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HistÚrias do Oeste em quadrinhos "Fake" Tex
by Fabrizio Gallerani
based on an idea of Julio Schneider
& Marco Gremignai
translation by Susanna Giordani Logan

Introduction & index of the stories   (109 Kb)
Western stories #1: "A young gunman"
TEXT (71 Kb)
IMAGES (966 Kb)
Western stories #2: "The fatal return"
TEXT (72 Kb)
IMAGES (998 Kb)
  click to download all the pages in ZIP

A few years ago the Brazilian publishing house Editora La Press Ltda published two stories written and drawn by Wilson Fernandes on the monthly Historias do Oeste en Quadrinhos (Western stories in comics). They were titled Um Jovem Pistoleiro and O Retorno Fatal (A Young Gunman and The Fatal Return).

The numerous Brazilian fans of Bonelli comics were shocked: the main character was in fact Tex Willer! He was, of course, named otherwise but the "coincidences" ( to be as nice as not to call them plagiarism: see the strips below) were so many that it was impossible not to identify him as Tex. What is more, it is evident in both stories, even at a superficial glance, that the author was inspired by the classic Tex story "Caccia all'uomo" ("Manhunt") by Nolitta/Fusco even in respect to the text.

Now, years later, our correspondent Julio Schneider from Brazil has indicated this episode to us and not only did he furnish us with the iconographical material and the translation in Italian , but he also went on to act as an investigator (it is not for nothing that he is a lawyer :-) ) to get as much information as possible on this "curious" editorial initiative.

"...the author was inspired by the classic Tex story "Caccia all'uomo"..."

The results of his research are the following: the new people in charge of the publishing house of the "fake" Tex say they know nothing about the two particular stories; the author disappeared a long time ago and the only interesting testimony on the matter comes from a journalist of the Gazeta Mercantil of Sao Paulo. According to him "Fernandes did other work always inspired by other unaware authors, even Hugo Pratt. It is but plain plagiarism that unfortunately ashames us abroad because of the evident violation of copyright". It is a rather peremptory but also understandable statement: in the two stories that we examined Fernandes was inspired by Ticci at times, by Trevisan and by Fusco - it is inevitable due to the constant hints to Caccia all'uomo - and he even goes as far as to copy whole strips.

Ticci, Trevisan, Fusco: three authors "copied" by Wilson Fernandes.

Overmore the style-changes between a strip and the other make the characters unrecognisable (to be frank especially when Fernandes draws improbable physiognomies because he is not being inspired by other authors), not to mention that the stories are fragmentary and the changes of scenes are sometimes hard to understand, the characters appear and disappear casually and there are unavoidable as much as gratuitous "female parenthesis".

However, this is not the first time this ever happened abroad: Sergio Bonelli himself pointed out in the mail section of Zagor n.380 a "curious" story of the "spirito con la scure" that was published in France in 1963 "in which an unbelievable collage of pictures taken from Tex was used by tracing Galleppini's drawings hurriedly" (in this case, however, the editor was aware of the story since he also stated: "I must have had a drink too many the day I gave them the authorisation to commit such a slaughter...").

Colt Miller, an "Argentinian" Tex
Let's not forget the Argentine apocryphal Colt Miller that was published by the Editorial Abril on the weekly Rayo Rojo in 1949 and that was recently "restored" and published in the appendix of the volume "Cinquantex" by Lo Scarabeo in occasion of the celebration of the ranger. In any case this is a legitimate parallel production, it was created in Argentina by the Abril to cover for the lack of original material (in fact Galleppini's and Bonelli's Tex renamed Colt Miller or Colt El Justiciero used to be published regularly by the publishing house on both Rayo Rojo and on the older Misterix). The text of the Argentinian Colt stories were entrusted to Julio Almada (aka Julio Portas) and the drawings to Carlos Cruz, who, thanks to their professionalism but above all to the fact they kept faithful to the original spirit of the series, managed to realise an honest product without pretence but not lacking charm.

In short if it is true that the success of a comic book can be measured by how many try to "imitate" it, there is no doubt that Tex is loved very much abroad as well...

To be continued... next page: the two stories

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