Monday, July 30, 2012

JOHN WAYNE "Blue Lightnin' Twins"

The most famous Western movie star of all time... a tale from Toby Publishing's John Wayne Adventure Comics #2 (1950), illustrated by the legendary Frank Frazetta!
In the 40s and 50s, a number of Western movie, radio, and tv stars (not characters, stars) had comics based on them, including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tom Mix, Charles Starrett, Tim Holt, and Lash Larue. Even co-stars and sidekicks like Dale Evans and Gabby Hayes had titles!
Stars like Buster Crabbe and John Wayne also had comics which primarily ran Western tales, but also did stories based on the other genres they appeared in.
In the case of The Duke, his title also had WWII and high adventure stories.
Interestingly, all the stories featured John Wayne as John Wayne, not as a character like Rooster Cogburn or Ethan Edwards!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Sometimes history is more astonishing than fiction...
...even if it is the simplistic version shown in the first issue of the first Western comic book, Western Picture Stories #1 (1937).
Written by H. David and illustrated by W M Allison, this was the first historical Western comic story.
(There was a text feature on Buffalo Bill Cody, but the other comic tales in the issue were totally-fictional.)
W M Allison also went under the names "Bill Allison" and "William Allison", during his career in comics from 1936 to 1948.
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Monday, July 16, 2012


Women in the Old West had to be deadlier than men... the cover story of Fox's Women Outlaws #1 (1948) about a Real-Life Westerner graphically-proves!
Story begins on comic's inside cover which used only two different color inks instead of the usual four.
Kate Maxwell's story has been adapted into several movies and tv series episodes, including RedHead from Wyoming (with Maureen O'Hara as Kate), and Overland Trail "High Bridge" (with Whitney Blake as Kate).

Trivia: This tale from Women Outlaws is one of the few Western comic stories to be excerpted in the notorious Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham!
The others were Western Adventures and Frontier Romances!
The third panel from page 8 is presented (out of context) in the 16-page illustrated insert...

Monday, July 9, 2012

BINGBANG BUSTER "Meets Bulletbean McBlast"

Golden Age legend Basil Wolverton's least-known work was in Westerns...
..even though he produced almost a dozen stories about one particular, peculiar, character...BingBang Buster (and his horse, Hedy)!
 Beginning with this story in Black Diamond Western #16 (1949), BingBang Buster became a regular feature that took Western cliches and turned them on their ears, sometimes mixing in other genres like mystery and science-fiction as well!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

CRIME DOES NOT PAY "'Wild Bill' Hickok"

We presented one tale about Wild Bill Hickok HERE...
...but this is a radically-different, more-accurate version of the Real-Life Westerner!
Hickok's not the infalable goody-goody shown in several different comic book series including one based on the 1950s tv show starring Guy Madison.
All of them downplayed the less-heroic aspects of the man in favor of an idealized, somewhat-sanitized version.
This tale from Crime Does Not Pay #22 (1942), written and drawn by Bob Wood pulled no punches.

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

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