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.
Here is a genuine Little Big Man story, with all the color, sweep, and tragedy of a classic American western. It is the tale of Herman Lehmann, a captive of the Apaches on the Southern Plains of Texas and New Mexico during the 1870s. Adopted by a war chief, he was trained to be a warrior and waged merciless war on Apache enemies, both Indian and Euro-American. After killing an Apache medicine man in self-defense, he fled to a lonely hermitage on the Southern Plains until he joined the Comanches. Against his will, Lehmann was returned to his family in 1879. The final chapters relate his difficult readjustment to Anglo life.
Lehmann's unapologetic narrative is extraordinary for its warm embrace of Native Americans and stinging appraisal of Anglo society. Once started, the story of this remarkable man cannot be put down.