A Month in the Life of the Comics
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:applause: Wonderful thread, Scrooge.


Thanks for all the background info. I was an enthusiastic cowboy fan (TV and comics) when I was a child so your piece brings back lots of memories.


I hope your post signals the start of this thread again. It seems to have died off just about the same time I joined the boards.

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# 183


Rex Allen Comics # 4 - Bought from Doug Sulipa




I get a chuckle out of these Dell photo covers with cartoon figures in the background. Distinctive -- do you know who drew them?



Rex had different leading ladies and comic sidekicks in each of his 1950 movies, including Carl Switzer (the former Alfalfa from the Little Rascals), Buddy Ebsen (1908-2003), future star of TV's BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and BARNABY JONES, would co-star with Rex in his four movies in 1951, and Slim Pickens (1919-1983), who joined the series in 1952, stayed with Rex through 11 pictures. Mary Ellen Kay was his most frequent leading lady.



Interesting cast!

Which actor played Borax? (of course the name caught my eye) In the page below, it looks almost like Gabby Hayes. I don't think that could be Ebsen or Pickens.



At 22 pages, the first story is better than most. It's interesting how the story evolves. We find Rex and his sidekick Borax on the trail of murderer Shoats who's trying to cross the border into Mexico. After apprehending Shoats, Allen decides to nab also El Jefe, the smuggler Shoats was trying to contact. In the mix, Allen goes under cover and end up shangaied onto a cargo direction Hawaii, the Big Island to be specific, for a rustle job! The story progresses and expands in this manner until Allen and Borax stops the rustlers on the Big Island. ...


Rustlers of the Pacific Splash -




Good stuff!

Cool to place a western in Hawaii. We've seen the ranches there -- very impressive. The story was contemporary, right?



Rustlers of the Pacific Page: Rex and Borax on the Big Island - (Note: Allen isn't riding Koko at this point in the story)



I've seen that word. Kalaka = truck.


I should have known that you'd think of a way to sneak in a pretty girl in a bright sarong!



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Red Ryder Comics #4 (October 1941)


as featured in one of your toughest quizzes, if I remember right.



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# 184


Rocky Jorden, Private Eye # 8 - Bought from Marc at HouseofComics.com (thumbs u





Cover by Vern Henkel (?)

9004 - Rocky Jorden in Front for Murder by Vern Henkel 6 pgs

9263 - Rocky Jorden in Nightmare for Two by Vern Henkel 7 pgs

9497 - Motive for Murder 2-pg text

9563 - The Black Stairway by Fred Kida (?) 4 pgs

9294 - Rocky Jorden in Panic! by Vern Henkel 6 pgs


Technically, this title should be filed under P for Private Eye instead of R. In fact as short as the title run was, it did manage to change from Crime Cases - Private Eye to Rocky Jorden - Private Eye with issue 5 of the 8-issue run but I figured we could take a quick break from the Western titles. It took me a couple of years to figure that dealers had this correctly filed under P and not R :blush:




There are a couple of items to discuss for this comic: the artists and the "source".


First, most of the work done here is by Vern Henkel and I am suspiscious of the Kida attribution. The cop face in the splash does not look like Kida to me at all but I'll leave AtlasTales tentative ID stand.


I've already briefly covered Henkel's career in the entry for Justice Comics . Here's what I had written:


"Vern Henkel was born in Lancaster, PA, on November 27, 1917 and still lives there. He bought comics while growing up, remembering such titles as Famous Funnies.


He cracked the comic market at 20 when he started to work for Quality Comics. Henkel was actually working from PA, mailing in his jobs and therefore had more involvement with writing the scripts of his features and would only come to New York every 3 months to check in with the offices.


Henkel stopped working for Quality in 1946 at which time he picked up more commercial art assignments as his breadwinner, but still continued to turn stories for a variety of outfits - Timely, Lev Gleason, ME, ...even though his association with Timely was the longest as he turned in his first job in 1946 and worked there until 1954. Henkel was assigned regularly to certain books such as Casey, Crime Photographer and Rocky Jorden - Private Eye. After 1954 / 1955, Vern drifted away from comic, continuing a career in illustration doing many jobs be it for advertising, coloring books or film strips."


Henkel's work is also seen this month in Crime Cases, All-True Crime and we'll find him again in Space Squadron. Over the 2 years since I wrote the entry above, I've developed a much greater respect for Henkel's work. Strangely, his work did not get better with time but "worse" in the sense that it transformed in a direction that I don't appreciate. Let me showcase some of his better known and early Quality work to prove my point visually.


