A Month in the Life of the Comics
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# 113


Kerry Drake Detective # 30 - Chicago Con purchase





Kerry Drake in The Case of the Mystery Mine by Al Andriola 23 pgs

Science in Investigation 1 pg feature

With the F.B.I. 1 pg feature


I will rely on two primary sources for the following dual write-up about Alfred Andriola and Kerry Drake. First the main content is from Don Markstein's Toonopedia and excerpts from Coulton Waugh's The Comics -


"Kerry Drake was a crime drama newspaper strip, following in the footsteps of Tracy. But it wasn't as violent as Tracy, nor did it grab its readers on quite so visceral a level. And its protagonist wasn't quite so much a no-nonsense kind of guy. Kerry's white hair was the first tip-off that this was a different kind of crime fighter. He didn't stray as far from the Tracy template as Rip Kirby did a few years later, but he may very well have pointed the way.

Kerry set a precedent for Kirby in other ways, as well. The two strips both originated as the idea of a writer, but the artist insisted on — and got — full credit. The writer in this case was Allen Saunders, co-creator of Big Chief Wahoo, which eventually, in a couple of steps, metamorphosed into Steve Roper & Mike Nomad. Saunders also scripted Dan Dunn, a more conventional Tracy knock-off. Later, he helped set the tone on Mary Worth, which became the prototype for the post-World War II soap opera strips.




And Alfred Andriola was the artist. He'd gotten his start in the comics business by writing a fan letter to Milton Caniff about Terry & the Pirates, and subsequently taking a job in the studio Caniff shared with cartoonist Noel Sickles. By the time Kerry Drake came along, Andriola had put in several years on a comic strip about Charlie Chan, created a minor comic book superhero named Captain Triumph, and collaborated with Saunders on Dan Dunn.


Coulton Waugh's comments [first published in 1947] -


"Perhaps the brightest of the bright boys who splash ink in the Caniff manner is Alfred Andriola. He was mighty Milt's assistant back in 1935, and knows every flick of that smart wrist from scratch. By 1938, he was off on his own doing a comic strip version of "Charlie Chan" for the McNaught Syndicate. This was an adaptation of the adventures of the Chinese sleuth, a character created by Earl Derr Biggers, which had appeared in movies and story magazines.


Andriola had a healthy and understandable ambition to make a lead character of his own, and in 1942 he pulled away from "Charlie Chan" and went shopping around to see what might offer. Chances to do the well known strips "Secret Agent" and "Scorchy Smith" showed up, but these were open to the original objection. Then came a call from Publishers' Syndicate, distributors of "Dan Dunn." Dan was to run for one more year. If he would turn that strip out, Harold Anderson promised, he would be given a chance to continue with a strip of his own. So began Andriola's own strip "Kerry Drake," [on Monday, October 4 of that year — which, coincidentally, happens to have been 12th anniversary of Tracy's debut. It was popular enough to be reprinted in a Harvey comic book from 1948-52, but didn't spawn any movies, TV shows etc.]


Andriola is one of the sharpest of the new draftsmen. His stuff has sparkle and life. His boxes are direct, full of action, and uncluttered; his patter smart and smooth. He has an ability to delineate character vividly, perhaps enthusiasm has led him to overplay his hand in this respect, for at least in one instance he cooked up an overlurid characterization which led parents to protest. This is Stitches, a beast of a man with a skull face stitched along the side, who, through the course of a number of strips, tortured hero Drake by such pleasant little devices as turning on live steam while the victim is strapped in a tub. Is this what the public wants? Some editors may think so. Many of us doubt it. The strips have come quite a way from the old harsh days of the Yellow Kid. Disney has proved that one can entertain without inculcating a sense of bestiality."


Back to the Toonopedia's commentaries -


The title character was an assistant district attorney, but in the early '50s, when his fiance and secretary, Sandy Burns, was murdered, he decided to take a more active role in apprehending criminals, and joined the police force. Bulldozer, the man who killed Sandy, was one of a long succession of Tracy-style flamboyant villains. Others included Dr. Prey, Bottleneck, Mother Whistler and No Face, to name but a few. That came to an end when, in 1958, Kerry Drake married a police widow named Mindy — and this time, there were no last-minute killings to prevent the nuptials. After that, the strip shifted its focus toward the personal lives of Kerry and Mindy. There was still plenty of action (though much of it was performed by Kerry's younger brother, Lefty), but to a large extent, Kerry Drake became a sort of police-oriented soap opera.


This trend reached its apotheosis in 1967, when Mindy gave birth to quadruplets — making Kerry, without a doubt, the only white-haired father of quads in all the ranks of adventure heroes.


The "soap" approach seems to have gone over well. In 1970, Andriola received The Reuben Award, given by The National Cartoonists' Society to the Cartoonist of the Year, for his work on Kerry Drake.


A few years after that, Saunders retired. He was replaced by William Overgard, whose credits run from a Dell comic book starring Steve Canyon to Rudy, a strip about a talking, clothes-wearing chimpanzee in a world of normal humans. Andriola remained the strip's artist, though he relied heavily on assistants. Among the better known are Fran Matera, whose other credits include Treasure Chest and Little Annie Rooney, and Jerry Robinson, famous for his work on the early Batman. But the one who held that position longest was Sururi Gumen, who came on board in 1955 and stayed as long as the strip itself lasted. In 1976, he became the only person ever allowed to share credit with Andriola — but by then, he was doing the art all by himself.


Andriola died in 1983 — but even then, he didn't relinquish credit, as Kerry Drake ended with him."


According to the Comic Strip Project, here are the persons who worked on the strip -



Alfred Andriola 43-75

asst. Charles Raab

asst. Marvin Bradley

asst. Fran Matera 46-47

asst. Joe Pinto 50's

asst. Sururi Gumen 55-57 (p)

asst. Hy Eisman 57-59 (p)

asst. Sururi Gumen 60-76 (p)

art Sururi Gumen 76-83

asst. Al McWilliams c.76

asst. Marcia Snyder

asst. Rick DiCecca 79

wr Allen Saunders

wr William Overgard

wr John Saunders


Splash Page -




Story Page -




Story Page -




Story Page -




Ad Page for the following issue - Great Gallery of Villains, including the (in)famous Stitches (See Waugh's write-up) -




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Kerry Drakes are great reads - and pretty cheap in low grade! Despite the obvious nod to Tracy, the scripting is often superior to Gould's.

One can also pick up the Blackthorne squarebounds from the late 80s to read some of the early and classic Kerry Drake arcs.

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I finally got around to read the Ken Shannon tonight and foreheadslap.gif I just now noticed on the bottom left panel on the store awning, that Chuck Cuidera signed his work right there and then. Was I the last one to notice?


RJ, I am looking forward to read the Kerry Drake as well. One thing that ticked me off in the Tracy comic in the collection is that, unlike the Kerry Drake, the story is To Be Continued ... and I don't plan on buying more Tracy so I'll never know the end. Plus, if distribution was spotty back in the 50's, I can imagine many kids skipping issues and that must've been frustating and disappointing.

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Second Story Splash - I know all sources I saw mentioned some Jack Cole art in the issue. Can anyone confirm that this is indeed by Jack Cole?


Looks like Jack Cole to me. Around this time he often had others inking his pencils, who had also become adept at imitating his style. I look for extra little zany touches like the long nose on the guy on the far right or the kinetic action in the splash. There also a nicely captured pose/expression on the guy in the backgroun in the LR panel. It sure looks like Cole to me.

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# 114


Kid Colt Outlaw # 19 - Bought from Jim Payette?





Cover by Joe Maneely

9352 - Kid Colt in Revenge in Sagebrush City by Pete Tumlinson 8 pgs

9353 - Kid Colt in Mystery of the Stolen Cache! by Pete Tumlinson 4 pgs

9567 - Range Rustlers 2 pg text

9562 - The Lonely Trail by Warren Broderick 4 pgs

9351 - Kid Colt in The Big Smoke! by ? 6 1/2 pgs


Let's have Don Markstein from his entry at the Toonopedia remind us of the Kid's history -


Custom Kid Colt Figure -




"Kid Colt, Outlaw, wasn't the first western title published by Marvel Comics — but only one, Two-Gun Kid, preceded it (and … by only five months). Nor was it the last — but of Marvel's old-time western series, only Rawhide Kid continued after it was gone (and by an even slimmer margin). Between the first and the last of Kid Colt, 31 years passed, making the title character the longest-running western star in the history of American comic books. Even counting newspaper comics, only Little Joe had a greater tenure.


