Monday, May 28, 2018

European Western Comic Books ~ I protaganisti (Billy the Kid)

I protagonisti was a western comic series created by Rino Albertarelli and published monthly from 1974 to 1975 by Daim Press. The series presented documented and meticulous biographies of the heroes of the West and was only interrupted by the death of the author.

Each issue contained a monograph of a Western epic character with a comic strip story accompanied by a bibliography containing books consulted by the author in his documentation work. The series ran from September 1974 until June 1975.

The series was commissioned by Sergio Bonelli and Rino Albertarelli who wrote and designed the series for Daim Press in 1973. When Albertarelli died, on September 21, 1974, he was working on the tenth issue and only the first issue had been released on newsstands. The publishing house decided to end the series with the tenth volume, of which Albertarelli had completed only the first 42 tables, so Sergio Toppi was hired to finish the series.

In 1994 the series was reprinted in the series The Protagonists of the West, edited by Hobby & Work. A second reprint was published in 2007 in the series of History of the West by If Editions with the headline “History of the West Presents the Protagonists”. In each issue there are two stories in the chronological order of the original publication.

Issue #3 was about the life and legend of Billy the Kid       

When you think of the famous Far West pistoleros, Billy the Kid is one of the first names on the list. He committed his first murder at seventeen and ended his career at age 21 when he was shot dead by sheriff Pat Garrett, his ex-friend.

A short and burning life, studded with murders that made the young man one of the most wanted criminals of New Mexico in the decade 1870-1880. Yet Billy the Kid was not a ruthless and bloodthirsty criminal. The circumstances of life brought this gentle-looking boy and, according to many, good-natured onto a wrong path. He became involved in a "war" between livestock farmers for gratitude towards an owner who had treated him with benevolence. He was arrested and escaped several times by escaping the gallows and becoming, after death, one of the most famous romantic figures of the Wild West.

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