Monday, June 27, 2011


O Henry's "Robin Hood of the Old West" comes to comics... the first (and only) issue of this 1944 title published by noted comics artist Bernard Baily.
Cisco and Pancho would return to comics in the 1950s in a long-running series from Dell Comics based on the tv series.

As created by legendary writer O Henry, in the short story "The Caballero's Way" in 1907. the Kid was neither Hispanic nor a hero!
A 1914 silent movie of "The Caballero's Way" altered the character to the version that's became famous...a wandering hero, called "The Robin Hood of the Old West", who, with his sidekick, righted wrongs without killing (but with lots and LOTS of shooting) just like the Lone Ranger!
Over two dozen more films followed, as well as a long-running radio series, a newspaper strip, several comic book series, and a 156-episode tv show famous for being the FIRST American tv series filmed in color!
Some of the films and tv series episodes are on dvd.
Note that not all dvds have color tv episodes, some have have b/w versions!
(All the movies were b/w!)
In the 1990s, Jimmy Smits and Cheech Marin starred in a very well-done tv-movie pilot for a new series that, unfortunately, wasn't picked up (and isn't available on dvd).
But, there's talk of a new big-budget film version of the character sometime in the next couple of years!

A special audio treat for our faithful fans...over 200 episodes of the classic radio show!

Monday, June 20, 2011

WILD BILL HICKOK "Payoff in Lead"

Another Real-Life Westerner takes center stage...
From 1952's Blazing Six Guns #1. Illustrated by Howard Larsen, who illustrated almost all of Wild Bill's stories in his own comic!
Wild Bill Hickok had several different comic book series including one based on the tv show starring Guy Madison.  This tale is not from that series.

Be back next Monday, when We Return to Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear (gee, that sounds familiar)...

Check out our online store...
...for duds and provisions!

Monday, June 13, 2011


WARNING: Stereotypes of Native Americans and Asians common to the 1950s. May be NSFW.
From Ghost Rider #1 (1950).  Writen by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Dick Ayers.
He began life in the late 1940s as Rex Fury, aka The Calico Kid, a masked hero whose secret identity was a lawman who felt justice was constrained by legal limitations. (There were a lot of those heroes in comics and pulps of the 40s including our own DareDevil and Blue Beetle!)
But, with masked heroes in every genre doing a slow fade-out after World War II, and both the western and horror genres on the rise, the character was re-imagined in 1949 as comics' first horror / western character!

The Ghost Rider himself was not a supernatural being.
He wore a phosphorescent suit and cape, making him glow in the dark, appearing as a spectral presence to the (mostly) superstitious cowboys and Indians he faced.
Since the inside of the cape was black, he'd reverse it, and appear in the dark as just a floating head, usually scaring a confession or needed information out of owlhoots.

Despite the initial aid from deceased Western heroes (and a heroine) in this origin tale, the series' early days were populated with villains who were standard owlhoots or, like The Ghost Rider, people pretending to be supernatural beings.
That changed around 1952, when he started facing real mystic menaces including Indian spirits, vampires, and even the Frankenstein Monster (though not the one from Prize Comics.)
Unfortunately, it was about this point in time that Dr. Wertham began his crusade against comics in general and horror comics in particular...
By 1954, the Ghost Rider had lost his series. The next year he disappeared entirely.
But, over 50 years later, Atomic Kommie Comics™ brought him back, digitally-restored and remastered on a host of kool kollectibles to go with our other masked Western heroes including The Lone Rider, The Red Mask, The Black Phantom, and The Masked Ranger.

Note: If you want to see the Ghost Rider's origin/first appearance (which didn't have any actual supernatural elements), go HERE!

If you're a fan of horror, masked heroes, Westerns, or all three genres, take a long, lingering look at The Ghost Rider!
You'll not see his like again, except here, at the Western Comics Adventures™ blog!

Next: Another Real-Life Westerner gets the graphic novel treatment!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Best known as the original Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Larry "Buster" Crabbe...
...also did Westerns. In fact, he did more Westerns than any other movie/tv genre!
Among the real-life Westerners he portrayed were Billy the Kid (in 13 films*), and Wyatt Earp.
Like numerous other Western movie and tv stars, Buster had his own comic book, where he fought owlhoots and desperadoes as...Buster Crabbe!
From Buster Crabbe Comics #5, penciled by longtime Batman artist Sheldon Moldoff.

Next: Another masked Western hero returns...

*The Billy the Kid series was retitled "Billy Carson", and continued for 23 more flicks, all starring Crabbe!
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