I was unable to find a cover scan to Kid Colt # 1 but here's the cover to All Western Winners # 2 showcasing multiple Atlas Western stars - Church Copy on sale at Metro -




Kid Colt (with his horse, Steel) debuted in his own comic, with a cover date of August, 1948. Originally, his subtitle (on the cover, but not the indicia) was "Hero of the West". It was changed "Outlaw" on the cover of the third issue, and in the indicia of the fifth. His origin story (first told in #11, September, 1950) was similar to Two-Gun's — Blaine Colt was wrongly accused of murder, and chose to run rather than try to buck an overwhelming presumption of guilt. He spent the rest of his life trying to outrun his reputation, which remained unchanged despite the fact that he used his amazing skill with a six-gun only in the cause of justice.


Here's an expanded version of the facts [from Jess Nevins' site] - "Dan Colt is the owner of the Flying-C Ranch outside of Abiline, Wyoming. Like many another rancher and former cowboy, Dan wants his son, Blaine, to be courageous and true, and says as much to Gabby, the senior hand on the Flying-C. Blaine trains himself from childhood to become an expert with his namesake gun, but he never uses it. Dan thinks that this is because Blaine is soft, and a coward. There's another reason, however--Blaine's temper:


Gabby: Why won't yuh tell him the REAL reason, Blaine?


Blaine: I can't, Gabby! He'd worry more than ever! I've kept it to myself all these months...he wouldn't sleep nights, knowing I might turn into a killer! It first happened a year ago...I started practicing with a Colt! I was fast--TOO fast! I could draw afore you could blink yore eye! You know my temper, Gabby! If I carried a Colt, I might shoot the first jasper who said somethin' I didn't like! Sure, I'm scared to wear a gun! But not scared the way Dad thinks I'm scared...I'm scared of HURTIN' SOMEONE!


This all changes one day when Dan tries to oppose Lash Larribee, the head of the "Ranchers Protection Association." Larribee cowardly guns Dan down. Blaine, furious, straps on his Colts, stalks into town, outdraws Larribee and kills him. Larribee's men then accuse Blaine of murdering Larribee, which forces Blaine to go on the run. He becomes the itinerant cowboy do-gooder known as Kid Colt, wandering the Western frontier with his horse Steel."


Kid Colt Outlaw # 12 -




Marvel apparently thought that was a pretty good back-story. They published dozens of western titles — in fact, they put out more westerns than any other American publisher — and used that origin story over and over.


Kid Colt was an immediate hit, and the publisher exploited him to the hilt. Within a couple of months, they had a western anthology title on the stands, All Western Winners, with Kid Colt a prominent feature. He maintained his own title throughout the 1950s, as well as appearing in the back pages of other characters' comics and on the covers of anthology titles like Two-Gun Western and Gunsmoke Western.


By the '60s, westerns had fallen out of favor, but Kid Colt remained on the schedule. Through most of that decade, in fact, his was one of only three titles Marvel published in that genre, the other two being Rawhide Kid and a re-tooled version of Two-Gun Kid. The artist most closely associated with him during this period was Jack Keller, whose other major credits include scores of hot rod comics published by Charlton. His comic was dropped in 1968, but came back a year later, full of reprints.


During the hiatus, Kid Colt appeared in a double-size anthology, Mighty Marvel Western, along with Rawhide and Two-Gun. This title ran from 1968-76. In the middle '70s, when Marvel experimented with extra-large editions of its most popular comics, Kid Colt was the only western so favored — Giant-Size Kid Colt ran three issues in 1975.


Eventually, though, even the most successful western comic of all succumbed to declining interest in the genre. The last issue of Kid Colt, Outlaw was #229 (April, 1979)."


All in all Kid Colt appeared in these books: All-Western Winners #2-4, Best Western #58-59, Black Rider #26-27, Ghost Rider v1 #1-6, Gunsmoke Western #32-72, Kid Colt Outlaw #1-229, Mighty Marvel Western #1-24, Rawhide Kid #50, 64, 67, Two-Gun Kid #13-14, 16-21, Two Gun Western v1 #8-14, Western Winners #5-6, Wild Western #4-6, 9-11, 20-47, 52, 54-56, Blaze of Glory #1-4, Black Panther v2 #46.


Out of these many appearances, the OSPG points out the following -

# 4 has an Anti-Wertham editorial

# 79 has the origin retold

# 102 is the last 10 cents issue

# 107 is the only sci-fi Kirby cover of the title

# 121 has a Rawhide Kid cross-over

# 125 has a Two-Gun Kid cross-over


Kid Colt Outlaw # 107 - Kirby Sci-Fi Cover -




What the OSPG fails to mention is a more esoteric Marvel cross-over in which the Kid crosses path with ... Patsy Walker!


"Patsy Walker #77 (June 1958) features a story (P-78) by Stan Lee & Al Hartley in which the whole Walker family (except Mom) are fans of the Kid Colt, Outlaw television show (wishful thinking on Stan's part?). On a trip to Hollywood, they are cast in an episode of the show, as a family in a runaway stage coach that the Kid rescues. As you might expect, they find TV work and the Kid aren't so glamorous ... except Mom, who now thinks he's great. The Kid is there, red shirt, moo-cow vest and all. Yet another Weird Pre-Hero Crossover. Interestingly, the preceding issue featured a Millie the Model crossover." [From Tom Lammers on the Atlas / Timely Group]


As for Pete Tumlinson, here's what Doc. V. has to say: "Pete Tumlinson worked as a staff artist in the Timely bullpen from 1948 until it closed inked quite often by George Klein. As a freelancer he drew Kid Colt in 1950-51 and had a nice run in many genres up through 1955. His early work possessed dark, brooding style, not unlike the very early Al Hartley of 1950-51. His later work up through 1955 is quite illustrative and reminds me of Mort Lawrence."


For a complete Romance story by Pete Tumlinson, please see I Was a Blonde Outcast - a 10-page story from Girl Comics #5, 1951. Originally slated to appear in Cowboy Romances, this story has very little romance, but plenty of adventure, which suits it for the action-packed title, Girl Comics.


It is possible that in drawing Western action which occurred between the 1870s to 1885, Pete Tumlinson channeled the memories of a namesake ancestor - Tumlinson, Peter (b. 16 NOV 1802, d. 19 SEP 1882). Peter Tumlinson was appointed by the new Texas President Sam Houston as a commander of the new incarnation of the TEXAS RANGERS. He had moved to Grimes Co. Texas in 1834. He served as a Ranger for 40 years, becoming known as "Old UNCLE PETE" Tumlinson. He Married Tennie Tidwell. They had 2 children, Absolom and William Carman, who became known as Button. His sons all followed their father into service with the Texas Rangers. On Dec. 27 1859 UnclePete led his men as part of the famous BATTLE OF BOLSA BEND, when the RANGERS won their decisive defeat of the bandit leader CORTINA near Rio Grande City.He was at the battle of San Jacinto but did not fight because he arrived late but was there for the surrender." If you want to know more about Cortina and the events of the Bolsa Bend, please read this article from the Texas Rangers Dispatch.


First Story Splash -




First Story Page - Kid Colt is not shy about using his guns and shoot people -




Second Story Splash - The previous page had nice action, and here Tumlinson provides a very nice top splash panel, much more in detail than usual in other Western from the time period




Second Story Page -




Fourth Story Splash -




Fourth Story Page -




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# 115


Kid Cowboy # 7 - eBay Purchase





Kid Cowboy in The Medecine Show Murder! by ? 7 pgs

Kid Cowboy in The Ghost Town of Twin Buttes by Al Carreno 7 pgs

Buffalo Bill 1 pg short Bio

The Singing Cowboy in The Ghost of Hangman's Lode by ? 6 pgs

Kid Cowboy in Battle Cry! by? 5 pgs

The Little Sheriff in The Gun Fight! by ? 2 pgs

Hero of the "Dark and Bloody Ground" 1 pg Bio of Daniel Boone


Here's another book that started as a headache for coverage since it is all but forgotten and lasted only 11 issues for Ziff-Davis and continued only for a couple more under St John before disappearing for ever.


Kid Cowboy - Boy Marvel of the Wild West! # 1 -




The identity of the cover artist for # 1 and # 7 is unknown as well. What to do? Fortunately, the second story is signed by Al Carreno. My first reaction was Who? Further research proved I should know about Al. Here's what I found - First, from the Comiclopedia, here's Al's brief bio -


"Al Carreno (1905 - 1964, Mexico)


Albert "Al" Carreno was born in Mexico City. He attended the University of Mexico and moved to the United States in the mid-1920's. First working as a caricaturist on the Chicago Daily News, he later moved to New York. In 1935 he was asked to do a comic strip for an eight-page tabloid comic section. The result was a western, 'Ted Strong', but it was dropped after a few years.


Then Al Carreno went on to comic book illustration, working variously at Fox, Fawcett, National, Prize, Marvel, Pines and Ziff Davis throughout the 1940's and 1950's. He worked on titles such as 'Ibis', 'Red Gaucho', 'Captain Marvel', and 'The Blue Beetle'. In the 50's he also became active in the National Cartoonist Society and became NCS membership chairman. Carreno died in September 1964."


