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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Cinebook The 9th Art: Lucky Luke 33- The One-Armed Bandit

Authors: Morris & De Groot
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
ISBN: 9781849181112
Price: £5.99 inc. VAT
Publication: February 2012

Brothers Adolph and Arthur Caille are mechanical geniuses. They’ve just created one of the first slot machines and have presented it to their local senator, a notorious gambler. Much taken with the device, he agrees to send them on a tour of American cities to test the machine’s popularity. And, to escort them on this dangerous journey, he calls on his old friend Lucky Luke… So begins the wacky tale of how the one-armed bandit conquered the West!

The cover looks quite simplistic until you look at all of the components.  Firstly, the utter, utter ridiculousness of crossing a tight rope on horseback.  On horseback and carrying a one-armed bandit on your shoulder!  Oh, and the drooling vulture watching the man on horseback crossing a tightrope with a one-armed bandit on his shoulder!

Utter silliness…though I’m not too sure about the 17th Cavalry part.  As the Indians swoop in, Luke explains: “They’ve gotten used to attacking the 17th cavalry when it rides through this canyon…I might add, the 17th always rides through this canyon…it’s a tradition, and they don’t want to change it, so, like clockwork,they get attacked…” This is important to me.  Why?  Well, since I was a kid and started watching TV and movie Westerns I could never, ever understand why the cavalry always rode into the canyons even when they KNEW there were Indians waiting. Now I understand.  Tradition.  A tradition carried over into current US Military strategies it seems (oooooh. Little bit of politics there!).

So, all the usual mad-cap things go on as Luke protects the new invention and that last panel with its gag about the final home of the machine is spot on.

Great fun.

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