Lucky Luke by Morris
Lucky Luke - Calamity Jane (1967)

The Belgian author Morris is best known for his humorous cowboy Lucky Luke, whose adventures he has drawn for nearly his entire career. Born in Kortrijk, Morris started his career during World War II at the Compagnie Belge d'Actualités (CBA) animation studios, together with Franquin and Peyo. After the War, he was an illustrator for the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, and for the weekly magazine Le Moustique, for which he created various covers and illustrations.

Cover for Humoradio (Le Moustique), by Morris (1949)Cover for Humoradio (Le Moustique), by Morris (1949)

By the end of the 1940s, Morris became one of the driving forces behind Spirou magazine, and together with his colleagues Jijé, Franquin and Will he formed the so-called School of Marcinelle. These four artists would be referred to as "The Gang of 4", because they all worked in Jijé's studio at that time.

Lucky Luke by Morris
Lucky Luke - Arizona 1880

While Franquin and Will took over older comic series, Morris created one of his own. The first episode of Lucky Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper, 'Arizona 1880', was published in L'Almanach Spirou 1947, and was later continued in Spirou. In his early 'Lucky Luke' comics, Morris was greatly inspired by animated cartoons à la Disney.

Lucky Luke in Spirou, by Morris

In 1949, Jijé took Morris and Franquin to the USA. Morris stayed there for six years, and during this period he helped Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman with their plans for Mad Magazine.

Lucky Luke, by Morris

He also met René Goscinny in the States, who would become the scriptwriter for 'Lucky Luke', although anonymously at first, upon their return to Europe from 1955 to 1977. Goscinny wrote the scenarios for over 35 stories, and together they turned the series into one of the essential European comic series.

Lucky Luke by Morris
Lucky Luke - Sur la piste des Dalton (1962)

Morris and Goscinny introduced historical characters in the 'Lucky Luke' comics, such as Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Jesse James and of course the (nephews of the) Dalton brothers. The introduction of the stupid dog Rantanplan completed the cast in 1960. During his period in the USA, Morris gathered a lot of documentation for his series, but he also drew inspiration from Hollywood cinematographical techniques.

Spirou cover by MorrisPilote cover by Morris

Morris and Goscinny left Dupuis and Spirou in 1968 and from then on continued their series at Dargaud and in the magazine Pilote. After Goscinny's death in 1977, Morris continued 'Lucky Luke' with many writers, like Bob de Groot, Vicq, Fauche, Léturgie, Vidal and others. Morris also paricipated in the launch of spin-off series like 'Rantanplan' (together with Michel Janvier, Jean Léturgie, Bob de Groot and Vittorio Leonardo) and 'Kid Lucky' (with Conrad, Yann and Léturgie).

Lucky Luke - La Diligence, by Morris (1968)
Lucky Luke - La Diligence (1968)

Lucky Luke quit smoking a long time ago, but he is still one of the most popular comic characters. This popularity also led to a motion picture and several cartoon series, including one of 'Rantanplan'.

Lucky Luke by Morris
Lucky Luke - La Guérison des Dalton (1975)

'Lucky Luke' is one of the best-sellers in European comic history, and was honored at the festival of Angoulême in 1993 with a big exhibition. After Morris' death in 2003, 'Lucky Luke' was continued by Achdé and Gerra in a new series of albums published by Lucky Comics.

Lucky Luke - Les Dalton se rachètent, by Morris (1965)
Lucky Luke - Les Dalton se rachètent (1965)

Series en boeken door Morris op voorraad in de Lambiek Webshop:


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