La Mine d'or de Dick Digger
|Lucky Luke #1
La Mine d'or de Dick Digger
Cover of the Belgian edition
|Published in||Le Journal de Spirou|
|Date of publication||1947|
|Followed by||Rodéo, 1949|
La Mine d'or de Dick Digger, written and drawn by Morris, is an album containing two stories from serial publication in Le Journal de Spirou during 1947, namely La Mine d'or de Dick Digger and Le Sosie de Lucky Luke. Together they were released as the first official Lucky Luke hardcover album in 1949.
In Dirk Digger's Gold Mine, Lucky Luke and Jolly Jumper meet an old friend, the prospector Dirk Digger in extasty over a recent gold ore discovery, en route to register his gold mine claim in Nugget City. Celebrating loudly at a saloon, Digger is identified as a target of robbery by two hardened criminals, and after assaulting him alone in his room, they get away with his gold and a map leading to the gold find. The following day, Lucky Luke and Jolly Jumper take up pursuit following their trail.
In The Look-Alike of Lucky Luke, Luke discovers he causes fear in the inhabitants of a town, because he is remarkably similar to a notorious fellain named Mad Jim, currently in prison and scheduled for hanging. Spotted by two thugs who are Mad Jim's associates, Luke is ambushed and knocked out in a scheme to replace him with the doppelgänger in a drunken sheriff's jail cell, in order to get a share of Mad Jim's loot. Taken without doubt for the dangerous villain, Lucky Luke barely escapes the mob lynching before he is able to pursue the criminals and bring them to justice.
- Among the very earliest Lucky Luke work (produced the following year after the first story, Arizona 1880) La Mine d'or de Dick Digger and Le Sosie de Lucky Luke were published before Morris began his five-year stay in U.S.A. The artwork of the two stories (which shows obvious differences although created only months apart) demonstrates the changes from the earliest style to what would become the settled Lucky Luke expression. At this point the Jolly Jumper character had not yet been given the power of speech.
- The end of Le Sosie de Lucky Luke marks one of the very few times Lucky Luke kills the villain. The final duel of Lucky Luke et Phil Defer originally ended with the death of the latter. Although, in the censored version, the doctor then declares him simply injured but his shoulder in such a state that his career as a gunman is over. Bob Dalton (cousin of the less fierce Daltons) also met a violent end in the story Hors-la-loi, though after the original Spirou publication this was judged to be too bloody by the commission de surveillance des publications destinées aux jeunes, a state organ created in 1949, and softened for the album reissue, with the Daltons simply being hanged and buried.
- These stories also feature caricatures of people from Morris' circle, notably André Franquin, Will, and the fathers of Morris and Eddy Paape.
- Lucky Luke doesn't smoke cigarettes in these stories. He started smoking in the next album, Rodéo (Lucky Luke).
- Morris publications in Spirou BDoubliées (French)
- BDoubliées, Excerpts from Schtroumpf, les cahier de la BD" numéro 43, spécial Morris. "Toute la vérité sur la mort des Dalton" (in French).
- Law of 1949 refers to: Loi n°49.956 du 16 juillet 1949 sur les publications destinées à la jeunesse, issued by the French Department of Justice.
- Fan de Lucky Luke. "La Mine d'or de Dick Digger" (in French).
- Lucky Luke official site (French)