Henkel's first professional assignment was to draw a newspaper comic strip at age 20 !! albeit for the international syndication market. This strip was later reproduced in Famous Funnies. Here are 2 sample pages from his exquisite Gallant Knight as reprinted in Feature Funnies # 19 -





Later, he would draw Captain Fortune for Feature Funnies. Here from issue # 35 -



Later, Henkel was another pillar of Quality Comics to the same extent Eisner and Cole were, and yet he is so forgotten. He had no fewer than 3 stories in Smash Comics # 1.


Here's Chic Carter from Smash Comics # 1 -



Here's a page from Abdul the Arab taken from Smash Comics # 2. His work on this series is close to Guardineer in style. -



His third feature for Smash and the longest running was Wings Wendall, here from issue # 16 -



He also appeared in Police Comics starting with issue # 1, again with Chic Carter who for the nonce was no longer an Ace Reporter but a full-fledged crime fighter. Notice that his work wouldn't have looked out of place on the Spirit.



On the boards, I've concentrated on posting his work on The Sniper feature from Military Comics, here seen from the pages of issue # 13 -



Having to fight for attention against geniuses such as Eisner and Cole will unfortunately hurt one's chances at recognition. I hope that this small exposure will lift your opinion of his work.


Now, keep in mind his '40's Quality work and you'll see that his Atlas '50's work compare quite poorly but, before we see those pages, we need to discuss the origin and inspiration for Rocky Jorden.


Like most, I was aware of the classic Rocky Jordan radio show and always associated Goodman's use of Rocky Jorden in this title as a blatant attempt at using a character for which he didn't secure the license. After some research, it might be as clear cut a case as that. Online sources rather point to a DuMont Network series, Rocky King, Detective as the source of inspiration for the feature.


The case against Rocky Jordan rests on the difference in circumstances between Rocky JordAn and Rocky JordEn. The stories in Goodman's comics are "pedestrian" shamus stories in an urban downtown environment. Rocky Jordan was popular thanks to its exotic premise:




"Cairo, gateway to the Ancient East...where modern adventure and intrigue unfold against the backdrop of antiquity..."


"Rocky Jordan," a distinctively different-sounding detective offering heard over CBS Radio's Pacific network from 1945 to 1950. A series that could be described as a mixture of "Casablanca" and "The Maltese Falcon," "Jordan" debuted on January 8, 1945 as a five-day-a-week quarter-hour serial entitled "A Man Called Jordan." The titular hero, portrayed by radio veteran Jack Moyles, owned and operated an Istanbul dive dubbed the Café Tambourine and was actually a shrewd businessman motivated more by the financial bottom line than cheap sentiment. Still, he had a knack for getting frequently involved in mystery and murder and often depended on a colorful cast of sidekicks - his "man Friday" Ali (Paul Frees), girlfriend Toni Sherwood (Dorothy Lovett), and trusted pal Duke O'Brien (Jay Novello) - to assist him in his amateur investigations. "A Man Called Jordan" switched to a weekly half-hour format beginning July 2, 1945, and entertained West Coast audiences for approximately two years.


Apparently, Mr. Jordan took a year off to relocate the Café Tambourine to Cairo when the program returned to CBS on October 31, 1948. Apart from the new location, it was business as usual for 'the Rock' as he fought escaped killers, desert raiders, ex-Nazis and black marketers on a weekly basis. It was with this show's incarnation that the comparisons to "Casablanca" were particularly apt; Jordan would often have to depend on his police force ally Captain Sam Sabaaya (also played by Novello) for assistance. Though the two men clearly respected one another, they often found themselves sizing each other up in the same skeptical fashion as Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) did in the Oscar-winning film classic.


"Rocky Jordan" might have been dismissed as just another run-of-the-mill detective series, but its exotic locale, tight scripting, and swift, self-assured direction by Cliff Howell set it apart from the infinite number of shows broadcast at that time. The series' writers, Larry Roman and Gomer Cool, often found inspiration from both a copy of the U.S. Army's Pocket Guide to Egypt and real-life anecdotes culled from newspapers; the program "The Dearite Bowl," for instance, was based on the true story of a farmer who discovered a priceless relic while digging on his land. Topping off the proceedings was the original Oriental-sounding music contributed by Richard Aurandt, support from the crème de la crème of actors from "Radio Row" (Peter Leeds, Ben Wright, Parley Baer, etc.) and the always-dependable Larry Thor ("Broadway's My Beat") who handled the program's announcing chores. "Rocky Jordan" was heard as a Sunday night staple on CBS' West Coast network for the next two years, sponsored by Del Monte Foods, and part of an evening line-up that also included "The Adventures of Sam Spade" and "The Whistler."