Now, this is a guy who worked around but had never encountered so far. Let's first concentrate on his comic book career. His credits at the GCD place him all over the board until he finds a long gig with Fawcett and his work appears in some interesting book (and I'll use that opportunity to showcase some of these great covers).


His oldest credit is for The Comics # 11 (1937) for Dell and he doesn't reappear until Feb. 1940 in Daring Mystery # 2 for Timely drawing a 10-page episode of Mr. E. "Who In Reality Is Mr. E?" -




as well as drawing "The Crime Clown" a 7-page episode of TNT and Dyna-Mite for National in World's Finest # 5 issued in Spring 1942 -




His first gig for Fawcett appears to be a Dan Dare episode for Whiz Comics # 7 in August 1940 - You can read that story online at CrimeBusters # 1 -




Al also worked for Street & Smith, then later Prize and here for Ziff-Davis. Later, as mentioned, he took over Casey Ruggles from Warren Tufts. As the Toonopedia notes, "in 1954, he [Warren Tufts] had a falling out with United Feature, and left his creation behind. Casey Ruggles was taken over by Al Carreño (who had credits at Fawcett Publications, Quality Comics, Fox Feature Syndicate and many other 1940s comic book publishers). Readers apparently didn't take to the change, as the strip bit the dust during October, 1955.“


What is more interesting is that Al in the 30's already worked on a strip - Ted Strong for a couple years (1935-1939). While I was not able to find images from that strip, I have a suspicion that the strip was related to earlier incarnations of the Ted Strong character as known in Dime Novel such as Rough Riders Weekly -




Young Rough Riders Weekly was a weekly magazine (published by Street & Smith) for boys featuring the adventures of Deputy Marshal Ted Strong, "the ideal of every true, up-to-date boy--he is open hearted, free and treats his enemies as honestly as he does his friends." Set in the Far West, the stories focus on the hero's efforts to combat evil in harsh, undeveloped country and among rough-living characters. Miscellaneous material at the end of each issue includes a column entitled "A Chat with You" and several short stories." You can read a Ted Strong story in PDF format at Black Mask Online.


What would be more fitting than having the artist from Ted Strong draw another Kid Cowboy.


First Kid Cowboy Story Splash -




Al Carreno Splash - Notice how Al is very conscious of the size of the kids throughout the story -




Al Carreno Page - Am I imagining this or is this Madonna first appearance in a comic book? Doesn't the female character look like Madonna in the second panel? Yes / No?




Singing Cowboy Splash -




Third Kid Cowboy Splash - Notice how the rendering is more "complex" in this story -




Third Kid Cowboy Story Page -




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There are some nice covers in that series that I'd be interested in if I could find a nice copy.


The #1 cover artist looks like Alan Anderson and the #7 looks like Norm Saunders. They are the two most prolific of the Z-D cover painters. Alan did quite a few paintings for the Z-D Sci-Fi pulps (I have a few) and was responsible for the covers to Lars of Mars comics (per Murphy Anderson).

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There are some nice covers in that series that I'd be interested in if I could find a nice copy.


The #1 cover artist looks like Alan Anderson and the #7 looks like Norm Saunders. They are the two most prolific of the Z-D cover painters. Alan did quite a few paintings for the Z-D Sci-Fi pulps (I have a few) and was responsible for the covers to Lars of Mars comics (per Murphy Anderson).


See I checked with Dave Saunders's site about his dad's work before posting the entry and Dave did not have this cover as being by Norm. Considering Dave told me that there are several Anderson covers in OSPG attributed to his dad when they are not, it probably indicates that this might also be an Anderson cover?

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There are some nice covers in that series that I'd be interested in if I could find a nice copy.


The #1 cover artist looks like Alan Anderson and the #7 looks like Norm Saunders. They are the two most prolific of the Z-D cover painters. Alan did quite a few paintings for the Z-D Sci-Fi pulps (I have a few) and was responsible for the covers to Lars of Mars comics (per Murphy Anderson).


See I checked with Dave Saunders's site about his dad's work before posting the entry and Dave did not have this cover as being by Norm. Considering Dave told me that there are several Anderson covers in OSPG attributed to his dad when they are not, it probably indicates that this might also be an Anderson cover?


Since I don't have the full size comics to work with I hedged my identification by "looks like". Issues 1, 2 and 5 look like Anderson to me -- bright,slick colors -- almost as if he is depicting plastic figures. 7 looks like Saunders, but it could be a third artist entirely. I can't tell about the others because there are just small pics in Gerber.

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Got this one in from eBay a few weeks ago - Marmaduke Mouse # 29 -




This completes the Quality comics I need, making it the 4th complete publisher. In order of completion, I finished first Lev Gleason then Dell then ECs and now Quality (just because of Marmaduke who took forever to find). This is not a surprising order even though I wouldn't have suspected Lev Gleason to be first. Goes to show how well the line was selling.


I am nearing a few other completions -


Short 1 Fiction House out of 16 - Missing Jungle 147 for some reason


Short 1 Hillman out of 8 - Romantic Confessions v.2 # 6


Short 2 ACGs out of 13 - Cookie 35 and Spy-Hunters 16


Short 2 Stars out of 10 - Popular Teen-Agers 10 and True-to-Life Romances 10


Notice that half of the books listed as missing above are Romance comics. These are tougher to find (in any grade) than people might think.


While the late run FH can be hard to come by, the late run Fawcetts are tough (still trying to get Whiz, Marvel Family, Master, the elusive Mag is Haunted and other / many assorted Westerns). I am far ahead with Atlas and DCs compared to Fawcett. St John are on par with the Fawcetts and Standard match the DCs and Avon and Harvey match Atlas.


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The Fawcetts shouldn't be too bad unless they are early issues. Then the bucks start to pile up.

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# 116


Kilroys # 34 - Bought at Toad Hall, in Rockford, IL




Content -

Cover by [Owen Fitzgerald?, my guess]

Natch in Grandmaw Kilroy by ? 8 pgs

Neat Pete by ? 2 pgs

Ain't it True! by ? 1 pg

Katie in Hi, Heel! by ? 7 pgs

Orville by ? 1 pg

Solid Jackson in It's a Smart Chuck who knows his own Chick! by ? 7 pgs


I've been sitting on this one for a while because there really is little to say about the series. Moreover, the stories are un - "not very gone!" (See Story 1 Page for a translation).


Here's what I know from p. 24 in Forbidden Adventures - The History of American Comics Group by Michael Vance. It seems that the book will be reprinted as an issue of Alter Ego later this year. This is good news because the book has no illustration and Roy T. will be sure to include many in the mag.


"Another non-animal title, The Kilroys, was drawn by a number of ACG animators, including Bob Wickersham and written by Cal Howard. It ran for 49 issues, from 1947 to 1955, and was inspired by the very popular Archie comic books of this era. The Kilroys title did not imitate Archie, however, and it captured the ambience and music of a teenager of the 1950s. According to Davis:


'Cal had a couple of teenage kids at the time, and he caught the spirit of the teens at those times, and it was funny stuff. Bob was one of the best animators and cartoon directors of that era. Later, he was with the Chicago office of the Burnette ad agency, and later still operated his own animated TV commercial production outfit called simply TV Spots, Inc. He made a lot of the clever spots for Gillette razors, among other clients' "


I don't necessarily agree with the extreme with which the series is described above. I would have to see earlier issues in order to allow for a complete and honest assessment of the series. To me, the Kilroys and its characters are poor-Henry Aldrich rather than similar to Archie. To that I will agree. Yet can we readily dismiss that the Archie comics of the era do not capture the ambience of the times. Steve, would you agree that Archie stories are "ageless" in the sense that they abstract from current popular culture as opposed to what Vance claim is captured by The Kilroys. Wasn't it Alvin Schwartz who contended that the early Buzzy did an excellent job at that reflection of teenage life? HDude, you have some early Buzzy right?


Story 1 Splash - the work is signed but I can't decipher the signature -




Story 1 Page - Check out the "translation" of Not very gone! -




Story 2 -




Story 3 Page -




Story 3 Page -




Story 4 Splash - Like the title -




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# 117


Kit Carson # 3 - Fights the Comanche Raiders - Bought from Motor City (?)





Cover by Everett Raymond Kinstler

Inside Cover by Kinstler

Kit Carson Fights the Comanche Raiders by Kinstler 7 pgs

Kit Carson in Terror out of Taos! by Kinstler 7 pgs

Kit Carson in The Knives of Doom by Kinstler 7 pgs

Gopher Moore by ? 1 pg

Six-Shooter Serenade by ? 8 pgs


Lots to discuss on this book. This was a short-lived book for Avon. Starting with a non-numbered # 1 in 1950, the book survived 3 issues for Avon. This issue was the last one before a long hiatus until the title resumed with # 5 (There is no # 4) since the numbering continues from All True Detective Cases. This book barely qualifies for my objective since it has a December 1951 indicia date but is listed as Quarterly so to be exhaustive, I included it in my list.


