Friday, October 31, 2014

WESTERN OUTLAWS & SHERIFFS "El Sombro! Mexico's Ghost of Chapel Hill"

We're doing a combo Halloween / Dia de los Muertos post...
 ...featuring a Ghost Rider/Masked Marvel-style hero with a Mexican twist!
Despite the references, there was no real-life El Sombro!
The unknown writer for this tale from Atlas' Western Outlaws and Sheriffs #62 (1950) made the tale up!
The art's a bit problematic.
The splash page is by Joe Maneely, and the rest of the tale is attributed to penciler John Buscema and an unknown inker.
Personally, I have my doubts.
When the tale was reprinted in Marvel's Rawhide Kid #100 (1972), El Sombro received a makeover...
...with a revision of his color scheme (or original lack therof)!
In the interim, Marvel had produced a rebooted version of the 1950s Ghost Rider (including his all-white color scheme)...
 ... who was still appearing as a guest-star in various Marvel Old West titles.
Perhaps the editors thought the audience would confuse the two characters!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Clayton Moore IS the Lone Ranger...

...just as Sean Connery IS James Bond, and Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes.
Like Connery and Rathbone, Clayton Moore wasn't the first to play the character, but he was the best.
Hi-Yo Silver...Away!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dick Ayers' THE ORIGINAL GHOST RIDER Original "Origin"

We mourn the passing of Dick Ayers, one of the unsung heroes of comics' Silver and Bronze Ages (who actually started at the tail-end of the Golden Age)...
Insert from the cover to Tim Holt #11. Art by Dick Ayers
...but celebrate his life and art, including the premiere of Dick's most famous co-creation, from the very first appearance in Magazine Entertainment's Tim Holt #11 (1949).
You'll note that when the origin was retold in the first issue of Ghost Rider's own title, supernatural elements were added.
But, oddly, the later version  of the origin doesn't show Rex Fury tracking down Bart Lasher, though that particular villain is shown in both versions to be responsible for Fury and Sing-Song's near-deaths!
You can read that retcon HERE.
While the full-face mask wasn't initially part of the origin, it was incorporated into the revised version along with an explanation for the new, white, horse the Ghost Rider was now using.
Written by Ray Krank with art by Dick Ayers.
For you completists, here's the full cover from that issue...

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Did you know the original Ghost Rider was as adept using skis as he was riding a horse?
Me neither!
But it just goes to show you what you'll find out when the Polar Vortex inspires you to look for a Western comic story set in a frigid envrioment!
As shown in this Dick Ayers-illustrated tale from Magazine Enterprises' Best of the West #3 (1952). the Ghost Rider was ideally-suited to operating in snow-bound enviroments thanks to his all-white costume!
Of course, if you're a historical nit-picker seriously-concerned with accuracy, you'd note that skiers of the era used only one pole, not two!
Nonetheless, this story's a kool change of pace for our favorite Western Wraith.
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