Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Blueberry and Belmondo

The Blueberry series, by Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (French: 8 May 1938 ? 10 March 2012), a French bandes dessinées artist, was undoubtedly the best western comic book series ever. It is less known that Gir alias Moebius used the features of Jean Paul Belmondo, the coolest French actor for the looks of his main character Lt. Mike Blueberry.

I enjoyed some of  Belmondo's movies. He was the European answer to Steve McQueen king of cool, with additional does of French humour.I enjoyed his adventure movie Cartouche as a kid. I also liked his Le magnifique (1973), L'homme de Rio (1964) and L'animal (1977), with Raquel Welch. That film  had one of the funniest movie scenes ever. Belmondo, playing a double role, as a main star and as his double in a movie, once had to repeat the stunt of falling down from the top of the long stairs, over and over again:


One of the first episode's cover  while Blueberry was still clearly the incarnation of Belmondo

A page from that story in Serbian translation. The first stories also bare strong resemblance of Jije's style with whom Giraud worked on Jerry Spring comic.

However, through the period of several years Gir had Blueberry's face transformed into even more rugged and tough looks, with stronger jawline, shorter, undoubtedly broken nose and messy, thick curly hair.

One of the best, sort of stand-alone stories was the 2-part  "The Mine of Prosit" and "The Ghost of the Goldmine". Supposedly, it was  considered by Giraud himself as the high-light of his career. Indeed it is a masterpiece of comic book storytelling.

Recently a special edition of Blueberry : The Mine of Prosit & The Ghost of the Goldmine is published by Sherpa.  It is a black and white over sized hardcover with a 112 pages.

Trivia: In 2004 a weird western loosely based on Blueberry saga was produced: Blueberry (a.k.a. Renegade) with Vincent Cassel  I could have spent the two hours of my life in a more useful and amusing way. Thus, I have wasted them irreversibly, by watching that confused bore.

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