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