Monday, January 30, 2012

BULL'S-EYE BILL "Trent Escapes"

When Last We Left Our Hero (according to the synopsis below)...
(Note: there are a couple of ethnic stereotypes common to the period and genre. May be NSFW.)
This story from Target Comics #2 (1940) was written and illustrated by the strip's creator, Bill Everett.
he serialized storyline continued until #5, when writer Doug Allen and artist L Kennerly took over the strip because Bill Everett moved on to other projects.
The strip was updated to the present (1940) with the introduction of modern technology like telephones, radio, and automobiles and The Target Ranch became a dude ranch.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

COWGIRL ROMANCES "Ranch of Riddles"

Nothing says I Love You like gunpowder, horse blankets, and guys who don't bathe for days, right?
Someone thought so back in the 1950s, when two of the most popular genres--romances and Westerns were combined into Western romances (or Romantic Westerns) in both comics and prose fiction.
At one point, there were almost a dozen titles in this sub-genre before they all faded out in 1961.
Since then, the occasional "romance at a dude ranch" or somesuch has popped up, but they're usually set in the present, not in the Old West.
This particular never-reprinted tale was from Cowgirl Romance #12 (1953) and illustrated by Maurice Whitman, a prolific mainstay of comics from 1940 to 1983 who could do any genre well.
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Monday, January 16, 2012


Why is it that towns named "Paradise" usually are anything but?
While I'm not sure the syntax quite works, I think you'll get the idea...
The box-office success of the 1969 Western movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, inspired Skywald Comics to make the duo the title protagonists of two of the five Western titles they launched in 1971.
Oddly, instead of Butch and the Kid headlining a book together, they were each given their own titles, along with new sidekicks/partners!
Butch's new buddy, as seen in this story from #1, was Lance Carter, a "loveable rogue" but with a penchant for getting them both into trouble and not based on any real-life Westerner.
The book lasted only three issues, with the Sundance Kid making a guest-appearance in an attempt to bolster sales.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

ZORRO "Zorro's Secret Passage"

"Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes the horseman known as Zorro!"
"This bold renegade carves a 'Z' with his blade, a 'Z' that stands for 'Zorro"!"
Continuing the saga begun in "Presenting Senor Zorro", this story was adapted from the second episode of Disney's Zorro tv series by an unknown writer and artist Alex Toth.
If you want to see how close it is to the filmed ep, look below...

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Monday, January 2, 2012

SPACE WESTERN: "Geronimo's Return!" & "Trip to the Moon"

Let's start off the New Year with a finale!
The month after Space Western reverted to Cowboy Western, this story, featuring the Space Vigilantes, appeared, unheralded, in the back of Cowboy Western Comics #46 (1953)!
To make the closure complete, here's the very last appearance of Spurs Jackson himself, from the same issue...
Art on both stories by John Belfi.
That was it for the first sci-fi/western comic.
Cowboy Western Comics remained an anthology of various strips, some based on real Westerners like Wild Bill Hickok and Annie Oakley, and some fictional characters like Golden Arrow, whom Charlton Comics had acquired from Fawcett Comics when it went out of business.
As of #59, the generic Wild Bill Hickok strip became an adaptation of the TV/radio series Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok starring Guy Madison as Hickok and Andy Devine as Jingles.
The covers also featured a new "Wild Bill" logo and illustrations of Madison and Devine.
As of #68 the book changed it's title to Wild Bill Hickok and Jingles, continuing until #75 in 1959, ending simultaneously with the TV/radio show.
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