Before we talk more about Kinstler, let me tell you more about the real Kit Carson as per this NPR write-up -


"Kit Carson (1809-1868) -

Enshrined in popular mythology even in his own lifetime, Kit Carson was a trapper, scout, Indian agent, soldier and authentic legend of the West.




Born on Christmas eve in 1809, Carson spent most of his early childhood in Boone's Lick, Missouri. His father died when he was only nine years old, and the need to work prevented Kit from ever receiving an education. He was apprenticed to a saddle-maker when he turned fourteen, but left home for the Santa Fe, New Mexico area in 1826.


From about 1828 to 1831, Carson used Taos, New Mexico, as a base camp for repeated fur-trapping expeditions that often took him as far West as California. Later in the 1830's his trapping took him up the Rocky Mountains and throughout the West. For a time in the early 1840's, he was employed by William Bent as a hunter at Bent's Fort.


As was the case with many white trappers, Carson became somewhat integrated into the Indian world; he travelled and lived extensively among Indians, and his first two wives were Arapahoe and Cheyenne women. Carson was evidently unusual among trappers, however, for his self-restraint and temperate lifestyle. "Clean as a hound's tooth," according to one acquaintance, and a man whose "word was as sure as the sun comin' up," he was noted for an unassuming manner and implacable courage.


In 1842, while returning to Missouri to visit his family, Carson happened to meet John C. Fremont, who soon hired him as a guide. Over the next several years, Carson helped guide Fremont to Oregon and California, and through much of the Central Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin. His service with Fremont, celebrated in Fremont's widely-read reports of his expeditions, quickly made Kit Carson a national hero, presented in popular fiction as a rugged mountain man capable of superhuman feats.


Carson's notoriety grew as his name became associated with several key events in the United States' westward expansion. He was still serving as Fremont's guide when Fremont joined California's short-lived Bear-Flag rebellion just before the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in 1846, and it was Carson who led the forces of U.S. General Stephen Kearney from New Mexico into California when a Californio band led by Andrés Pico mounted a challenge to American occupation of Los Angeles later that year.


At the end of the war, Carson returned to New Mexico and took up ranching. By 1853, he and his partner were able to drive a large flock of sheep to California, where gold rush prices paid them a handsome profit. This same year Carson was appointed federal Indian agent for Northern New Mexico, a post he held until the Civil War imposed new duties on him in 1861.




Carson played a prominent and memorable role in the Civil War in New Mexico. He helped organize the New Mexico volunteer infantry, which saw action at Valverde in 1862. Most of his military actions, however, were directed against the Navajo Indians, many of whom had refused to be confined upon a distant reservation set up by the government. Beginning in 1863 Carson waged a brutal economic war against the Navajo, marching through the heart of their territory to destroy their crops, orchards and livestock. When Utes, Pueblos, Hopis and Zunis, who for centuries had been prey to Navajo raiders, took advantage of their traditional enemy's weakness by following the Americans onto the warpath, the Navajo were unable to defend themselves. In 1864 most surrendered to Carson, who forced nearly 8,000 Navajo men, women and children to take what came to be called the "Long Walk" of 300 miles from Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where they remained in disease-ridden confinement until 1868.


After the Civil War, Carson moved to Colorado in the hope of expanding his ranching business. He died there in 1868, and the following year his remains were moved to a small cemetery near his old home in Taos."


Here is some information about Kinstler's relationship with Avon from Everett Raymond Kinstler - The Artist's Journey Through Popular Culture - 1942 - 1962. Some of the same information is contained in the artist's interview published in CBA # 17. The book is profusely illustrated.


It is no surprise that Kinstler is generally associated with Avon since he produced over 70 of his famous Avon inside covers in less than 2 years. You need to contrast this to the fact that "Avon's entire ten year output of comic books only totaled about 410 issues."


"Avon Comics provided a total comics experience. Ray began there in mid-1950, starting with adaptation of historic adventure like Pancho Villa, Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, and Kit Carson. He soon advanced into a position tailor-made for his style and temperament.


On the inside of the front cover, many Avon comics featured a black and white montage / preview of the main stories inside. The better paper stock used for covers and the interpretive nature of the page allowed Kinstler to indulge his passion for pen and ink. Not even the pulps offered him this freedom. The Avon editors trusted him and turned him loose to create some of the intricate and expressive pages ever to appear in comic books.


While indulging himself in these Avon pen and ink extravaganzas, he drew many covers and stories. He was also getting work in 1952 at the new comics division of Ziff-Davis. This noble experiment involved paying the highest rates in the industry and attracted some of the highest caliber talent.


This combination of Avon dream job and lavish Ziff-Davis paychecks ended in early 1953 when the Avon space was given to advertisements and Ziff-Davis left the comic book field."


Kinstler also goes on describing his relationship with Sol Cohen, editor at Avon. Despite the speed at which he had to turn these out, Kinstler did his research for facial features of characters and also used his morgue as in this example / homage to Dean Corwell from the inside cover of US Tank Commandos # 3 -




Compare the bottom left "panel" to this Cornwell illustation for Fisher Body which appeared in all of the major magazines -




Kinstler's technique actually demonstrated itself when it came time to scan the pages. The file sizes for his pen and ink technique are much larger than the other pages I have been scanning.


Another aspect important to note for this comic is the writing. Kinstler was not writing his story but whoever it was had a different approach to these Western Kit Carson stories. Generally, in say a Lone Ranger comic, our hero is moving about the country-side then stumbled on a mystery, a party, a skirmish, and so on ... In this book, Kit Carson starts the story in the heat of the action. There are no wasted pages to lead into the gut of the story. This was quite refreshing reading.


Inside Cover - Actually not reprinted in the Kinstler book -




First Story Page -




Second Story Splash -




Third Story Page -




Fourth Story Splash - The art reminds me of something but I can't quite place it and it's driving me nuts. Anyone has even a faint inkling / recollection? -




Fourth Story Page - here's another page to help. I like the long shot in the top two tier panels. They are put to effective use -




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I can't believe I haven't looked at this thread before, what a great service! Scrooge must be congratulated for doing such good work!

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# 118


Krazy Kat # 4 - Bought somewhere ?




Content -

Kraky Kat - Story 1 - 10 pgs

Krazy Kat - Story 2 - 8 pgs

Krazy Kat - Story 3 - 8 pgs

Ignatz Mouse - Story 4 - 6 pgs


Just the cover should tell you that this Dell version has nothing to do with the classic strip which ended a decade before this comic was put together. Don Markstein in his entry in the Toonopedia also dismisses this incarnation of the Krazy Kat -


"In 1924, art critic Gilbert Seldes devoted a chapter in his book The Seven Lively Arts to Krazy Kat and her (his?) creator, George Herriman — making Krazy the first comic strip character, and Herriman the first comic strip artist, to receive serious critical appraisal from the world of letters. Others, such as Crockett Johnson's Barnaby, Walt Kelly's Pogo and Jack Kent's King Aroo, would follow, but Krazy Kat was the first.


For a darling of the intelligentsia, Krazy's beginnings were rather obscure and inauspicious. During the 19-aughts, Herriman had produced a number of short-lived comic strips for the organization that later evolved into King Features Syndicate, including Baron Mooch, Gooseberry Sprigg and Major Ozone's Fresh Air Crusade. In 1910, he was doing a regular feature sometimes called The Family Upstairs and sometimes The Dingbat Family. (At the time, the word "dingbat" referred to a typographic ornament, something used to break up masses of gray wordage on a page — a meaning it still retains in the printing trade. It was Herriman's strip that gave it its present meaning, i.e., a person who is about as smart as a typographic dingbat.)




Herriman got in the habit of running an extra gag across the bottom of the Dingbat strip, about their cat and a resident mouse. In his words, it was done "to fill up the waste space" — but the gags grew more complex, and the cat and mouse characters richer and more fully rounded. On July 26, 1910, the mouse hurled a brick at the cat, thus inaugurating a major element of a relationship that would last over a third of a century. — and be remembered so long that as recently as 1995, a very similar scene appeared on a U.S. postage stamp.


In 1913, Krazy Kat moved out into a daily strip of his (her?) own. While its "Kokonino Kounty" landscape sported dozens of unique characters, including Mrs. Kwak Wakk, "Bum Bill" Bee, Don Kiyote and Kolin Kelly the brickmaker, at its heart stood a triangle — Ignatz Mouse, obsessed with beaning Krazy with a brick; Krazy Kat, who mistook the repeated assaults for affection; and Offissa Pupp, who expressed his unrequited love for Krazy by repeatedly jailing the miscreant mouse.


