Friday, September 9, 2011

Tex- the original spaghetti Western

Long before the famous Italian ("spaghetti") Western movies of the 60's and 70's, including those by the great Sergio Leone, there was Tex.

Tex was a cartoon character cooked up in 1948 by the very un-Western-named Gian Luigi Bonelli and Aurelio Galleppini. Since then the cartoon, aimed mostly at adolescents and grown-ups, has been steadily successful, to the point of being translated in other languages. I was reminded of its existence because currently the newspaper La Repubblica is featuring a special collection on sale with the paper itself.

Interesting that even twenty years of Fascism were not able to stop the fascination Italians have for the West, as the series started only a few years after the end of Mussolini and his hatred of all things English and American. Although I have never read these comics (fumetti) many perfectly intelligent and well-educated Italians do. From what I've heard, it's a compelling mix of the fictional and mythological adventures of the made-up Tex Willer, along with historical scenery, characters and events, including of course the Civil War. I bet you anything Leone and the other spaghetti Western masters were brought up on Tex.