Ernie Pike


Ernie Pike

"Ernie Pike" is a comics series written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and originally drawn by Hugo Pratt, featuring a World War II and Korean War reporter. It was first published in the magazine "Hora Cero" in Buenos aires, Argentina, in 1957. In the story, Pike becomes a hero as a result of his exploits, his ability to survive in dangerous situations and, ultimately, his ability to retain his morality in the light of the horrors of war.

Overview

The comic is set during World War II, and the protagonist - Ernie Pike - doesn't play an active role in the stories, being merely the narrator. The name of the protagonist was reminiscent of that of Ernie Pyle, a well known real life war correspondent of the era. Unlike Ernie Pyle, Ernie Pike survives the war and is referenced as a veteran in other stories by Pratt.

Unlike genre standards, the comic doesn't show any battles nor the Allies and Nazis stereotypes of being the "good guys" and the "bad guys". Instead, it centers on tragic happenings to soldiers of both sides. Generally this tragedies are misunderstandings that end up badly: characters who go mad, who kill their own friends by mistake or because they believe them to be traitors, who attempt to get killed in an specific way to avoid a more gruesome death, or who must mercy-kill badly hurt comrades to cite several examples. Oesterheld, thus, utilizes war comics to reflect his personal dislike of war itself.

Oesterheld himself, impersonating Ernie Pike, presented the reappearance of the comics on "TOP Maxi Historietas" in July, 1971 writing:

Publishing history

The comic was first published in "Hora Cero" magazine in 1957 and continued later on "Hora Cero extra" and the weekly supplement. After several years, Hugo Pratt left for Europe, while Oesterheld stayed in Argentina. Hugo Pratt republished Ernie Pike in Italy and other European countries under his sole name.

Oesterheld continued the comic with other Argentine artists, like Alberto Breccia and Francisco Solano López among others. Oesterheld threatened Pratt witha trip to Europe in order to regain "paternity" over the characters, but due to his forced disappearance in the late 70s, this never materialized.

Several volumes of Ernie Pike by Oesterheld-Pratt - along others of Sergeant Kirk - were reprinted in 2006 for the "Nueva Biblioteca Clarín de la Historieta" collection published by Clarín newspaper. Previously, Ancares Editora had reprinted the volumes by Oesterheld-Breccia in 2002.

Bibliography

* Nueva Biblioteca Clarín de la Historieta 3: Sargento Kirk / Ernie Pike (publicado por "Diario Clarín", 2006)
* El otro Ernie Pike vol. 1 (publicado por Ancares Editora, 2002)


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