A weekly page began on April 23, 1916 — but instead of appearing in color, with the Sunday comics, it was printed in black and white in the Hearst papers' art and drama sections. Thus, Krazy was introduced to a new audience, one that looked down its nose at ordinary comic strips. It was among such people that the strip found its most vocally appreciative readers.


With the general public, however, Krazy Kat was never very popular. Those who liked it loved it, and would carry on enthusiastically about its subtleties and finely tuned character relations; but the majority, less sensitive to those subtleties, were unable to see its appeal. Among its admirers was William Randolph Hearst, who owned King Features Syndicate. That's why King Features wouldn't drop the strip, despite the fact that it was carried by fewer than 50 papers.


But only Herriman was ever able to convey those subtleties and accurately render those characters. In the late 19-teens, Hearst produced animated versions of many King Features comics, but the Krazy Kat cartoons captured none of the strip's spirit. From 1929-40, Charles Mintz (fresh from having taken Oswald the Lucky Rabbit away from Disney and almost immediately losing it to Walter Lantz) produced dozens of animated cartoons with Krazy's name, but which bore little or no resemblance to Krazy of the comics.




In a final, very brief animated series that came and went in 1962, Paramount's Famous Studios licensed several King Features characters, including Beetle Bailey and Snuffy Smith, but their Krazy Kat captured only the bare surface elements of Herriman's style. Dell Comics published ten Krazy Kat comic books between 1950 and '56, and Gold Key reprinted one of them in 1964. But these scarcely bear mentioning.


In 1944, King Features, following its standard practice upon the departure of a strip's creator, gave Krazy Kat to a new artist. When Hearst saw the result, he asked why his syndicate would distribute such sub-standard material. He was told that Herriman had died on April 25 of that year. Hearst immediately ordered the strip's cancellation, making it the very first syndicate-owned comic to end as a result of its creator's death.




Today, Krazy's popularity holds to the same pattern as always. Comics Revue, America's premier comic strip reprint publication, runs a half-dozen Krazy Kat daily strips in each monthly issue. As numbers go, it is the magazine's least popular feature — but the readers who do like it usually list it as their favorite."


As usual, Coulton Waugh's analysis waxes more poetically about the qualities of the strip to which he dedicate a short but entire chapter in his seminal book. Here are some relevant excerpts -


“[in] about 1909 [… Herriman drew] a minute box with a little embarrassed feline looking up from a milk bowl with a deferential “Sir?” to a dog holding his stomach in agony, who says: “Touch it not, Kat, touch it not, somebody’s doped it with fresh paint.”


Here is not only the archetype of the sweet, gentle Krazy and the man of affairs, Offissa Pupp, but a premonition of Herriman’s peculiar literary style; a kind of hypnotic chant that starts echoes of ringing, not in the mind, but in the soul. This, of course, is poetry, and Herriman’s unique status is that he is poet as well as artist; combining poetry and art in a form curiously adapted to that purpose.”


“[in that strip], appears first a tiny mouse, then a stone, then the Kat, primitive, quietly meditating, innocent. The mouse reaches for the stone, aims, scores a bull’s-eye. The little Kat is left alone, paw to head.




Such is the beginning of the fantasy, the creative rearrangement of familiar things, that is “Krazy Kat.” The arrogant mouse, naturally defenseless, takes the bold step of stone-slinging his mortal enemy; the striking feature is that the Kat shows no sign of fight, no suggestion of anything but innocence. It is the plot of the little man (mouse) and the big bad man (cat), with the twist that the big bad man is shown to be not bad at all, just another mouse in Kat’s clothing. It is true that in the similar tiny episodes that follow, the Kat chases the mouse in an orthodox manner; but his expression is too mild, he is too blundering, too simply handled by the Napoleonic mouse to register as the usual sharp feline. A fantastic relationship is developing between them.”




‘In 1911 […] Herriman’s settled style is emerging. The strip has become a pure fantasy as far as literal detail is concerned, but the Krazy is becoming the true Krazy. He is emerging as a symbol of the dreamy freshness and innocence of the human mind; he is the antithesis of the worldly, hard-bitten mouse, and, supreme triumph of the emotions, he has begun to love his little enemy, whose daily occupation and pleasure is to “krease his bean” with a brick.


Krazy thus become the personification of the romantic, loving strain in mankind; he is no longer an animal, and yet the animal form, the sadness, the ironic wit, with which he is presented have given his creator a chance to draw a picture of the soul – a thing too delicate and ephemeral to describe, except in symbols and side glances.”




“[Herriman’s] sense of spotting and pattern, always beautiful, was nourished by a wild freedom of arrangement. Backgrounds shifted without any reason but that of amusement, gaiety, irony; a house could instantly become a tree, a church turn to a mushroom. The luscious Kat language was another of his four freedoms; for in addition to freedom of plot, background and color, freedom of speech was one of his most joyous contributions.”


Here's Dell's interpretation of this cat and mouse -


Story 1 Page - with the obligatory brick toss -




Story 2 Page - which ends as did Story 1 with the imprisonment of Ignatz -




Story 4 Page - a solo Ignatz outting -




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# 119


Lash LaRue # 26 - eBay Purchase




Content -

Lash LaRue in Unofficial Assignment by ? 7 pgs

Cactus Joe and Snake-eye! by ? 2 pgs

Lash LaRue in The Prairie Ruse by ? 6 pgs

Dusty in The Boardinghouse by ? 4 pgs

Lash LaRue in The Million Dollar Target! by ? 8 pgs


Here's another of the many Westerns in Fawcett's stables. It follows the Fawcett formula where the art is serviceable to an okay story which appears to change from book to book. It actually projects a ponderous image of the company. Don't expect revolutionary content in a Fawcett comic but at least you will receive consistency. The artists are unknown, as is the general rule for Fawcett Westerns. Oddly, I believe more is known about Fawcett Romance artists than is for their Western. Quite unusual.


I wonder if Alfred knew that his "idol's" real name was also Alfred - Write-up from the Old Corral -


"Lash LaRue practically had two careers. The first was on the movie screen; the second, until his death in 1996, was being perhaps the most approachable guest star attending western film conventions around the country. He was known as the 'King of the Bullwhip', the title of what was arguably his best movie, but admitted that he did not come by his whip-cracking talent naturally.


"The whip came into being from a writer and producer and director by the name of Bob Tansey", Lash explained in an informal interview at the 1981 Western Film Fair in Charlotte, NC. Tansey was considering LaRue for a supporting role in SONG OF OLD WYOMING (1945), the PRC Cinecolor movie which was the first starring vehicle for singer Eddie Dean and which made Dean the first series western star to appear in color. Lash was up for the role of the Cheyenne Kid, who would start as the bad guy and Eddie's rival for the affections of leading lady Jennifer Holt, but would discover the error of his ways and change sides in time to stop a bullet in the final showdown with the baddies.




"Well, he looks the part, if he can act", Tansey said to his secretary, talking about his visitor who was then known as Al LaRue. "I'm probably the best actor that's ever been in your office", LaRue told him. "Well, I had intended to use a guy who could handle a whip." "A bullwhip?" "Yes." "I've been messing around with one since I was a kid", said LaRue, who had never touched one in his life. But he figured he could learn.


"I went out and rented a couple of whips, one 15 foot and one 18 foot, and I practically beat myself to death trying to learn to throw it. I finally gave up altogether and the picture started and I thought, well, as soon as they learn I can't handle a whip, they'll throw me out." After seeing some of the early rushes, Tansey took LaRue aside, complimented him on the job he was doing, and asked if he would like to do three pictures for three times his current salary. "Bob, I have to tell you something", LaRue said. "What is it, Al?" "Well, I can't use that whip." "But you said..". "Now wait a minute. You doubted if I could act, so I acted just a little bit for you. And I'm sorry about lying to you, but I wanted that part." Then LaRue peeled off his shirt and showed Tansey how he'd cut himself up practicing with the whips. He said Tansey burst out laughing. "He thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever run into", said LaRue. The PRC studio hired an expert named Snowy Baker to give lessons on the bullwhip, and LaRue proved a good pupil.


LaRue had already had some minor appearances in a couple of Deanna Durbin musicals at Universal, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (1944) and LADY ON A TRAIN (1945), and a supporting role in the 1945 Universal serial, THE MASTER KEY, which starred Milburn Stone, the future Doc Adams on TV's GUNSMOKE. But thereafter he would be best known as a cowboy star.


As the Cheyenne Kid, he was supposed to help ruin a woman rancher but later learns that he is actually her long-lost son. That's when he changes sides, uses his whip to retrieve a couple of guns from the baddies after he has been disarmed, and shoots it out with the two major villains.


The rancher was played by character actress Sarah Padden, who remarked on LaRue's resemblance to Humphrey Bogart. She asked the young actor if he was related to Bogart, and LaRue said he didn't think so. After a pause, Padden asked: "Did your mother ever meet Humphrey Bogart?"




