Lucky Luke is a Belgian comic book series. Set in the American Old West, it stars the titular character, Lucky Luke, the cowboy known to shoot faster than his shadow.
After Tintin and Asterix, Lucky Luke is the most popular and best-selling comic-book series in continental Europe, but strangely enough unlike Tintin and Asterix only a handful of his adventures have been published in the
Both a tribute to the mythic Old West and an affectionate parody, the hardcover comics were drawn by the Belgian artist Morris (1923-2001). The scripts of some (though not all) of the earlier books were written by Frenchman René Goscinny (1926-1977), best known for Asterix. After Goscinny's death many tried to fill the gap. After Morris' death, French artist Achdé continued drawing new Lucky Luke stories.
Luke, drawing a gun faster than his shadow, fights crime and injustice, most often in the form of the bumbling
Dalton brothers, Joe, William, Jack and Averell (each one being taller and dumber than the previous one). He rides Jolly Jumper, "the smartest horse in the world". He is often seen with Rantanplan, "the stupidest dog in the universe", the name being an allusion to Rin Tin Tin. A cigarette was constantly at his lips in the early albums, but (since it was essentially a parody of abundant
cigarette usage in Western movies to begin with), in 1983 Morris replaced the cigarette with a piece of straw, which earned him recognition from
the World Health Organization.
In the albums, Luke meets many factual Western figures like Calamity Jane, Billy the Kid, Judge Roy Bean and Jesse James's gang, and takes part in such historical endeavors such as guarding of Wells Fargo stagecoaches, the Pony Express, the building of the first transcontinental telegraph, and the Rush into the Unassigned Lands of Oklahoma.
At the end of each story, except the earliest, Lucky Luke rides off alone into the sunset, singing (in English)
"I'm a poor lonesome cowboy, and a long way from home...".