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Thread: Western Pulps in Greece

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin SadSaddler7's Avatar
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    Nov 2012

    Thumbs up Western Pulps in Greece

    The western pulp genre in Greece reached its peak in the Seventies and Eighties.The genre itself took off in 1962 when the ''Little Sheriff''magazine got launched in the country's newsstands.A phenomenal success at the time.Two more magazines followed after this humongous success,the''Little Cowboy''and the''Little Chief''.All three of them featured four main characters created by the Greek pulp writer Potis Stratikis.The author took inspiration from the french and italian comic books at the time period.

    George Marmaridis is considered to be the greatest pulp writer of western fiction in Greece.He penned the majority of the stories in the ''Little Cowboy'' magazine.During his time there he wrote the most popular western novels featuring the same characters.He made them come to life mainly due to his exceptional narrative.He inserted elements of galloping action,exciting adventure,comic relief,patriotism,friendship,drama,thriller,horror ,gothic atmosphere,mystery and even fantasy sometimes.

    A description of the characters follows:

    Adamopoulos, Jim Adams for short, is the eighteen year old sheriff
    from Sparta, Greece. Born and raised in Elgin, Texas he became a
    sheriff right after his sheriff father George Adams,better known as
    the Texas Falcon,died on duty while ambushed outside of Elgin.

    One of his father's closest friends, Pat Eagan had joined a gang and
    shot him in the back. Jim was only seventeen when he held his dying
    father in his arms and swore to him to obey and defend the law for the
    rest of his life. His father wanted Jim to become a scientist or a
    lawyer but fate had other plans.

    Armed with rage and his father's honored six shooter in hand he went
    after his murderers.It didn't take too long for Jim to realize that
    Pat Eagan was behind his father's murder. After he caught Pat Eagan
    the people of Elgin pinned George Adams' star on his son's chest.Jim
    is the typical hero, very brave, very sharp, shrewd, extremely fast
    with a six shooter, very strong, athletic, just, handsome, a good
    friend. He always works undercover,he reveals his true identity only
    if it's absolutely necessary. Jim Adams rides Thunder,a strong, loyal
    and smart steed, a beautiful animal.It was a gift from his late
    father.The little Spartan can be sometimes very patriotic and emotional,
    even for his country of origin,
    a country he only knows through his late father's tales and readings.

    Pepito Gonzales is Jim's best friend, they grew up together. He's the
    exact opposite of Jim Adams as far as brains and looks are concerned
    but when it comes to fighting a good fight or arresting bandidos he
    can be as fast and furious as his best friend.He can also be very
    funny and fortunate in the most unfortunate situations. He loves
    eating gruel and tortillas con frijoles.He's dead scared of ghosts
    even when he never encounters a real one. His main,obsessive ambition
    is to become as glorious,legendary and famous as he can so that he can
    become a Texas Ranger ASAP. Pepito rides Pelegrino,a very stubborn ass of a
    donkey that kicks him in the rear every chance he gets especially when
    Pepito sings or when he tortures his guitar.

    Diana Morrison is the girl of the group, a seventeen year old beauty
    and quite the amazon. She's the typical heroine, sharp, fast, strong,
    sensitive, athletic. The only skeleton in her closet is that she's
    very rich, she doesn't want money to stand between her and her
    friends. Diana is secretly in love with Jim Adams. She rides
    Lightning, a very smart and beautiful mare. Last but not least we meet
    smiling Chipiripo, he's the twelve year old son of the Comanches
    chief. He can be very wise for his age and he seems to have an answer
    or a solution almost about everything. Chipiripo and Pepito are always

    The little Comanche loves teasing Pepito. Chip is the official scout
    of the company, he fights bow and arrow and he rides Dwarf, his pony
    horse. Captain John Cooper is their boss, a 48 year old man, he's the
    chief of all Rangers in Texas. While Jim and Pepito visited Austin
    shortly afer Jim's father death Captain Cooper quickly became aware of
    what this amazing boy is capable of both mentally and
    physically.Within three hours Jim Adams became a Texas Ranger with
    the whole Wild West in his juristinction and a jealous Pepito in his
    hands. Captain Cooper soon learned to love and respect Jim and his
    three friends, even more than his own children, if he had any.The rest
    of the Texas Rangers had strong doubts too but they soon learned to
    admire and respect Jim Adams.

    The foursome has a fifth member, Bick, Diana's beloved wolfdog which
    is both a scout and a life savior. One of their most dreadful nemesis
    is a villain called El Capitan, a very smart, cunning, merciless, dark
    and diabolical character, almost Dracula-like. He wants to take over
    America but first he must get rid of the four ''damned brats'' as he calls
    them, they always get in his way.His appearance is also very scary and
    he always dresses in black. He can sometimes be a master of disguises.
    His hideouts are usually large caves. El Capitan uses trained,
    blood-thirsty vultures,massive gangs, monstrous men and mad scientists
    in order to make his plans work. How this uncanny foursome met is included in the novel written by G.Marmaridis in 1972.

