By Achde and Gerra (in the style of Morris)
Ulysses S. Grant’s second term is ending, and the USA must elect a new president. After the many corruption scandals of the previous administration, the Republican Party has selected an upstanding candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes. However, a rich Texas oil tycoon with his eye on the White House has other ideas, and money can buy many votes… or bullets. Luke is called upon to protect Hayes as he tours the wild, wild West…
In some ways the author line up there, especially the “in the style of Morris” tells you a lot about this latest Cinebook Lucky Luke, originally published by Dargaud in 2008. It’s very much a publication wanting, trying to be made by Morris, and try as hard as it might, it’s never going to be a match for the original.
But although The Man From Washington doesn’t really do much except copy a classic, it certainly does do it proficiently and with style and good humour. It may not be brilliant, but it’s certainly doing a passable impression of a classic.
Speaking of impressions….. does the villain of the piece look like anyone you recognise? Could Perry Camby, Texan oil tycoon whose father did all the hard work be based on a certain other Texan politician of recent vintage?
Laurent Gerra is a French writer and comedian, Achde is a writer and artist. I don’t know, nor can I quickly find out online, exactly how the split works, but on a few sites I’m seeing that Gerra does a little political stuff, and that comes through, not just in the very familiar grizzled Texan face of Camby, but with the political angle played up right from the start, with everything geared towards pointing out how ridiculous it all was and is….
But even with the extra political stuff, what we have here is a classic Lucky Luke setup; where Luke gets a mission, and along the way we get to meet a cast of character that all exist simply to hang a plot and some gags off.
This time round most of the fun is with the good guy candidate Rutherford Hayes and his puritanical wife…
All in all, there’s a lot of this through the book, and it’s good fun, but as enjoyable as it is, there’s a feeling all the way through that this is trying to hard to be something else, and the whole thing never really holds together well enough to be more than just a pretty decent collection of gags but lacking the connectedness that you get from the best Lucky Luke tales, as written by Goscinny and drawn by Morris.