‘Lucky Luke in the Deep South’ in Kortrijk

‘Lucky Luke in the Deep South’ is the title of an exhibition celebrating 75 years of the strip cartoon hero Lucky Luke.  Strip cartoons featuring the cowboy have been translated into 23 languages including English.

The exhibition is being staged in Kortrijk, the home of Maurice De Bevere aka Morris, the cartoonist who created Lucky Luke nearly 75 years ago.  For locals the exhibition is somewhat of a home coming.

Lucky Luke belongs to that select group of internationally famous Belgian strip cartoon heroes.  He appears with the Daltons, a gang of criminal brothers that come in all sizes.  In Kortrijk, even a set of wind turbines have been named after these individuals.

Jolly Jumper is Lucky Luke’s horse, a creature that is as intelligent as its horseman and never refuses a game of chess.

But Lucky Luke remains that breed of lone cowboy we all love, shooting faster than his own shadow and never getting caught. When in 1983 he traded in the self-roll hanging from his lips for a blade of grass the World Health Organisation heaved a big sigh of relief. Lucky Luke has no qualms about other celebs stealing the limelight.  Mae West, Céline Dion and the French actor Louis de Funès have all featured in albums.

Creator Morris (Maurice De Bevere) died in 2003 but French cartoonist Achdé is continuing the series.  “A Cowboy in the Cotton” is the most recent story to appear in Dutch and French.  Around half of Lucky Luke’s stories have so far been published in English.

The exhibition at Dormitorium Kortrijk 1302 was supposed to open a month ago but was delayed due to the corona crisis.  It can be visited until 3 January.  Reservation is obligatory.

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