Sunday 13 March 2011

Rock L'Invincible Et L'Intrepide Hurrah!

While UK publishing has a long and honorable tradition of being so entranced by the written word that it tends to disparage anything that relies heavily on illustrative content to advance an idea, on the continent as we all know there are countries that have had a long and equally honorable tradition of being enthusiastic readers of  comics.

Imagine then a young and enterprising man with a love of comics and a zest for life, arriving from Italy in 1923 and setting up a printing press in Paris. Cino Del Duca was a man of extraordinary drive and vision and he quickly set about creating his own publishing empire in France. When the war interrupted his business with typical gusto he joined the French Resistance and  screwed up things sufficiently effectively for the occupiers that he was awarded the Croix De Guerre.

When the war ended he really set to and built up his own comics revolution, encouraging home grown talent and buying in other strips that took his eye from Europe and the US. The comics L'Intrepide and Hurrah! eventually merged and amongst the many strips that they bought in from the UK was none other than Wulf The Briton. Rechristened Rock L'Invincible it has to said that the reproduction was completely compromised by being crudely separated so that the original pages were produced as a black plate onto which were added cyan, magenta and yellow. The pages were similarly re-jigged and additional art was added by Angelo Di Marco.

A long way short of the original Bemrose printing but nevertheless interesting for Embleton aficionados and topical for as I type the huge container vessel the OOCL Hamburg is sailing ever closer to these shores with the long awaited Fleetway Index Volume 2, Don Lawrence's Wells Fargo and ... Ron Embleton's Wulf The Briton The Complete Adventures.

My days of being one of only two people to have a copy of this book are happily numbered.


  1. 'Rock L'Invincible' - I like it!

    ...That'd make one heck of a name for a band. :-)

  2. ...Hmmm! I've just been struck by an intriguing thought.

    Given that Rock L'Invincible seems to have made its first appearance in Hurrah! N° 287 (dated 17th April 1959) I'd say there's a very good chance it was a key influence on Goscinny & Uderzo's creation of the phenomenally popular Asterix - who didn't make his own debut until June of that year in a promotional edition of Pilote (which in turn preceded that magazine's first issue proper by more than four months).

  3. I find the whole Uderzo Goscinny story facinating, right from reading about Uderzo as a boy looking over Calvo's shoulder as he was creating the fabulous artwork for La Bete Est Mort, to Goscinny hanging out in New York in the 1950's with Harvey Kurtzman.

    Still trying to come to terms with Rock L'Invincible as a French rock band.

    But would they be bettairrrr than Johneeeee Alliday Phil?

  4. georges RAMAIOLI15 March 2011 at 13:35

    I was a reader of that " ROCK L'INVINCIBLE" before ASTERIX... ROCK
    was a "Gaul" in France...I discoveerd him in "L'INTREPIDE" designed by
    GIOVANNINI et it's with a great pleasure that i see the designer was
    changed..I knew later the name of that artist RON EMBLETON...
    very scorned by the word of french comics books..
    I spend my life to search and find the whole story of ROCK/WULF..
    and the other works of EMBLETON...
    I had try to ask his brother JERRY, but he answer " there is not books
    available with the work of his brother"...I'had found some pages
    of EXPRESS WEEKLY or LOOK and LEARN and enjoy the magnificence
    of the colour and the beauty of the design...
    I write a very long saga in comics book (15 albums) about the resistance of the gauls to the romans.. My hero is an heroin, a Britain
    girl, certainly in "hommage" at "WULF" who inspired me..
    With INTERNET i have discovered many works of RON and specially
    with this beautiful blog..I have ordered the book of BOOK PALACE
    and i was so impatient to receive after 3 months of waiting..
    I have also ordered all about "HADRIAN WALL" superb !!
    Thank you for your love of RON...
    I wish the others RON'works.."ROGERS, DON'O'THE DRUM ect..
    will be also printed some days...

  5. Many thanks for your comments Georges. The Wulf Book should be arriving very shortly and I am pleased to say that it looks really superb - I feel sure you will love it.

    I'd really like to work on more books like the Wulf book, Don O' The Drums and Wrath of the Gods would be fantastic as would his other work for TV Express. Ron's Biggles strip has been reprinted in France, which I am sure you know about already.

    I'd love to know a bit more about the series of albums you have written - 15 sounds epic!!!