Words an’ Pictures: How the West Was Won – A Review of “Peppy in the Wild West”

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Greetings comic fanatics! For this week, I wanted to bring you a review of a new English translation of Peppy in the Wild West, a 1934 story from the infamous pen of Hergé.

For those unfamiliar, Georges Remi, better known as Hergé, was an extremely influential Belgian cartoonist best known for his long running series, The Adventures of Tintin. While The Adventures of Tintin was a childhood favorite of mine, I have not had the opportunity to read much of Hergé’s other work, so I was very excited to learn of this new translation (the first in English since 1969).

Peppy in the Wild West is a standard adventure story that seems intended primarily for children. The plot follows an anthropomorphic bear, Peppy, who packs up his hat-selling business and leaves his home with his wife Virginny and steed Bluebell, seeking the greener economic pastures of America. Upon arriving in the States, they face an angry tribe of Native Americans, a ruthless bulldog outlaw, and the harsh frontier elements with exciting and often hilarious results. While Peppy in the Wild West does benefit from Hergé’s considerable skill, the plot is ultimately not very interesting, and this certainly should not be counted among his best works. I would still highly recommend this story to die-hard Hergé fans, though, for several reasons.

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