Monday, February 8, 2016

European Western Comic Books - Jerry Spring

Jerry is the hero and has a red horse named Ruby. He is a hero who does not hesitate to get dirty to solve problems unlike usual cow boys who are always impeccable even after a fight. He is the friend of the oppressed and he respects everyone.

Pancho is Jerry’s Mexican sidekick. He is found in the opening pages of the first adventure. Like any self-respecting Mexican, he loves tequila and a nap. This does not prevent him from being a true friend and helps him in many difficult situations.

Jerry Spring is a Western. Warning, this is not a western movie with actors playing cowboys and Indians, it is the true life of the west, with real cowboys and real Indians. All details are particularly cared for. The costumes of the characters are very realistic (Indian outfits are remarkable). The atmosphere of the western territory is perfectly rendered. The images are gorgeous and the human side of the stories is very important. The hero, a traditional cowboy, has a Mexican sidekick. Together they defend the Indian people and the black nation.

Jerry Spring is a Franco-Belgian Western comic book series created by the Belgian comics creator Jijé. Originally published in Spirou magazine, the series made its debut on March 4, 1954. Jerry Spring has been a model for many other westerns and in particular to Blueberry.

Joseph Gillan became in France a real cult in the years 50-60. in total the series is composed of 11 volumes

Joseph Gillain, better known by his pen name Jijé was born on January 13, 1914. He was a Belgian comics artist, best known for being a seminal artist on the Spirou et Fantasio strip (and for having introduced the Fantasio character). He was also the creator of one of the first major European western strips, Jerry Spring.

He completed various art studies (woodcraft, goldsmithing, drawing and painting) at the abbey of Maredsous. In 1936, he created his first comic character, Jojo in the catholic newspaper Le Croisé. Jojo was heavily influenced by The Adventures of Tintin, but Jijé gradually developed his own style. Soon a second series followed, Blondin et Cirage, for the catholic youth magazine Petits Belges. Jijé also produced many illustrations for various Walloon magazines.

In 1939, he started to work for the new Spirou magazine, where he would produce the largest part of his oeuvre and with whom he would remain associated with until the end of his life. Because the magazine could not receive foreign comic strip material during the war, as the main local artist, he drew most of the comics during that period. He took over the main series, Spirou et Fantasio, from the Frenchman Rob-Vel: he added the sidekick Fantasio to the lone hero Spirou in order to add some comic relief in the series. He then created his own series, Jean Valhardi, and drew episodes of the American series published during the war, like Red Ryder and Superman, when due to the war, the American pages could not reach the publisher.

He is held in high esteem by many of his peers, both those he tutored like Franquin and Moebius, and others. Tibet, author of Ric Hochet and Chick Bill, and for the major part of his career working for rival Tintin magazine, has said that "If Hergé is considered as God the Father, then Jijé undoubtedly is the Godfather"

Gillan died at the age of 66 on June 20 1980 in Versailles, France.

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