"Rocky Jordan" finally obtained a berth on the full CBS network schedule from June 27-August 22, 1951, when it served as the summer replacement for the popular detective series "Mr. Chameleon." Unfortunately, Jack Moyles, who had made the hard-boiled character of Jordan his own, was replaced in the title role by screen actor George Raft. Raft was undoubtedly a more glamorous "name" than Moyles, but he didn't bring anything to the part that hadn't already been competently covered by his predecessor."


So, while interesting in its own right, the premise of Rocky Jorden are too different from the Rocky Jordan show to really be its inspiration. You can listen to select Rocky Jordan shows at OTR.Network Library - Rocky Jordan. Before moving on to Rocky King, let's note that the exotic locale in this show was not unique on the radio as noted by MacDonald in 'Don't Touch that Dial':


"The romantic appeal became even more compelling when the champion of justice operated within a foreign context. Such programming was alluring to Americans who romanticized foreign travel. Generous doses of intrigue, sensuality, action, and exoticism served to increase listener interest. Before World War II, with the isolationism of American foreign policy carefully reflected by broadcasting, there were few series which glorified the solving of crimes in foreign lands. But during and after the war the pattern was altered, and many crime-solving programs emerged which adapted the Glamorous Detective to a non-American society. Slate Gannon in Bold Venture operated a fishing boat in the Caribbean; Jethro Dumont, the hero of The Green Lama, fought for justice in the Far East; Rocky Jordan had its home base in Cairo, Café Istanbul, although transferred in its second season to San Francisco, was originally set in the Middle Eastl and Dangerous Assignment, The Adventures of Frank Race, and Orson Welles' roguish hero in The Lives of Harry Lime operated in a different foreign metropolis in each episode."


Meanwhile, Rocky King, Detective aired on the DuMont Television Network:


"Rocky King, Inside Detective was an American television series broadcast on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network from 1950 to 1954. It was one of DuMont's most popular programs. It was a live crime series set in New York City.


It not only kept Roscoe Karns from retirement, but cast him opposite his son, Todd Karns. The DuMont offices and corridors were used as sets. At the end of each program, Rocky King would exchange telephone small talk with his unseen wife Mabel and, after hanging up, say to no one in particular, "Great girl, that Mabel". Although most episodes were destroyed, some episodes still exist, including 37 at the UCLA's film archive."




"As the program opens and the opening titles are shown, Roscoe Karns (as Rocky King) walks toward the camera from the opposite end of a long, dark hallway. This is too realistic and atmospheric to be a set or flat, and the author believes it must have been an actual hallway at the DuMont Tele-Centre in New York. The theme music plays (composed and performed on the organ by Jack Ward; most of the low-budget "live" DuMont shows seem to have organ music as accompaniment), and the voice-over sets the tone for the next half-hour:


ANNOUNCER: Rocky King, Detective! Starring Roscoe Karns as Rocky King, chief of homicide of a metropolitan police force, in an exciting fight against crime! Brought to you by Geritol!


Rocky's wife, Mabel, was the subject of considerable audience speculation because she was never seen on-camera. Brooks and Marsh explain why:


"This began as an economy measure (typical of DuMont), when an actress who was playing a role in a mystery was asked to double as Rocky's wife at home. Since there was no time to change clothes or makeup (the show was live), she spoke from offscreen. Viewers liked the touch, and Grace Carney became a permanent fixture, her off-camera presence always bringing Rocky back to earth with her problems around the house. For a time there was also an unseen son, named Junior."


Scrooge: lol Nothing better than TV made on a shoe-string budget. Amazingly, there are 2 full episodes viewable for free online so you can check the production quality of this early TV show:


Murder Scores a Knockout and Murder, Ph.D.. I'll admit having only made it through the first 7 minutes of the first show.


Whatever the source of the comics might have been, Atlas gave us the character Rocky Jorden, "a private investigator, although the glass on his office door describes him as a "confidential detective." He's a two-fisted Mike Hammer-style p.i., red-haired, two-fisted, full of risque banter and (of course) very tough. (Typical dialogue: "Things began to happen fast! Shots went off and I felt a searing pain in my left arm! Vaguely, I saw the punk collapse with a death rattle in his throat.") No origin was ever given for him, although with this sort of character none is really needed. He had a very loyal secretary, Lisa Brown; Rocky had saved from her "coked-up drummer" boyfriend in Private Eye #2. He and Lisa are romantically involved, and obviously fond of each other. Rocky shows more obvious affection for Lisa than Marlowe (for one) ever did for any of the women Raymond Chandler threw at him; in one story Rocky feeds Lisa ("Liza," in some stories) breakfast in bed (Scrooge Note: he does so in issue # 8).