LaRue was born in 1917 (or 1921, depending on whom you believe). He grew up in Louisiana but, since his father was a traveling hotel representative and real estate salesman, he never stayed long in the same school and was raised mostly by his mother. His high school years were in St. John's Military Academy in Los Angeles. He then enrolled at College of the Pacific where he wanted to study law. He took drama to overcome a speech impediment, and worked at various jobs (including real estate salesman and hairdresser) before hitting on acting.


For SONG OF OLD WYOMING, LaRue choose a black outfit with white trim and a white neckerchief to go with his two sixguns. "I picked out the wardrobe", he said. "It was an outfit that George O'Brien had used, and George O'Brien ... I had always liked him, because he wasn't a singing cowboy, he was lots of action." His role clearly impressed viewers, because he got more fan mail than the star. The fans did not always remember his name, so some of the mail was addressed to the guy who wore the black outfit, or the man with the whip.


He returned to the cast in Eddie Dean's third starring color film, CARAVAN TRAIL (1946), again starting out as a badman but reforming early on to become one of Eddie's deputies. This time, he dressed entirely in black, neckerchief and all, but he did not carry a bullwhip. His character, named Cherokee, has a couple of disreputable henchmen played by veteran heavies Charles King (showing a comic flair) and Jack O'Shea. In the finale, he is again disarmed but still walks down the street to face outlaws who, he has learned, killed his brother. Eddie Dean tosses him a rifle as the shootout starts, and this time his character survives.


In his third and last outing with Dean, WILD WEST (1946), LaRue has the bullwhip back with his black outfit and has been elevated to the status of a lawman along with Dean and comic sidekick Roscoe Ates. In one scene, they (their doubles) rush from a building and do a triple trooper mount over the backs of their horses before riding off. They play rangers helping an engineer string a telegraph line across Indian territory, and both Dean and LaRue have romances with the daughters of a lady rancher (Sarah Padden again) in between the action sequences. LaRue, as Stormy Day, uses his whip to snap up some flowers for one of them. LaRue actually has more action than Dean, including two fights where he uses the whip to good effect in disarming his opponents and pulling them off perches. (In 1948, WILD WEST was released in a black and white version titled PRAIRIE OUTLAWS, with a few added early scenes with Dean and Ates, and some cuts in the later romantic scenes.)


PRC ended its color films at that point, and gave Dean and LaRue each their own starring series.


LaRue got a new sidekick, Al St. John, a former Keystone Kop who had been honing his "Fuzzy Q. Jones" character with a variety of cowboy actors, most recently at PRC with Bob Steele (in his Billy the Kid series) and then with Buster Crabbe (who replaced Steele in the Billy the Kid/later Billy Carson films).


"Fuzzy was an angel unaware, as far as I'm concerned", said LaRue. "He was a wonderful guy, and I wish he were still here to see how long the films had lasted ... he was the greatest ad lib artist in the world. He could stumble over a matchstick and spend fifteen exciting minutes looking for what he stumbled over."


"He would talk about Fuzzy as a separate person", LaRue recalled. "Hey, that would be something for Fuzzy to do," he would say about a bit of comedy business.


LaRue, who later went through a drinking problem of his own, recalled Fuzzy having had one and said he couldn't understand why. "Then I met his wife", LaRue said. "And then I understood." "He and Fuzzy became friends, but not at first", LaRue noted. The change came one day when Fuzzy told him, "Hey, I wasn't gonna like you. But you're all right".


Lash also added a black horse to go with his black outfit, a steed named Black Diamond ... and there was also a black hoss named Rush. In all probability, Rush and Black Diamond were the same horse. [The horse's name is Rush in the comic.]




Soon, Fawcett Comics was publishing Lash LaRue Western and even an occasional movie comic, adapting one of his films to comic-book format. Even after the movies ended and Fawcett ceased publication, Charlton Comics continued the Lash LaRue comic magazine.


Most of his movies featured a fight-ending blow in which Lash would seem to jump into the air and strike downward with a knockout punch. It wouldn't have been effective in a real fight, Lash confessed. "But it looked good!" At a festival where he and frequent adversary Terry Frost were watching one of their films, Frost asked, "Did we really do that fight?" Lash assured him that they had: "They were too cheap to hire doubles!" Lash said he always made sure his hat came off in fights, so audiences could see that it was really him and not a stuntman.


Economies were obvious in many of these pictures where scenes were re-used, sometimes making youthful audiences think they'd seen a new movie before when they saw the often-repeated footage, for instance, of Lash sneaking up on the outlaws' hideout and using the whip to jerk guard Bud Osborne backwards over a wagon wheel.


Perhaps the most obvious re-use of footage came in Lash's last series western, THE FRONTIER PHANTOM, which was basically him telling the story of OUTLAW COUNTRY to some lawmen so they would let him complete his mission of hunting down some bad guys. In those movies, Lash played both his own character and his wayward twin brother, Frontier Phantom, a gimmick also used in the Lash LaRue comic books. OUTLAW COUNTRY was among Lash's favorites of his movies.


Following the end of his movie series, Lash made personal appearances across the country, played various roles in TV series such as 26 MEN, JUDGE ROY BEAN and THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP. In the WYATT EARP TV westerns, LaRue portrayed Johnny Behan, a sheriff sympathetic to the outlaw faction in Tombstone. However, LaRue and star Hugh O'Brian did not get along, and Lash eventually relinquished the role to Steve Brodie. Around 1951, he did his LASH OF THE WEST TV series, which incorporated bits and pieces from his earlier films. In the 1980s, he appeared in a couple of independently-produced films, THE DARK POWER and ALIEN OUTLAW, as well as brief appearance in the TV remake of STAGECOACH with Johnny Cash (one of his fans) and Waylon Jennings. Lash recalled how Johnny introduced him to one of Johnny's family members as 'the original man in black'."


Story 1 Page -




Story 2 Splash -




Story 2 Page -




Story 3 Page -




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# 120


Lassie # 6 - Given to me at a Chicago Con





Cover by ?

Lassie by ? 32 pgs

Lassie and the Fountain of Youth by ? 2 pgs


There is a lot of interesting content about Lassie online. There are three themes covered: Lassie and what the shows represented, Lassie and information about the shows themselves including their stars, and finally a nice coverage about the comics themselves in relation to the shows. I will gloss over most of the information about the shows but will copy the other two very interesting write-ups.


First, from Henry Jenkins at The TV Museum -


"Lassie was a popular long-running U.S. television series about a collie dog and her various owners. Over her more than fifty years history, Lassie stories have moved across books, film, television, comic books, and other forms of popular culture. The American Dog Museum credits her with increasing the popularity of Collies.




British writer Eric Knight created Lassie for a Saturday Evening Post short story in 1938, a story released in book form as Lassie Come Home in 1940. Knight set the story in his native Yorkshire and focuses it around the concerns of a family struggling to survive as a unit during the depression.


Lassie's original owner Joe Carraclough is forced to sell his dog so that his family can cope with its desperate economic situation, and the story became a lesson about the importance of interdependence during hard times. The story met with immediate popularity in the United States and in Great Britain, and was made into a MGM feature film in 1943, spanning six sequels between 1945 and 1953. Most of the feature films were still set in the British Isles and several of them dealt directly with the English experience of World War II. Lassie increasingly became a mythic embodiment of ideals such as courage, faithfulness, and determination in front of hardship, themes which found resonance in wartime with both the British and their American counterparts. Along the way, Lassie's mythic function moved from being the force uniting a family towards a force uniting a nation. The ever-maternal dog became a social facilitator, bringing together romantic couples or helping the lot of widows and orphans. In 1954, Lassie made her television debut in a series which removed her from Britain and placed her on the American family farm, where once again, she was asked to help hold a struggling family together. For the next decade, the Lassie series became primarily the story of a boy and his dog, helping to shape our understanding of American boyhood during that period. The series' rural setting offered a nostalgic conception of national culture at a time when most Americans had left the farm for the city or suburbia. Lassie's ownership shifted from the original Jeff Miller to the orphaned Timmy Martin, but the central themes of the intense relationship between boys and their pets continued. Lassie became a staple of Sunday night television, associated with "wholesome family values," though, periodically, she was also the subject of controversy with parents groups monitoring television content. Lassie's characteristic dependence on cliff-hanger plots in which children were placed in jeopardy was seen as too intense for many smaller children; at the same time, Timmy's actions were said to encourage children to disobey their parents and to wander off on their own. Despite such worries, Lassie helped to demonstrate the potential development of ancillary products associated with television programs, appearing in everything from comic books and Big Little Books to Viewmaster Slides, watches, and Halloween costumes.




