This is a very special one. Although he is not the effective creator of Brigitte Montfort, Lou always treated this character as his own and has effectively established a passionate relationship by taking extreme care of her evolving until she retired. Among other things, Lou is the one who provided Brigitte the opportunity to meet the love of her life, Angelo Tomasini, aka Number One, and has even chosen the names of the children she had: Bridget and Héctor.
Photos: From 1996 to 2010
Born Antonio Miguel de los Ángeles Custodios Vera Ramírez in Barcelona, Spain in 2nd of July of 1934, it is not a coincidence that Brigitte Montfort is used to celebrate her own anniversary at this same date: 2nd of July. He frequently uses a short form of his name – Antonio Vera Ramirez – and Lou Carrigan is the most famous alias among others he has adopted as writer, such as Angelo Antonioni, Angela Windsor, Milton Hamilton, Lou Constantine Carrigan or even Antonio Vera. Apart of the very convincing Brigitte Montfort´s spy stories – in the 70’s some readers in Brazil believed that Lou Carrigan was a former agent of CIA or someone with special connections there as most stories did not appear to be totally fictional – Antonio Vera Ramirez has also written stories associated with police, fright, romance and even westerns under the above mentioned aliases (it may not be believable to US naturals, but Spanish writers put western stories in books so well as Italians directors in the big screen). On the other hand, he has never used an alias other than Lou Carrigan to write Brigitte Montfort´s adventures.
For each pocket book containing 200,000 typing spaces, enough to fulfill 125 pages in the format 15 x 11cm, Lou Carrigan was used to be remunerated at an equivalency of USD 500.00 by Editora Monterrey. Most of the adventures were longer and, consequently, they were printed in two pocket books, except the commemorative edition #200 (“All The Gold From The World” or "Todo O Ouro Do Mundo") which was printed with 250 pages. Once submitted to Editora Monterrey, Lou Carrigan had no more control over his written stories and in the beginning with frequency, José Alberto Gueiros, the editor and partner of Editora Monterrey, was used to make changes on the originals in order to turn the adventures more dramatic and naturally spicy. Sometimes he has even created some new characters and included in the originals. As a result of that, most of the adventures published in Brazil are not exactly the same published in Spain or in Portugal, even carrying the same title.
The opposite also happened when Editora Monterrey decided to republish both Giselle and Brigitte Montfort´s adventures in a new series of pocket books called “ZZ7 Blue Series” (SA). Differently from the first series of publications (known as "ZZ7 Red Series" - "SV"), the Blue Series did not include stories from characters other than Giselle and Brigitte Montfort and did not include authors other than J. F. Krakberg and Lou Carrigan (except for the adventures that were originally told to be self-narrative whose authors were not identified in both Series). Lou Carrigan had, then, the opportunity to revisit some of the originals signed by J. F. Krakberg and has even promoted title changes. Therefore, J. F. Krakberg´s book “The Sacred Crime” published in the ZZ7 Red Series (SV) became to be Lou Carrigan’s “The Sacred Fire” in the ZZ7 Blue Series (SA) and the same happened with some other books of the collection.
In addition to the above, Lou has gifted ZZ7 Blue Series (SA) with brand new adventures that have never been published in the ZZ7 Red Series (SV): “Marked Minutes”, “It Is Not Worth Counting To Three” and “Goodbye, Mr. Grogran”.
Lou Carrigan wrote his first adventure with Brigitte Montfort as a character in 1965 and stopped in 1992 as he has entered in agreement with Editora Monterrey that he would continue until the ZZ7 Red Series (SV) reached the #500 (episode called "A Spy For The Eternity" or "Uma Espiã Para A Eternidade"). However, in the end of the year 2000 he was approached by Juan Alberto Fernández Nunes, then Director and the last owner of the bankrupted Editora Monterrey, aiming to count on his support to launch new books in the Brazilian market of the Montfort spies, but this time about Giselle, not about “Baby”.
Although Lou had never written a single word before about Giselle Montfort and although the big challenge was the creation of a convincing argument to justify that Giselle had not been executed in Cherche Midi prison on 15 of March of 1944 as it has been believed so far (inclusive by her own daughter, Brigitte Montfort), Lou has accepted Juan Alberto´s request and wrote four new Giselle´s adventures in the usual format (200,000 spaces) and delivered them accordingly: “Giselle, Mon Amour”, “A Grave In Versailles”, “A Body With No Heart” and “Operation: Terminate”. These books have never been published and it is unknown whether they have even been translated into Portuguese once Juan Alberto was involved in an accident and deceased not long after. However, Lou Carrigan made these four books available in the original version (Spanish) for sale under just one generic title ("Giselle, The Resurrected Spy" or "Giselle, La Espía Resucitada") at http://lulu.com and at a very fair price (international credit card required).
Counting the J. F. Krakberg´s stories about Brigitte Montfort that have been revisited, other three stories released first time exclusively by ZZ7 Blue Series (SA), two stories released first time through ZZ7 Red Series Special Edition (SE) and the commemorative edition #200 which is equivalent to two, Lou Carrigan has wroten exactly 482 books of 125 pages each (or 482 times 200,000 spaces) exclusively about the character Brigitte Montfort (apart of the additional 4 books about Giselle). As 34 adventures are double (or have taken 400,000 spaces to be completed), the collection is comprised of 448 titles.
In Brazil, Editora Monterrey has released other editions of the ZZ7 collection like the Green Series (SVd), the Yellow Series (SAm) and the Black Series (Seleções), but this is another story.
Observation: It is available at YouTube the complete movie called "Los Buitres Cavarán Tu Fosa", or "And the Crows Will Dig Your Grave", in which Lou Carrigan signs the screenplay in partnership with Juan Bosch and Roberto Gianviti. It is a 1971 Italian-Spanish production of a typical spaghetti western with original sound in Spanish and with no subtitles.
5) John Lack
There are two books authored by John Lack in the ZZ7 Red Series (SV) collection: #14 “Rigged Fight” (which is not about Brigitte Montfort) and #31 “Brigitte Montfort Vs Death”. Most of fans doesn´t know but, excluding J. F. Krakberg and Lou Carrigan, John Lack is the only writer that has authored a book with an adventure of Brigitte Montfort. None of his books have been included on the ZZ7 Blue Series (SA) or in any other Series of the collection.
To be continued...
Book cover scans: Lou Carrigan and own collection
Some book cover scans obtained in the internet
Quotes from Gonçalo Junior´s article published in Brazilian Playboy, edition March 2013