Rocky is a private investigator in the classical mode; he has his code of honor and conduct, which he sticks to without fail, but he's willing to risk himself to help the less fortunate and will do whatever it takes to win a case and help the innocent. In one story (Scrooge Note: in issue # 8) he risks his life to help an ailing woman. Her husband has disappeared and she wants Rocky to find him, but what she doesn't know, and Rocky does, is that he's in jail on a murder charge, and is covering for a local gangster, who is paying for the wife's operation in exchange for the husband covering for the gangster. Rocky does the necessary beatings-up and shootings and jumpings-across-rooftops ("Tarzan had nothing on me!") and sees that the husband is freed and the gangster punished. In another story (Scrooge Note: also in issue # 8), Rocky helps free a woman from the electric chair with only minutes to go, just because "I hate to see a dame cry!" Interestingly, he's willing to work for criminals, for the right price, something other classical p.i.s don't do; in one story he allows himself to be hired out to a gangster boss for a grand retainer. The boss turns out to have a split personality brought on by a blow to the head, and is killing off his own gang


Rocky, like most traditional p.i.s, is a cunning detective and good with his fists,although he also knows "ju-jitsu." He's also quite willing to hit women, if he has to."


9004 - Front for Murder Page -



9263 - Nightmare for Two Splash -



9563 - The Black Stairway Splash -



9294 - Panic! Splash -


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Red Ryder Comics #4 (October 1941)


as featured in one of your toughest quizzes, if I remember right.




You have a good memory.


I'd actually forgotten that quiz, but I checked and you were right.


:gossip: rjpb was the winner.

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Can someone post a Red Ryder #5? Been trying to find that issue for a long time now.

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Thanks BZ, saving that to my hard drive for future reference. Very difficult to find that book is.

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Scrooge; you've done it again!!!! Great history lesson!!! Keep them coming, I for one, am enjoying these tremendously. (thumbs u

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I'm bumping this thread because it's just so cool! And, Scrooge did such a great job with it.

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A combination of discussions in the All-Star run and ending of CBM threads led me to try this.


Many cited the Synchronic collection article as one of their favorite in the Gary Carter days (it's in # 67 from March 1999). I couldn't agree more as it launched me on my Quest: collecting books on shelves around Four Color 386: Uncle Scrooge, namely March 1952. I gave myself 10 years (I started in July 2001) to finish the collection. As Steve F. would contend, this is not much of a quest as most books are to be found in dealers' inventory. Yet, since I am on a budget, it is still taking time to amass and some (though few) books are not showing up with any regularity. Due to these restraints, I decided that mid- to low-graders will do for my purpose.


I plan on putting up a scan a day, in alphabetic order, of those I already have. This should illustrate the diversity of the market at that time period.


Here's a snapshot of the task: I counted a total of 420 books fitting my eligibility criteria.


Publishers Breakdown:




and Genre Breakdown:




I am in awe of some board members' collections and realize this might have limited interested for everyone. Yet, I have found this approach to collecting a wonderful way to discover some less visible aspects of this hobby. In the 229 issues I already have (and 12 more coming in the mail) I also have already identified 113 different artists. Please give me some feedback as to your interest in this.


I agree.

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Would you, please, do your thing, ("A Month in the Life of the Comics") on this

EC CrimeSuspenstories #6 ? (KKK - Ku Klux Klan kover)




THX ever so much. You, my friend, are "The Man."




edit. I got ur shiite. later.

Edited by llll

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# 147


Monte Hale # 70 - eBay purchase





Monte Hale in Vigilante Victim by ? 7 pgs

Gabby Hayes and The Singing Gunmen by ? 4 pgs

Monte Hale in The Marshal Takes a Gunning by ? 7 pgs

Moutain Hide-out 2 pgs text

Shifty and Swifty by ? 2 pgs

Monte Hale in The Ends of the Earth by ? 7 pgs


The Old Corral reveals itself once again an invaluable resource for Western star coverage -




"[...] Studio publicity noted that Hale was born on June 8, 1921, in San Angelo, Texas. In reality, he was born in Ada, Oklahoma and his birth year is probably 1919. Regardless, his accent was certainly right for westerns. But Hale had no idea of becoming a star, and has confessed to feeling awkward in front of a camera. Adrian Booth, the lovely leading lady in his first seven pictures, has said it was during personal appearances when Monte could meet people face to face that his real winning personality would emerge.