    Youngsters were the main target audience for these magazines in Greece during the Sixties and Seventies so the writers had decided to keep the main characters ageless.In my humble opinion this decision was a mistake because the characters remained undeveloped and eventually abandoned by the general public especially after the death of George Marmaridis.Many reprints followed until the final issue of ''Little Cowboy''in 1991.

    There is still an interest for these characters in Greece especially online and there is even an interest for new writers to helm new stories,time will tell I guess.......

    American and European authors were vastly translated in Greece,I personally grew up reading Jack London and Louis L'Amour...........

    P.S.Pardon my English

  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin SadSaddler7's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Any thoughts would be more than welcome!
    Jim,Diana,Pepito,Chipiripo c'mon,I need you guys to breathe!

  3. #3
    A seadog looking for crewmates Elenitsa's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Bucharest, Romania
    It is interesting. In the 70s, there were a few Western books (and movies) in Romania too.

    Actually I remember a book series which I loved, and a movie series.

    Both of them featured men who had gone to the US before the Civil War (there were enough from Transylvania, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who crossed the ocean), fought the war, and immediately after the War went to the West.

    Steve Sharkey (from the "Colorado" books series, written by Nicolae Franculescu) arrived to be a marshall, to befriend a ranch-owner whose life he had saved, and after killing their share of bandits, marry the ranch-owner's sister. This includes (in the second book, ie after the marriage) a bandits chase southern from Rio Bravo... with its series of conflicts (Juarez' civil war then). Said ranch owner ends in love with a Native Tarahumara girl...

    This is what I remember, at least.

    The movie series (3 movies, western comedy) are focused on the adventures of the oldest and youngest brothers arrived to the New World to seek their middle brother, John Brad, who had left a few years before and apparently made himself a life here. Yes, he made himself a life... but he is a wanted gunslinger now.

    In "The Prophet, the Gold and the Transylvanians", they meet a Mormon prophet in the American state of Utah and eventually help the cause of justice in the villages where the prophet proves to be a dictator and exploiter of the coal miners over there.

    In the second movie, "The artist, the dollars and the transylvanians", the oldest, and most sincere and naive of the brothers gets in love with a singer who is working with a gang of bandits. The singer leads him on and mocks him the best she can, until he gets framed for the bank robbery her friends had done. Well, finally the real wrongdoers are found out, with John Brad's help (and a Negro, Bob, whom he had won at cards) and old Traian learns what his singer actually was...

    The third movie, "The baby, the oil and the Transylvanians" gets the third brother in love with a girl they had saved from being the youngest wife of the Mormon Prophet in the first movie, having a baby with her and the difficulties to find an Orthodox priest to marry them before the child comes. They buy a piece of land, it gets oil, then the land sharks come and they have to fight them... The baby is born in the middle of the battle, of course...

    Yes, it is well documented, hilarious and enjoyable.
    -A swashbuckling adventures RPG, set in 1720 in West Indies, open since August 2010;
    winner of Distant Fantasies& RPG-D Member's Choice Award; RPG Conference's Originality Award; 2011 & 2012 Simming Prizes-

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin SadSaddler7's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    For Heaven's Sake Elenitsa,what took you so long to answer?

    It all sounds quite interesting and a great read!

    I'm completely unfamiliar with these books,no translations in English I guess,what do you think of the Greek pulps?
    Jim,Diana,Pepito,Chipiripo c'mon,I need you guys to breathe!

  5. #5
    A seadog looking for crewmates Elenitsa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Bucharest, Romania
    They might be fun too. Maybe a little too difficult for me to read - my Greek is ...worse than it used to be for lack of practice.

    Not sure if there is any interest in the times of now... Young people are more into vampires and gallactic empires...
    -A swashbuckling adventures RPG, set in 1720 in West Indies, open since August 2010;
    winner of Distant Fantasies& RPG-D Member's Choice Award; RPG Conference's Originality Award; 2011 & 2012 Simming Prizes-

  6. #6
    Geekzilla BigWords's Avatar
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    May 2009
    inside the machine
    Going by the date of 1962 in the first post, this would be around the time of Jean Giraud (pre-Moebius handle) introducing the western themes in France in a big way, and the endless Italian films. I don't have it beside me right now, but there is a book on the Euro-Western which posits that a lot of material circulating in the 60s and 70s got endlessly translated as it crossed borders - and I know that some of the things published in Britain and France even ended up in India during this period - so it would be interesting to know if the stories had translations for other markets.
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  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin SadSaddler7's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    No,there were never other translations for any other market,the only market was the Greek one.I can't help but wonder though if George Marmaridis ever tried to staple a translated text,whatever he did he was the master of it!His work needs and deserves to be read outside of Greece.It's such a dirty shame nobody but the Greeks know his amazing work in these stories..........
    Jim,Diana,Pepito,Chipiripo c'mon,I need you guys to breathe!


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