the suit who had just said Cuyel was his friend. “Oh yeah?” Yefimov struggled to answer. “Then please explain to me again why our friends are so unfriendly?” “Yeah… uh… you know… the situation… the pandemic… the blockade… the armada out there in space… all that doesn’t make the transport routes easy,” the suit stuttered . “After all, we have to get our money’s worth. And after all, we’re not increasing the rent or anything. We’re just restricting the services a bit.” Yefimov gritted his teeth. “Well, firstly,” he snapped, “the limitation of the data line deprives us of vital information channels. And secondly, I read just about five minutes ago that your company reported 2.5 billion Solari in profits at the end of last year. I don’t believe that you have to starve. And yet you give us these restrictions?” “Well… the pandemic… the blockade… the armada…” “…out there in space,” Yefimov finished the half-hearted explanation of his counterpart. He realized there was no point. Not anyway, since this suit was just a small light in the company. “If that was all…” the professor began. “Oh uh yes!” said the suit. “Then you may go. I understand that our services will be drastically reduced.” The suit murmured some goodbye, then disappeared from the room. Almost like a ghost. Yefimov scratched his chin. And what now? He activated the terminal on his desk. “Computer, contact Commander Jung on BASE ATLANTIS.” Commander Jung’s image appeared on Yefimov’s screen shortly after. “What can I do for you, Professor?” she asked. “Calm my nerves if you can,” Yefimov said. “One of Cuyel’s pencil-wielders, one of those ink-pissers, was visiting here. And he brought a message.” “And it was so bad that you need to calm your nerves?” “Cuyel restricts our data transfers.” You could see how Natascha Jung slid forward in her seat. Her eyes widened. “What?” she blurted out. “You heard me right. Cuyel will throttle the data lines. That’s what we get from being dependent on these stupid ‘private partnerships’. At least they won’t increase the price for the services. But we have to reckon with the fact that the The speed of the data line is reduced by a third.” “But… that’s completely unacceptable! It makes our work immensely difficult!” “I know that,” said Yefimov. “But we have no alternative at the moment.” “What if we take matters into our own hands?” “What do you mean by that?” “It will certainly not be easy, but what if we set up a department. ASTROCOHORS SOLAR is still in the start-up phase anyway. What if we set up our own technical department for this?” Yefimov scratched his chin again. A sign that he was thinking hard. “That sounds tempting. But keep in mind that this means investing a lot of money in the first place. We have to take over Cuyel’s entire infrastructure or rebuild it.” “But then we would be independent.” “Hm. Can that be done?” “I have to ask around. But maybe I can find someone.” “Then give it a try. I have a bad feeling this won’t be the last time we’ll have to accept either restrictions or price increases.” “I’m afraid so too.” The professor thought back to the moment when he was offered the leadership of the ASTROCOHORS CLUB. That had been a beautiful moment. But slowly he felt like he was stuck in the mud and couldn’t make any progress. Maybe it was time to pull yourself out of the swamp by your own hair.
Spirou (Walloon for “squirrel, mischievous”) is a Belgian comic strip character and protagonist in the comic strip series “Spirou et Fantasio” and “Le Petit Spirou”. He also serves as the mascot of the Belgian comic strip magazine “Spirou”. In this episode Jarmo Dorak takes a look at the beginnings of this character in his first comic adventures.
What was it all about? Jarmo Dorak paced up and down his room again. They had been very kind. They had gradually given him access to the Internet and other information. But not more. He still couldn’t get in touch with the outside world. Yes, he no longer had a family, but there were sure to be friends who were worried about him. He had found it was six years since he disappeared. He had to catch up these six years first. And he couldn’t believe what had happened on earth. One of the biggest countries on the planet on the brink of a civil war that was forced by fanatical gun enthusiasts. The climate change. The pandemic. And it was precisely this moment that the curator had chosen to let Jarmo fall back into this reality from the “between space”.
The people at ASTROCOHORS had said they would need to consult. Then they would make a decision. Oh yes, he had completely forgotten that with the other catastrophes: The blockade of the solar system by an unknown force that called itself the HIGH HAND. The solar system was thus cut off from the rest of the galaxy. And as before, the earth was on its own. With all these crazy people … Jarmo’s mind whirled back and forth again. They wanted to make a decision. But about what? Okay about him. But what exactly should this decision concern? Would you finally let him go? Or should he stay here in the ATLANTIS base, locked up in this room? Just what he’s the last … He counted in his mind. August September October November December. Five months! It’s been five months. He had tried to distract himself like they had said. He had done research about six missed years and penned a few reports, just as he had done in the “between space.” “Computer!” He called into the room. The ATLANTIS base computer was specially configured for him. He couldn’t address the system directly. Everything he asked for was checked beforehand by a monitor program. That’s why he couldn’t address artificial intelligence by its real name – ARNOLD. The computer beeped in response. “Play me a song,” ordered Dorak. “The Song of the Language of Shakespeare …” The computer beeped again and shortly afterwards a strange song could be heard, parts of which Jarmo sang softly along.
“Hello, you bloody anglophonians, from London to L.A…. Among you are very few who speak a foreign language, but we do… The language of Shakespeare you can smoke in the pipe…”
He sat down again. Wasn’t it New Year’s Eve today? Would they at least wish him a happy new year? As far as he understood, the fireworks were off this year anyway. But then he heard a noise. Was there someone coming?
Many careers of famous franco-belgian comic artists started when they were working at a comic magazine. Theses magazines were the foundations of European comic culture. In this episode, Jarmo Dorak takes a look at four of them who were very famous – and one of them is even published until today…
Even in dark times there can be light… the artist Erich Ohser, known under his pen name E.O. Plauen lived in the darkest times but was still able to bring a bit of light. His short cartoon stories of “The Adventures of Father and Son” show a critical view at the time he lived in. And they are still beloved until today. So Jarmo Dorak takes a closer look at some of Ohser’s work.
The book of the Adventures of “Father and Son” can be ordered on AMAZON right here (sponsored link):
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