Hale's pictures also benefitted greatly with the addition of character actor Paul Hurst as his sidekick in picture number six, UNDER COLORADO SKIES, and in all the rest except one. Unlike Eddy Waller, who always played 'Nugget Clark' in the Allan 'Rocky' Lane pictures, or Andy Devine who was always 'Cookie Bullfincher' in the Roy Rogers flicks, or Slim Pickens who was Slim Pickens in most of Rex Allen's outings, Hurst played a different character each time and some of the names (like 'Waldorf Worthington', a character who liked nothing better than food) were hilarious. Hurst had a career dating back to silent pictures, including appearances in blockbusters such as GONE WITH THE WIND. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1953.




Monte took his first unknowing steps toward stardom during World War II as a star-struck youngster himself, seeking autographs from Chill Wills and more than two dozen other actors who were making a tour to sell war bonds. They recruited Monte to accompany Lee 'Lasses' White, comic sidekick in Monogram's early Jimmy Wakely films, on the guitar for a couple weeks. That led to a letter of recommendation from the group to Republic President Herbert Yates, who offered a screen test. Thanks to a $500 gift from a Houston entrepreneur who knew Monte, he was able to fund the trip from Texas to Los Angeles. And he landed a seven-year contract at Republic.


His first appearance came in THE BIG BONANZA (1944), starring Richard Arlen, as (appropriately) a guitar-player. Other bit parts in 1945 included THE TOPEKA TERROR (with Allan Lane), OREGON TRAIL (Sunset Carson), STEPPIN' IN SOCIETY, and COLORADO PIONEERS (a Bill Elliott/Red Ryder movie), and a serial, THE PURPLE MONSTER STRIKES, in which he plays a lab technician who has his first encounter with Roy Barcroft (as the Martian monster in this early sci-fi chapter-play) and henchman Bud Geary, throwing a beaker at one of them to knock his gun away and give hero Dennis Moore a chance to fight them. Quickly knocked out before the ending in which the unconscious Moore is about to be boiled by a chemical drop, he comes around in the next chapter in time to pick up the dropped pistol and drive off the villains in time to save the hero. He appeared in another serial (THE PHANTOM RIDER) and two more Elliott/Ryders (CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH and SUN VALLEY CYCLONE) in 1946 before his own career took off.


But it was two more Sunset Carson pictures in 1945 in which he had more memorable roles. In BANDITS OF THE BADLANDS, he is Sunset's younger brother, Dr. Steve Carson, fresh out of medical school and heading west to join his Ranger brother. [...] An even more prominent role came in ROUGH RIDERS OF CHEYENNE, where Hale is the foreman of a ranch belonging to Sunset's father (a pre-Nugget Eddy Waller), and insists on joining Sunset in helping to find his father's killer (when Sunset says he wants no help, Monte asks if Sunset thinks he can run him out of the fight, punctuating the question by striking a match on the side of his face! Sunset agrees that doing so would be a man-size job). He strums and sings "The Old Chisholm Trail" around a campfire for Sunset and the other ranch hands, because "that was your Dad's favorite, Sunset". By the end of the picture, he has jumped in front of Sunset to take a fatal bullet meant for the picture's hero.




Hale's first picture, in Magnacolor (which would become Trucolor a few pictures later), was HOME ON THE RANGE. Besides Adrian Booth, it featured Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, a young Bobby Blake getting a break from his 'Little Beaver' roles in the Elliott and Lane 'Red Ryder' series, and Le Roy Mason, Roy Barcroft and Kenne Duncan to supply the villainy --- in this case, proving young Blake's pet bear innocent of cattle killings which are being done by a killer bear controlled by the baddies. The relationship between Monte and Adrian Booth's character, like many of the Roy and Dale pictures, has them initially as antagonists who eventually mellow out. In this picture and the next eight, Monte Hale would play himself. Then he would play some historical characters (Bat Masterson, Bill Cody and Pat Garrett) and finally various different roles, changing his name each time along with Paul Hurst.


