Blueberry is the actual name of Tiger (டைகர்) in French
Blueberry is a French language comic strip created by Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean "Mœbius" Giraud. It chronicles the adventures of Mike Blueberry on his travels through the American Old West.
The story follows Michael Steven Donovan, nicknamed "Blueberry", a name he chose when fleeing from
his Southern enemies) starting with his adventures as a Lieutenant in the United States Cavalry shortly after the American Civil War. He is accompanied in many tales by his hard-drinking deputy, Jimmy McClure, and later also by Red Woolley,
a rugged pioneer.
Donovan is the son of a rich Southern farmer and started as a dedicated racist. He was framed for a murder he did not commit, had to flee and was saved by an African-American. He became an enemy of discrimination of all kinds, fought against the Confederates (although he was a Southerner himself), and tried to protect the rights of Native Americans.
Blueberry has its roots in Giraud's earlier Western-themed works such as Frank et Jeremie, which was drawn for Far West magazine when he was only
18, and Jerry Spring, a 1961 strip that appeared in five issues of Spirou. Charlier and Giraud have also collaborated on another Western strip, Jim Cutlass.
Blueberry began in the 31 October 1963 issue of Pilote magazine. That first serial, "Fort Navaho", grew into 46 pages over the next few issues. Charlier and Giraud continued
to add to the legend of Mike Blueberry in Pilote and other titles even into the 1990s. During that time the artistic style has varied greatly, much as with Giraud's other works. In the same volume,
sweeping landscapes will contrast sharply with hard-edged action scenes and the art matches the changing mood of the story
quite well. Like much of the Western genre, Blueberry touches on the constant conflict between violence and tranquility,
nature and civilization, and the obligation of the strong to protect the weak. In addition to the comic strips, Blueberry
and his fellow characters can be found on posters, clothing, and other items.
A "prequel" series, Young Blueberry, as well as the sequels Marshal Blueberry and Mister
Blueberry have been published as well.
A few companies, particularly Egmont/Methuen, Epic Comics and Mojo Press, have released collections of English translations of the Blueberry strips and stories. Opinions are mixed on these, as sometimes the artwork
is shrunk to fit smaller book formats, and in the case of the first Mojo Press collection Blueberry: Confederate Gold
(ISBN 1885418086), printed in black and white. The hardbound collections by Graphitti Designs are generally considered to be the best available to English-speaking fans, especially as they feature additional
material and commentary by Giraud, but are difficult to find due to limited print runs.
A 2004 film adaptation, Blueberry (U.S. release title is Renegade), was directed by Jan Kounen and starred Vincent Cassel in the lead role. However, purists were appalled by this film. It arguably did not stay true to action-based,
gritty comic, but rather featured an esoteric, trippy presentation of shamanism which appealed to people with drug experiences.
The series has received recognition in the comics community, including a Shazam Award for Best Foreign Comic
Series in 1973 for the Lieutenant Blueberry books, and a nomination for the Squiddy Award for Favorite Reprint Volume in 1990.