Monday, January 29, 2018

European Western Comic Books ~ Alaska Gin



Alaska Jim, the hero of the Canadian police, is Captain Jim Hoover, the hero of a series of popular fiction comic books published in the 1930s by Heidenau's Verlag Freya for texts by Willi Richard ( Big Ben), Mark Elling and Liselotte Barthel-Winkler (FL Barwin) with illustrations by Vogler. In Italy he was translated by Lotario Vecchi between 1936 and 1937 on the pages of JUMBO as I MISTERI DELL'ALASKA. In 1950, renamed Alaska Gin, it became a comic book for the publisher Agostino Della Casa, written by Franco Baglioni and designed by Carlo Cossio. The series combines dramatic elements from an appendix novel to typical western moments.

Alaska Gin first appeared on July 15, 1950 and was about the adventures of a Royal Canadian Mountie. The comic series was written by Franco Baglioni for the drawings of Carlo Cossio. The pages were printed  in black and white, and ere published with shaded shading that tride to simulate the reader. In the appendix the adventures of ‘Burma’ are concluded and then those of Sitting Bull are resumed.


The second series was the n issued on December 1, 1950, already announced by the publisher as #10, bears but some #10 were printed with #1. These copies are very rare with the cover #10 (it is probably the beginning of circulation) and copies with indicated #1 (followed in circulation).

The entire series began in 1950 and ended in December 1951. The publisher was ADC in Milan, Italy. Reprints began again in 1957 and 1997.


Carlo Cossio was born in Udine, Italy on January 1, 1907. He was the creator of DICK FULMINE, and is probably the most prolific of all Italian comic book artists: in his thirty years of activity he draws thousands of comic books of many different characters. In 1928, encouraged by Bruno Munari, he draws cartoons with his brother Vittorio, together with whom he made some short advertising films. He moved into comics and collaborated with Mickey's Supplement (1935), Il Giornale di Cino and Franco (1936) and Il Saladino (1937). Nourished by his production for the magazines of Lotario Vecchi he settles on drawing "Pinocchio" comics by Collodi, then begins the ALASKA JIM series and many stories published on Jumbo. On Rin-Tin-Tin he publishes "The Treasure of the Pirate King". On L'Audace he designed BOMBOLO E STINCHI (1938), as well as his most famous character, DICK FULMINE, which was later published on Albogiornale and finally in the weekly of the same name. In 1940, with texts by Gianluigi Bonelli, he designed FURIO ALMlRANTE, which he then passed on to his brother Vittorio. He created several successful series: TANKS (1945), FRANCA (1946), KANSAS KID (1948) and the long saga of BUFALO BILL (1950) published by the Universe Editore ull'Intrepido. Cossio died in Milan, Italy on October 8, 1964.

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