MAN FROM RAINBOW VALLEY saw Hale as the artist of a comic strip featuring an actual wild horse, named Outlaw. Set in the contemporary west, it involved the theft and recovery of the stallion by Monte. OUT CALIFORNIA WAY is also set in contemporary times (in movie capital Los Angeles rather than the wild west) and also involves a horse, this one a chestnut stallion named Partner who belongs to young Bobby Blake. The boy and his sister (Adrian Booth) want to get the trick horse into movies at 'Globe Studios,' where Monte is also seeking a tryout. Monte makes such a hit with his riding, and singing with Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage (joining him here and in his next three pictures) that the studio's western star (played by John Dehner) and his stunt-double/sidekick (Fred Graham) get jealous. That part of the plot harks back to some of Republic's early Gene Autry movies, in which Gene's natural charm wins over a Hollywood studio. The rest involves Monte's effort to get Partner into pictures, despite Graham's character trying to sabotage it. In a sequence where Monte shows Adrian Booth's character around the studio, they chat with Don Barry, watch the filming of a scene with Allan Lane playing 'Red Ryder' (the only time the Ryder character would appear in color until Eagle-Lion brought out its quartet of Ryder movies with Jim Bannon), and hear Roy and Dale warble a tune.


The tradition from here on is that Monte Hale's movie horse is named Partner, although the horse is never named in any of the scripts. However, a comic book featuring Monte by Fawcett Publications (the home of Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher) did name his horse Partner. Fawcett, which also published comics featuring 'Rocky' Lane and 'Lash' LaRue, among others, also adapted some of their movies into comic-book format, such as Monte's PIONEER MARSHAL and THE VANISHING WESTERNER.


From this point on, all of the Monte Hale movies would be set in the late 1800s west rather than contemporary times. The first outing of 1947 was LAST FRONTIER UPRISING, which takes place before Texas joins the United States and involves competition on securing horses to sell to the government. ALONG THE OREGON TRAIL featured a pre-Lone Ranger Clayton Moore as a friend of Monte's who has gone bad, planning to establish his own empire in the west. He is also engaged to Adrian Booth's character, so we know he'll have to go eventually. The -script has Monte interacting with actual historic figures including Kit Carson, Jim Bridger and John Fremont.




UNDER COLORADO SKIES introduced Paul Hurst as 'Lucky John Hawkins', a saloon owner and businessman who befriends Monte and the Riders of the Purple Sage. [...]


PRINCE OF THE PLAINS launched Monte's biggest year, seven movies made in 1949, with Monte as Bat Masterson and Hurst as the local sheriff who jails him when he is framed on a trumped-up charge but releases him periodically and arms him with a pair of pistols whenever trouble threatens (the double holsters were necessary this time to match Bill Elliott's in footage from an Elliott/ Red Ryder movie from six years earlier, OVERLAND MAIL ROBBERY, particularly the finale when the heavy launches himself at the hero at the edge of a cliff and the hero simply drops to the ground, with predictable results; now that Monte's pictures were in black and white, Republic could use a lot of its earlier footage, and would from now on).




Monte had three movies to go in 1950 before his series ended, but their scripts were all above average. THE VANISHING WESTERNER recycled part of yet another Elliott/Ryder plot, from 1945's THE LONE TEXAS RANGER but adding a dual-identity mystery to the mix. THE OLD FRONTIER has Hale and Hurst solving a murder in which a young doctor is implicated. And the last one, THE MISSOURIANS, has a performance by Barcroft as a bandit leader from eastern Europe who forces his younger brother and mother to work for him (the mother, Sarah Padden, greets her long-lost son with a smack across the face followed by a backhand, which somehow seems appropriate for the mother of most of the roles Barcroft has played). He keeps his brother from testifying against him by dangling their mother's locket --- a reminder that she is being held hostage --- in front of him and evincing a menacing squint that only Barcroft could accomplish. Hurst, as a down-at-the-heels lawyer who works with Monte's town marshal character, has a good dramatic turn in talking down a would-be lynch mob out to hang Barcroft's innocent brother. And Howard J. Negley has a fine time as a Shakespearian actor who is the real brains behind Barcroft's gang. All in all, it was a good movie for Monte to ride out on.


[...] Just as Chill Wills had invited him to join the war bond tour group which led indirectly to his Republic series, it was his sitting in on Wills' chat with director George Stevens that led to Monte being tapped for the role of 'Bale Clinch' in GIANT (1956). Hale said Stevens seemed to be taken with the way Hale put on his hat when he left the room, plopping it on his head with one hand. His last appearance was an uncredited role as one of the Texas drunkards in THE CHASE (1966), commiserating with Martha Hyer about her husband having left her. 'I'll drink to that', he tells her, and those may have been his last words on the screen.


Monte's on-screen character always seemed a little bit bland compared to Republic contemporaries Roy Rogers, 'Rocky' Lane and Rex Allen, but his scripts seemed to get better as his budgets and production values were being cut. Although he always preferred personal contact to reaching an audience through the lens of a camera, he furnished us with a lot of good western entertainment."