By the mid-1960s, actor Jon Provost proved too old to continue to play Timmy and so Lassie shifted into the hands of a series of park rangers, the focus of the programming coming to fall almost exclusively upon Lassie and her broader civic service as a rescue dog in wilderness areas. Here, the show played an important role in increasing awareness of environmental issues, but the popularity of the series started to decline. Amid increasing questions about the relevance of such a traditional program in the midst of dramatic social change, the series left network television in the early 1970s, though it would continue three more years in syndication and would be transformed into a Saturday Morning cartoon series. Following the limited success of the 1979 feature film, The Magic of Lassie, yet another attempt was made in the 1980s, without much impact on the market place, to revive the Lassie story as a syndicated television series. The 1994 feature film, Lassie, suggests, however, the continued association of the series with "family entertainment."




Many animal series, such as Flipper, saw their non-human protagonists as playful, mischievous, and child-like, leading their owners into scrapes, then helping them get out again. Lassie, however, was consistently portrayed as highly responsible, caring, and nurturing. In so far as she created problems for her owners, they were problems caused by her eagerness to help others, a commitment to a community larger than the family, and more often, her role was to rescue those in peril and to set right wrongs that had been committed. She was the perfect "mother" as defined within 1950s and 1960s American ideology. Ironically, of course, the dogs who have played Lassie through the years have all been male."


About the working aspects of Lassie on set, here are some information from a People write-up done for the 50th anniversary of the TV show -


"But for those who don't know, a disclosure seems appropriate: Lassie and her eight descendants have been, well, female impersonators. That's right — Lassie has always been a he, not a she, and his name wasn't Lassie.


Female collies were given screen tests before the filming of Lassie Come Home, but it turned out the males were more photogenic — generally larger, and with more neck fur.




They also required less maintenance, according to June Lockhart, who starred in the TV series from 1958 to 1964 and recently appeared with Lassie No. 9 (aka Hey Hey) at several anniversary events in New York.


"They don't shed twice a year as the females do," she explained. "And they don't have the problem of coming into season when we were on location, which would have attracted a lot of other dogs; we would have had to turn the hose on them."


So, how did they keep Lassie's maleness from showing on camera?


An editor was assigned to study the action carefully, and if evidence of the dog's true gender was exposed, he would yell "Cut!" and the scene would be reset.


Having acted with two generations of Lassies, Lockhart, 79, learned their capabilities and their limitations.


"When we were shooting on the show, the dog was excused often to go to the dog room and nap while we used a stand-in," she recalled. "Only humans can be expected to work 14 or 15 hours a day. Dogs sleep a lot."


"Of the 150-250 commands that Lassie knew, the one he hated was 'nurse,'" said Collins, referring to those occasional scenes when Lassie nursed a new litter. "They would put honey on the dog's coat. The last thing Lassie wanted was puppies chewing on his coat."


"Rin Tin Tin" also debuted on television in the fall of 1954. But while both had a big-screen heritage, Rin Tin Tin had been around since the silent days and was fading when Lassie was becoming popular with theatergoers. One reason: Rin Tin Tin's films were basically B-movies and Lassie films were lusher, more expensive, feature presentations with major stars. This contrast continued on TV, with the Lassie series featuring stronger casts on a more popular network and in a better time slot. As a result, ABC's Rin Tin Tin lasted only until 1959."


Finally, here is the information about the comics series from the Lassie Net -


"From the late 1940s through the 1960s, Dell Comics published a bimonthly Lassie comic to continue the adventures of MGM's canine star. Since MGM's series of Lassie movies had no running storyline (save for the second being a sequel to the first), Dell invented one for her. For a good deal of the comic's run, she lived in the Brazilian jungle, the "Matto Grosso," with her human companions Gerry and Rocky, an American couple who owned a ranch, but whose main occupation was writing about and photographing South American scenic and historic locations. Rocky, of course, was your typical stalwart American guy, blond haired and square jawed; Gerry gorgeous and dark-haired.


Untypically for the time, Gerry wasn't much of a screamer. She also wore pants a lot (a '40s rarity) and followed Rocky—and Lassie, of course—into whatever adventure they were in at the time. Also novel for a comic of the time, the story featured a native boy as a companion for Lassie and her humans, Timbu of the Taquari Indian tribe. (Was Timbu adopted or their ward? None of the comics I have tells me...) Thankfully, no attempt was made to make a Tarzan-like character out of the boy; although his English was occasionally imperfect or stilted as in someone who had grown up with it as a second language, he did not talk in "pidgen" or have funny little "native quirks." The native tribes were also treated with a respect rare in those days, which make Lassie's Brazilian saga easier to read today.


Lassie's adventures weren't confined to the Matto Grosso. Rocky and Gerry traveled all over South America for their photos, so that Lassie and Timbu had adventures in Peru, Venuzuela, and Argentina as well. On one memorable occasion the four of them flew to New York City, where Timbu discovered that the urban jungle was much more challenging that facing jaguars and alligators! All of them featured bits of knowledge for the unsuspecting reader to learn: the habits and habitats of native animals, plant life of the jungle, historical locations in South America, etc., interspersing a travelogue within Lassie's adventures.


The Brazilian years also featured exciting oil-painted covers calculated to draw a comic reader's interest: Lassie was most often shown in some dangerous situation such as standing in a bow of a boat headed for the rapids, fighting her way through a jungle storm, or leaping some large chasm in an effort to rescue her human companions.


For a few issues in midseries, Lassie teamed up with Matt, another South American adventurer, but her family continued to be in South America even after 1954, when the television series began. In 1956, however, Dell decided to make Lassie's comic adventures concurrent with her televison ones, and she abruptly developed a debilitating, life-threatening allergy to a certain grass found only in the Matto Grosso. Rather than see her die, Rocky and Gerry tearfully shipped their beloved dog to "our friends the Millers who have a farm in Calverton," therefore giving the comic Lassie a different origin than the television collie.




From then on Lassie's adventures were of a tamer sort, although upon her arrival in Calverton was beset by trouble when she leaped onto the wrong pickup truck and became involved with thieves. Very often the Jeff series of comics were just a retelling of a television story, such as "Lassie's Vanity." Thus it was that the arrival of Timmy was also retold from the television story—with a twist: since Jeff was always drawn with blond hair in the comics, the artists, to keep people from confusing the two boys, portrayed Timmy with black, curly hair. It was only after Jeff left the story—presumably in the same way as his television tenure had ended—that Timmy was able to have proper blond hair!


Due to the location shift to the Calverton area, the emphasis in the stories veered away from learning about wildlife and history, and the tales became small morality plays with the boys learning a lesson about safety or friendship. The covers changed as well, from paintings to photos featuring at first Lassie, and then Lassie and whatever companion she had.


The comic progressed to Corey Stuart when the television changeover came until the end of the comics series itself.




The Lassie comics, like all comics of their time, featured a related tale or two within an issue. In the early issues, there would be three stories, along with a short strip about a jungle animal. By the time the farm stories were instituted, the related story would be a four-page series about a horse named Blaze and a one-page two-column short story having to do with a dog. There was usually also a black-and-white outline strip on either or both inside covers having to do with things like "Fun on the Farm." The ranger comics featured interesting tidbits about wildlife, the work of the National Park Service, or "Lassie facts" about nature, but the main stories had been cut down to two."


Story Page - I emphasized pages where Lassie performs "tricks" - It's Gerry and Rocky with Lassie in this adventure - The story takes place in Florida because Mr. Lawrence, a friend of Rocky and Gerry with whom they are set to go on a treasure on the Amazon, has to go to the US after a friend of his friend dies -




Story Page -




Story Page -




Back Cover and second page of the 2-pager -




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# 121


Laugh Comics # 49 - Bought from Mile High Comics





Cover by Bill Vigoda

Archie in Time to Retire by ? 8 pgs

Katy Keene by Bill Woggon 9 pgs

Jughead in A Nose for News by Briefer 6 pgs

Wilbur in Yes, My Darling Daughter! by Joe Edwards 7 pgs

Debby by Bill Woggon 8 pgs


As is usual, this Archie line comics is loaded with stories. Professionally, you can guess that I cloud9.gif this cover. Moreover, this is another copy from the Ronnie Garcia collection than found a resting home in my collection.


I never knew or didn't remember that Briefer worked for Archie that the signature on the Jughead story took me aback for a minute.


I would love to spend time and say more about either Bill Vigoda and Joe Edwards but as is wont to happen with Archie artists, little bio information is available. These guys worked for years and years and are unheralded, simply because of the very features they worked on, despite these features tremendous success. Here are a few tidbits gleaned about:


Bill Vigoda - From a Gary Groth interview of Gil Kane:


"Groth: So you went from MLJ as just a clean-up person to --


Kane: To an incompetent penciler at Binder. They weren't terribly happy with what I was doing. But when I was rehired by MLJ three weeks later, not only did they put me back into the production department and give me an increase, they gave me my first job, which was "Inspector Bentley of Scotland Yard" in Pep Comics, and then they gave me a whole issue of the Shield and Dusty, one of their leading books.


