You might wonder what the connection between rural Tuscany, cowboys and comics is. Well, first of all we have a long-standing tradition of butteri, our very own form of cowboys. And you might have heard about the epic meeting between our butteri and the cowboys of Buffalo Bill. This might, or might not, be the type of event that inspired Gianluigi Bonelli and Aurelio Galleppini to create Tex Willer, one of the most popular characters in Italian comics.
Of course, Tex was a cowboy, and one with a strong sense of justice. He defended Native Americans from injustice, bandits, unscrupulous merchants and corrupt politicians. He has a son with a Native America woman and eventually becomes chief of the Navajo tribe. Not sure if that is ok with people concerned with cultural appropriation, but that’s beside the point. The point is that the artist behind Tex, Galleppini, was from a tiny hamlet in our corner of rural Tuscany: Casale di Pari.
This year, Galleppini, aka “Galep“, would have been 100. To celebrate this incredible artist, and his successful cowboy, a series of events will take place from today, August 11 until August 15 in his home village. Seminars, a fabulous exhibit, music and food (of course, what celebration would it be if there was no abundance of fried food???) and even guided walks in the woods around the village.
The village is only 30km south of Siena, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, only minutes from the Petriolo hot springs. This would make a great day trip and be a fabulous opportunity to discover a piece of the most authentic Italian pop culture of the 20th century, and the work of a great artist.
If you are in southern Tuscany, check out the program of the events on the dedicated website: galep100.it. A Facebook Page with regular updates is also available.
Thank you for sharing a part of Italian culture that I never knew about!
Very interesting history! I had never heard of Texas Willer till now. It sounds good to have a hero who defends those less privileged.