Monday, August 29, 2011


Owlhoots fear reel-life Western hero Buster Crabbe...
Buster Crabbe?
Handsome cinema idol of millions? (Dave Millions, my plumber.)
I've always found it odd that no one ever thinks "We can't kill Buster Crabbe!  He's too well-known!"
There were a number of these "movie personality" comics, showing the title actor in various situations.
Besides Buster Crabbe, we've also shown you John Wayne, and there were many others, primarily Western actors, though both Crabbe and Wayne also had other genre (military, sci-fi, etc.) tales featuring themselves in these comics.

Monday, August 22, 2011


A funny Western story from a horror comic?
Yup! A totally-different look at a Western movie classic, from Black Cat Mystery #47!
This spoof of the Gary Cooper flick High Noon appeared in late 1953, beating out Harvey Kurtzman & Jack Davis' "Hah! Noon!" in MAD #9 by several months.
(You can read that titillating tale HERE!
It's classic MAD from their early comic book days, before they turned into a b/w magazine!)
And, no, the art on "Low Noon" isn't by Jack Davis (though it sure looks like him)!
The illustrations (and script) are by Howard Nostrand, who had an uncanny knack for imitating other artists' styles.
After starting out as an assistant to Will Eisner on The Spirit, Nostrand concentrated mostly on horror during his comics days in the 1950s.
When comic books were almost wiped out by Congressional hearings claiming the four-color booklets caused juvenile delinquency, he went into advertising.
Nostrand also illustrated a newspaper comic strip based on the Bat Masterson tv series starring Gene Barry.

Monday, August 15, 2011

LONE RANGER "Deserted Stage Station"

"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty 'Hi-Yo Silver'..."
...cue The William Tell Overture, and "return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear!"
Originally published in Lone Ranger #131, 1959.
Story by Paul S Newman, art by Tom Gill.

Monday, August 8, 2011

BULL'S-EYE BILL "Trouble's 'a Coming!"

Anthology comics used to cover multiple genres... you can see from the series titles on this cover from 1940, they ranged from Western to superhero to aviator to secret agent!
Yet, for the first issue of this comic book, the Western feature was the one given the coveted cover spot!
So let's take a look...
(Note: there are a couple of ethnic stereotypes common to the period and genre. May be NSFW.)
You'll discover if Trent stayed hogtied in the near-future.
Bull's Eye Bill only appeared twice more on the cover, in a group shot with the other strips' characters saluting Uncle Sam (he's 2nd from right)...
Though he wouldn't make the cover again until 1947, Bull's-Eye Bill appeared regularly in the back of the book for 59 consecutive issues, then on an irregular basis until his last Target Comics appearance in #100.
Dick Cole Comics ran a couple of unpublished stories, then filled out their back pages with several reprints of early Target Comics tales.
After that, Bull's-Eye Bill rode off into the sunset.

Though the signature on the cover is "Blake" and the title pages lists "Everett Blake" as the author, the actual creator-writer-artist of the strip was Bill Everett, one of the more prolific creators of the Golden Age of Comics. ("Blake" was his middle name.)
Many of his strips and characters are still being published in new stories today, including Amazing-Man, HydroMan, Skyrocket Steele, and The Fin.  
His two best-known characters are Prince Namor: the Sub-Mariner, and (with Stan Lee & Jack Kirby) Daredevil: the Man Without Fear!

Monday, August 1, 2011

BILLY NEVADA "No-Gun Sheriff"

Some consider it a noble ambition to be totally non-violent... the Old West, that noble ambition can land you in Boot Hill...unless you have a guardian angel packing shooting irons!
From Skywald's Butch Cassidy #1, published in 1971.
It's believed to be an unused story from the Billy the Kid comic published in the 1950s by Toby Press, relettering "Billy the Kid" into "Billy Nevada".
Pencils by Don Heck, but the inkers are unknown.
The style varies every couple of pages, with only the last two pages looking like Heck's own inking.
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