Concerning Monte in the comics:


"Monte Hale's first comic appearance was in an unusual comic named Picture News, billed as the first news comic and published by an obscure company called the Lafayette Street Corporation or possibly the 299 Lafayette Street Corporation. Monte appeared along with eleven other true-life features in issue #8 dated September-October 1946.


Monte's own comic Monte Hale Western began publication with #29, dated October 1948. It was one of the stable of western titles published by Fawcett Publications and had a healthy run through issue #82 dated June 1953.




As with many of the other Fawcett titles, Monte's comic switched to the Charlton Comics Company beginning with #83 dated February 1955. The last issue was #88 dated January 1956. All of the Fawcett issues had photo covers. The Charlton issues had black and white photo back covers instead, although issue 83, at least, features a black and white medallion photo of Monte on the otherwise drawn cover. There were a number of other features in Monte's comic, including Gabby Hayes in issues 34 through 80 and 83 through 86. Slim Pickens was in issue #53.


On the cover of issue #1, the low-key laid-back Monte is pictured leaning against a fence next to Pardner, but in a horseshoe insert, he's described as 6'5" of solid muscle. This horseshoe and description were repeated on the cover of the first Charlton issue.


Besides the long run of his own comic, Monte also appeared in Fawcett's Real Western Hero along with Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy and others beginning with the first issue #70 dated September, 1948, one month before the start of Monte's own book. With issue 76, dated March 1949, the title changed to Western Hero but the contents remained pretty much the same. Monte appeared on photo covers in issues #88, 91, 93, 95, 98, 100, 104, 107 and 110. Issue 112, dated March 1952 was the final number. In this Western Hero phase the cowboys not featured on the cover appear in black and white rectangular block photos across the cover under the title.


As if all this wasn't enough, Monte was added to the cast of Fawcett's Six-Gun Heroes starting with issue #18, the only issue to feature him on the cover. However, he appeared in a black and white headshot along with the other non-featured stars in at least two other issues, #'s 20 and 22. Although I can't verify it, I believe he appeared in and on all the issues from 18 through 23, dated November 1953. With issue 24 Charlton once again took over (Fawcett stopped publishing comics at this time) and Monte was deleted from the title.


Aside from all these regular comics Monte Hale also appeared in Fawcett Movie Comics. Issue #4 published in 1950 but not dated is devoted to Monte's last 1949 release PIONEER MARSHAL. Paul Hurst is featured with Monte on the cover. Issue #9 is dated February 1950, but should say February 1951. This issue features THE OLD FRONTIER. Issue 10, dated April 1951 is devoted to the last of Monte's Republic series, THE MISSOURIANS.


The very first issue #101 of Fawcett's related series Motion Picture Comics published in 1950 featured Monte's fine film THE VANISHING WESTERNER. Finally in an oddity as strange as his initial appearance, a Monte Hale reprint showed up in Charlton/Capitol Stories Cowboy Western Comics #51, probably dated September/October 1954. The odd thing is that this time the hero's name had been changed to Rusty Hall! I've no idea why, although it must have been a copyright problem of some kind. Bob Overstreet's Comic Book Price Guide says that there may also be a Hale reprint in issue #55, but he's not certain.


Monte also appeared in Fawcett's Xmas Comics issues 4 through 7 dated December of each year from 1949 through 1952. These comics were giant 196 page comics selling for 50 cents each. They contained reprints of stories from many Fawcett titles of all kinds.


All the above represents a spectacular success in comics. In part, this is simply because Monte was still making movies through 1950, but that doesn't altogether explain a comics career which seems more substantial than his film career would seem to warrant."


Vigilante Victim Splash -



Vigilante Victim Splash -



Gabby Hayes and The Singing Gunmen Page -



The Marshal Takes a Gunning Page -



The Ends of the Earth Splash -



The Ends of the Earth Page -



Note that Monte at last count is the last of the comic cowboy to still be alive unless someone can point out another one?


Unfortunately, I have to update this last line as Monte departed this world today :sorry:


As per AP:


" Monte Hale, a singing cowboy whose tall frame, strong voice and handsome looks led to dozens of film roles in westerns during the 1940s, died on Sunday at his home here. He was 89.


His death followed a lengthy illness, said Yadhira De Leon of the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles.


Born in San Angelo, Tex., Mr. Hale picked up the guitar as a teenager and was discovered at a war-bond rally during World War II, according to a press release from the center.


He hitchhiked from Texas to California to take a screen test for Republic Pictures, winning a part in 'The Big Bonanza' (1944), and then signed a seven-year studio contract.