[…] Kane - When Montana went into the service the publishers were afraid. Archie was already their biggest selling title and as luck would have it, Harry Sahle did an effective imitation of it. Harry Sahle ultimately went over to [busy] Arnold's. He left Archie and a guy named Bill Vigoda, Abe Vigoda's brother -- you know the old joke about Abe Vigoda, don't you? -- If Abe Vigoda died, you'd be the ugliest man in the world. [Laughter] So his brother Bill was a nice guy, a younger brother, and he successfully did Archie, evolving the style for the next 20 years."


Joe Edwards - Joe is known for creating and drawing Archie Comics’ kid-strip LI’L JINX! Strip images can be seen here - From the Toonopedia -


“Jinx was so-called because she was (like Edwards's own son) born on Halloween, about a half-dozen or so years ago. Her best friend was a boy named Charley. She was the only child of Hap and Merry Holliday, who were typical of comic book parents except for one thing. Hap was a comic book collector. No big point was ever made of the fact, but in one story, he pulled out some ancient back issues to show to Jinx. Not surprisingly, he didn't have much in the way of DCs or Marvels, but was pretty solid on The Shield, Steel Sterling and other heroes from the old MLJ line.“


As Don Markstein posted o his site, “Tuesday, December 6, 2005 -

On this day in 1921, cartoonist Joe Edwards, one of the few surviving members of the original Archie crew, was born. The creator of Li'l Jinx, who also worked on Captain Sprocket, Super Duck and Chimpy, is 84 years old today. Happy birthday, Joe, and many happy returns!” Let me join in to wish happy days to Joe.


Before posting the page scans, let me reproduce here the text of this History of Archie Comics up to the date of this comics. You should go over to the site to read the rest of the story.


"The legend that is Archie Comics began inauspiciously in 1939 with the birth of a new comic book company called MLJ Magazines, named after its three partners and founders, Maurice Coyne (M), Louis Silberkleit (L) and John Goldwater (J). The company’s first title was called Blue Ribbon Comics, which was followed by Top Notch Comics and then, in January 1940, Pep Comics. Among MLJ’s growing stable of superheroes was The Shield, said to be the comic book industry’s first patriotic hero who battled the villainous Axis powers.


While MLJ produced their own brand of superheroes to compete with the likes of Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, The Sub-Mariner, Wonder Woman and the like, its founders realized that in order to entertain younger readers, and, in particular, female readers, they needed to head in an entirely different direction. John Goldwater wanted to create a comic book character that was grounded in reality, and prove that an ordinary person could be just as popular. And thus the wheels were set into motion that would eventually give birth to the phenomenon known as Archie.


Goldwater’s inspiration for Archie Andrews came partly from the old Mickey Rooney movie series, Andy Hardy, crediting an actual high school friend of his, named, ironically enough, Archie. During their days at the New York Teachers’ Training School, Goldwater recalls, "I felt like Jughead to him. I was a very loyal friend." With his lead character in hand, Goldwater brought together a stable of writers, editors and artists, including Bob Montana (who would become the principal artist on the strip) creator of the likenesses of the original Archie characters.


Without any fanfare, the very first Archie story appeared in the hero laden pages of Pep Comics #22 in December of 1941. In that story, Archie (who, for some odd reason demanded to be called Chick) sought to impress the new girl in the neighborhood, Betty Cooper. But, despite warnings from his woman-hating chum, Jughead Jones, Archie wound up getting into all sorts of trouble when he tried to do a highwire act at a traveling circus. The kids all looked to be no more than 12 or 13, but by the time they appeared in their next story, they were teenagers.


Comicdom’s most famous, and fabulous rich girl, Veronica Lodge made her debut in Pep Comics #26 (April 1942), and life would never again be the same for poor Archie. In this story, Veronica had just moved to Riverdale and Archie somehow managed to get a date with her. When Jughead tells Arch that Veronica is a rich debutante, Arch, forever hard up for cash lands a job at a swanky restaurant, which just so happens to be the same one he takes Veronica to, thus leading to the sort of chaos readers would come to expect for years to come from Archie.


When Archie #1 hit the newsstands later that year, Veronica’s origin was revised. In this new telling, Veronica receives a mushy love note from Archie, asking her to be his date at the prom. On a lark, the flighty heiress accepts, putting Archie in a bind since he was going steady with Betty at the time. In a pinch, Arch gets Jughead to be her escort, and, after giving her poison ivy from, of all places, a graveyard, chaos again erupts, but later on, Veronica convinces her parents to move to Riverdale, mostly because she likes the town, and partly to get back at Archie!


Dubbed, The Mirth of a Nation, the visibility of Archie grew, as did his popularity. Readers were demanding to see more of Archie and his friends, and the powers that be at MLJ readily satisfied those demands. The company increased Archie’s presence in the still superhero prevalent Pep Comics, culminating with Archie’s first appearance on the cover of Pep #36 in 1943. Then, in Pep #49, Archie got the lead story in that book over The Shield. By 1944, MLJ’s superheroes were slowly starting to be phased out in favor of the ever increasingly popular Archie.


One of the emerging themes that made Archie so popular with his growing legion of fans was The Eternal Triangle. Archie #7 (March 1944) heralded the beginning of the teenaged menage á trois between Archie, Betty and Veronica. This story, in which Archie tries to keep a movie date with both girls at the same time on the same night at the same theater would be the catalyst for thousands and thousands of stories over the decades as perpetually indecisive Archie had nothing but trouble trying to choose between sweet and lovable Betty or rich and spoiled Veronica.


During World War II as America fought in Europe and the Pacific, pin-up girls like Betty Grable became enormously popular with soldiers, sailors and marines, and this led to the emergence of the most popular pin-up girl in the history of comic books–Katy Keene! Created by Bill Woggon, Katy, debuting in Wilbur Comics #5 (1945) was a tall, dark-haired beauty queen who attracted all kinds of male suitors while keeping her cute but mischieviously candy crazed kid sister out of trouble. Katy, like Archie was an overnight smash, thus leading to more appearances.


Katy would quickly become a fixture in Wilbur and other Archie series comics until she got her own regular comic in 1949. By then, Bill had assembled quite a charming cast of characters to go along with Katy, chief among them her rich and glamorous rival, Gloria Granbilt, pretty, but superstitous redhead Lucki Lorelei, K.O. Kelly, Katy’s pugilistic boyfriend and Randy Von Ronson, a wealthy suitor of Katy and a rival of K.O. It was no secret that a goodly amount of servicemen were fans and readers of Katy.


What made Katy Keene so immensely popular with fans was that readers were encouraged to send in fashion designs for Katy and her friends. Not just fashions, but designs for houses, cars, boats, just about anything, with recognition given when their designs were shown in the book. And, when it came to fashions for Katy, Gloria and Lucki, it wasn’t just girls who submitted designs, boys and grown men of all ages submitted fashions as well! Katy would enjoy enormous success, second only to Archie himself until her book was cancelled in 1961.


In 1946, a dramatic turning point was reached as MLJ Magazines adopted the name of what had now become its flagship character and officially became Archie Comics Publications. The change coincided with the new editorial direction which focused entirely on the humorous exploits of Archie Andrews and his friends and less on superheroes. In the fall of that year, Archie Comics released Laugh Comics which, like Pep would feature Archie and other humorous characters. Then, just before the decade ended, yet another title was added: Archie’s Pal Jughead.


As the ’40s yielded to the ’50s, the appeal of Archie only grew in strength, as did the entire genre of teenage humor comics which literally sprung up overnight. Virtually every other comic book company, seeing what was happening with Archie put out similar books, trying to capitalize on the Archie mystique, but no one did even a fraction as well as Archie did. Most of those companies either folded or returned to producing superhero books. Archie’s formula for success was to remain contemporary with the times in terms of fashions, slang and the fads and pastimes of the day.


The 1950s would see a tremendous expansion of the Archie empire as new titles shot off from the three parent books, Archie, Pep Comics and Laugh Comics. First and foremost was Archie’s Girls Betty & Veronica. Having begun as a back-up feature in Archie, Betty and Veronica incessantly plotted, schemed and fought over Archie, and any other boy they came across while maintaining a humorous arm’s length friendship with each other. The girls’ misadventures (some complete with hilarious catfights) would soon become a key part of the Archie legend."


Inside Cover with Ads for the aforementioned expansion titles -




Katy Keene Pin-Up -




Katy Keene Fashion - I personally like the Black one sent in from Poughkeepsie -




Briefer Jughead Splash Page -




Edwards Wilbur Splash Page -




Woggon Debby Page -




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Hey that's an issue of Laugh I need mad.gif


If you post some of the art from the first story, I would be happy to try to ID the artist. Just don't expect too much, though 27_laughing.gif

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Well, let's see if you know him from the splash page -




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