Monday, September 26, 2011

ZORRO "Presenting Senor Zorro" Conclusion

"Out of the night, when the full Moon is bright, comes the horseman known as Zorro!"
Don't worry, you didn't miss anything!
For Part One of this comic adaptation of the pilot episode of the 1950s Walt Disney tv series, go to Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™.
Right now, all you need know is...
It is 1820.
Young Don Diego de la Vega has been summoned home to California by his father to help deal with a cruel military governor.
Wisely believing the governor, Captain Monastero, would be on his guard against an angry caballero, Diego decides to present himself as a foppish man of leisure.
After witnessing the capture of Don Nacho Torres, a friend of his father and outspoken opponent of Monastero, Diego prepares to begin his war on injustice...
Oddly, Zorro/Don Diego resembles classic movie swashbuckler Errol Flynn (who never played Zorro) more than he does Guy Williams, who played this version of the character for Walt Disney!
The writer is unknown, though the plot (and some of the dialogue) are taken from the first episode of the tv show, which this story adapts into comic form.
The art is by Alex Toth, during the period he was moving from illustrating comics to designing and art-directing tv animation.

Bonus: A featurette about Guy Williams...

Zorro will return...

Monday, September 19, 2011

"The Wild 'Un Comes Home"

Here's a short story about guns and both good boys...
...and good boys gone bad from Dell's The Rifleman #3 (1960), but not starring Lucas McCain or his son, Mark!
This tale could've fit into any of the extensive volume of Western comics that filled the newsstands right before superheroes returned to dominate the comic book field in 1962.
It just happened to go in between stories in this title based on the Chuck Connors-starring tv series because of it's odd length, 4 pages. (Most short stories were at least 6 pages.)
Illustrated by the incredibly-versatile Alex Toth, at about the time he was transitioning from comic books into television animation.

Monday, September 12, 2011

WANDER: The Man from Sirius 5

You thought Cowboys & Aliens and Space Western Comics were the only ongoing sci-fi westerns?
Wrong!
Though it was a backup feature (and never made the cover of the comic, except as a blurb), there was...Wander!
A extraterrestrial Shakespeare-spouting traveling-salesman (with superhuman abilities and alien technology) in the Old West!
Implausible?
Yep!
Genre-bending?
Obviously!
Popular?
Well, sorta...
It did last longer than either Space Western Comics! (also published, almost 20 years earlier, by Charlton Comics) or Cowboys & Aliens!
From the debut tale in Cheyenne Kid #66 (1968) seen above, to Cheyenne Kid #87 (1971), there were 21 chapters to the saga of the stranded traveling salesman from Sirius Five.
The series was created by "Sergius O'Shaugnessy" (then-neophyte comics writer Denny O'Neil using a pen-name based on a Norman Mailer character) and artist Jim Aparo, both of whom would go on to much bigger things a couple of years later at DC Comics.
We'll be presenting more tales of Wander in the near-future...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

HOW THE WEST WAS FUN! "Fact Realism vs TV is 'em Real"

More Western humor, illustrated by the legendary Jack Davis...
...but NOT from MAD!
It's from This Magazine is CRAZY! V4N8, a MAD imitator which only lasted seven issues!
Both as a comic and a b/w magazine, MAD inspired many imitators.
Some, like Cracked, are going even today.
Others, like This Magazine is CRAZY, were short-lived, but able, from time to time, to get work from MAD's regulars, almost all of whom were freelancers.
This particular piece from 1959 apparently was a satirical response to TV's sanitizing the images of both cowboys and Indians in ongoing series.
Westerns were the most popular scripted genre at the time, dominating almost half the prime time and syndicated schedules.
The writer is, regrettably, unknown.
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