Mr. Hale starred in more than a dozen of his own films, including 'Home on the Range' with Robert Blake and 'Out California Way', both in 1946.


After leaving Republic, he appeared in other movies, including 'Giant'

(1956) with James Dean and 'The Chase' (1966) with Marlon Brando, in which he had a bit part. He was also a guest star on television shows like 'Gunsmoke', 'Honey West' and 'Tales of Wells Fargo'.


With his wife, Joanne, his friend Gene Autry and Autry's widow, Jackie, he founded the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, later renamed the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and now, as the Museum of the American West, a part of the Autry National Center of the American West.


His survivors include his wife and a brother, Bill Hale."

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11,090 posts

How could we, you keep coming back meh

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927 posts

No. Really. Thanks.


This and BangZoom's thread are tops.


Edited by Hello

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# 185


Rocky Lane Western # 35 - Con Purchase





Rocky Lane in Murder South of the Border! by ? 7 pgs

Sage-Brush by ? - 1 pg comedy filler

Dee Dickens in Black-out for Brown! by ? 4 pgs

Rocky Lane in Timed for Death! by ? 6 pgs

Curly by Joe K. Jones – 2 pgs text

Gopherface in A Sure Cure! by ? – 1 pg comedy filler

Roping’n’Riding with Allan “Rocky” Lane by ? – 1 pg real fact

Rocky Lane in The Death Verdict! by ? 7 pgs

Pistol Packing Pattie in High Talking! by ? – 1 pg comedy filler


With the GCD is up and running, I can provide a group shot of the covers for the Fawcett Rocky Lane series.




Unfortunately, I can’t provide credit info with certainty either. In fact, aside from the artists working on the Captain Marvel family of titles, I find that Fawcett creators are under researched, and maybe it is self-inflicted as the art on the page of this Rocky Lane Western are lack-luster as the scans will make quickly evident. Nevertheless, Fawcett produced a large line of Western titles that has not been covered by fandom.


Still, as always the Who’s Who is able to direct us to Stan Campbell as potentially the artist. Campbell illustrated a vast array of western features for Fawcett and then Charlton throughout the ‘50’s before finally finding some success in syndication with The Merriers (1958 - 1962 weekly) all the while still completing assignments for Gilberton for their Classics Illustrated Jr. series. Campbell also illustrated on CI, # 141 (1957) - Castle Dangerous, a lesser effort by Sir Walter Scott. From this scan of the CI, it appears possible that it is Campbell illustrating the Rocky Lane. The art on Castle Dangerous is more accomplished by figures’ posture are similar and so are faces.




Allan “Rocky” Lane (1909 – 1973), born Harry Leonard Albershart in Mishawaka, Indiana, was popular enough to have a sustained comic book career. Not only did his series run 55 issues at Fawcett from 1949 to 1954, but Charlton continued the series for another 32 issues until 1959, for an overall 10 year run. That Black Jack, Rocky’s ride, earned its own title (11 issues, 1957 – 1959) is further proof of his popularity. Moreover, Lane was a standard fixture in Six-Gun Heroes alongside Hoppy, Lash LaRue and Tex Ritter and his movies were also featured in the Movie Comics and Motion Picture Comics series. In fact, the issue of Motion Picture Comics on the stands at the same as Rocky Lane # 35 featured Rough Riders of Durango, a Lane vehicle, more information available here




Lane’s western career is as always covered extensively at the old Old Corral, now b-westerns.com. Lane’s first success came from his appearance in Republic’s King of the Royal Mounted serials, portraying Sgt. King himself as seen below.




After more work in serials and co-starring with Kay Eldridge, a.k.a. Nyoka (for more on Lane and Eldridge, see Nyoka it came to that Republic moved up Don Barry after his success in the Red Ryder serials and Lane inherited Barry’s un-shot scripts. All these eventually filled Lane’s time until he too became Red Ryder (Will Bill Elliott had taken the role over for Don Barry and Lane replaced Elliott). And finally, Lane himself graduated to star role in his own features. There were 38 Allan “Rocky” Lane features from 1947 to 1953. Rocky appeared with his stallion Black Jack, which some suspect was the same horse who played Thunder when Lane was Red Ryder.




Once his contract was over, Lane did little significant work but lucked into being Mr. Ed’s voice, even though he was never credited on screen for it. Lane died in 1973 from bone cancer.


Rocky Lane in Murder South of the Border! Story Page -




Roping’n’Riding with Allan “Rocky” Lane Feature -




Rocky Lane in The Death Verdict! Splash -



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