Is there a market for Western comics any more?
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Posted (edited)

DC - Slow and Steady wins the race.

Westerns are 334 comics out of the 4,769 comics DC produced over the time period, or 7% of all DCs.

DC increased the number of comics it published from 1937 to 1958, going from 31 in 1937 to 134 in 1942 to 206 in 1948 to 313 in 1954 to their highest count with 379 in 1958 (though 1959 was still a high 351, a tiny drop).

Through all that time, DC stuck to publishing few Western series and only increased its production once it jumped on the coon skin craze of 1954-1955, which is also a cause for the hump for those years as many frontier series popped up across publishers, including DC.

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900229125_FrontierFighters8.thumb.jpg.d58b44f6719d1ed50316c0e6ff298e23.jpg

 

Edited by Scrooge

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As for the other publishers, there are so many deserving attention.

Some of my favorites are:

Magazine Enterprises with 222 Western comics, esp. their Durango Kid and Straight Arrow series.

1092194396_StraightArrow45.jpg.83b96c1c5df42a3f728d4e8a7153acad.jpg

1534397257_DurangoKid31.jpg.104bda27d0f5b227e4d7bb6a5fac99c6.jpg

318533715_DurangoKid20.jpg.8ac9875b545a5fd47c78303102f59642.jpg

Prize with 66 Western comics, with their excellent Prize Comics Western.

1681934494_PrizeWestern102.jpg.b4b8f5af43e1a2cf54994c513336b90f.jpg

1007120468_PrizeWestern88.jpg.ff35ffd3a791ac913903c7f3e2a8471e.jpg

Fiction House with only 51 Western comics, but with some nice series.

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47254611_Indians8.jpg.8482683f70a1a0978372a160b6c633fa.jpg

558829013_Indians17.thumb.jpg.dd2477a6bde76e47989a9e2d72d37bcc.jpg

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Masterful work, even compared to your usual high bar!

Thank you.

(worship)   (worship)   (worship)

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2 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

Charlton kept the Westerns going for quite a while into the sixties too,

Actually Steve it was the Bond craze that killed the Western both in movies TV and I'm sure the comic market. Spies were now the hot topic for the general public and the studio's reflected that trend. A good example of this was the TV series Burke's law starring Gene Barry. As the spy craze hit they changed the entire format from being a police chief to a secret agent called "Amos Burke secret agent!"(thumbsu  

 

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1 minute ago, Get Marwood & I said:

Sweet cigarettes :cloud9:

Candy sticks you have to be PC.:bigsmile:

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A few examples from the Western craze.(thumbsu

 

tvwesternsweetpackets.jpg

download (2).jpg

download (1).jpg

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I had not purchased a GA comic for a couple of years now until this past week. 3 out of 4 were Westerns :whatthe:

Here's one -

120436409_Tonto11.thumb.jpg.cd8bd9ea8a276d2be5780a67122d8031.jpg

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1 minute ago, Scrooge said:

I had not purchased a GA comic for a couple of years now until this past week. 3 out of 4 were Westerns :whatthe:

Here's one -

120436409_Tonto11.thumb.jpg.cd8bd9ea8a276d2be5780a67122d8031.jpg

That's a beautiful cover do you know the artist?

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43 minutes ago, tv horror said:

That's a beautiful cover do you know the artist?

That's Ernest Nordli. He painted quite a few of the covers in the series. Some are signed. Some only have E.N. on them. That's his style here as well.

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Great research and information, Scrooge - and great examples from each publisher/category (well, except Charlton, of course....)!

....and kaculler - now I know who beat me out on the Dale Evans lot recently!  :)

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Wonderful stuff, Scrooge! (thumbsu

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11 hours ago, EdMann2 said:

....and kaculler - now I know who beat me out on the Dale Evans lot recently!  :)

Sorry (not really ;) ) .  They were too tempting.  Hopefully you won a few other auctions for things that you wanted.

If it makes you feel any better, when I posted the pictures on Facebook a friend taunted me with their copy of Dale Evans #1.  :)

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Was looking at some Frank Tenney Johnson work yesterday and this one jumped out: The Stampede.

The pic is hard to see. The scene is a nocturne. Still, my mind went to the Western Picture Stories # 1 cover. Not that one inspired the other but the style is similar. We don't give enough credit at times to those comic book pioneers but they did many times strike gold in their efforts. This is one.

974505715_TheStampede-FrankTenneyJohnson.Jpeg.23949da3b0e891ddacc73c0767898735.Jpeg

1515075907_WesternPictureStories1.jpg.7dfd1fe093676a8c35d6d758b0bd4863.jpg

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Seems to me that the entire concept of "The Western" is slowly dying out.  I think it will always be part of America because of its cultural uniqueness,  but it has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. I don't think People born in the 1990s have any real cultural contact with Westerns.

I went to Disneyland a few years ago before they closed down the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.  I think if Frontierland didn't have Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster they would probably do away with it.  Besides that ride, there is only the shooting gallery, a restaurant that has a couple of small shows and some themed stores that only seem to sell generic merchandise.  Maybe somebody thought that since Star Wars is a space western that attaching Star Wars Land to Frontierland made some sense.

 

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40 minutes ago, mjoeyoung said:

Seems to me that the entire concept of "The Western" is slowly dying out.  I think it will always be part of America because of its cultural uniqueness,  but it has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. I don't think People born in the 1990s have any real cultural contact with Westerns.

I went to Disneyland a few years ago before they closed down the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.  I think if Frontierland didn't have Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster they would probably do away with it.  Besides that ride, there is only the shooting gallery, a restaurant that has a couple of small shows and some themed stores that only seem to sell generic merchandise.  Maybe somebody thought that since Star Wars is a space western that attaching Star Wars Land to Frontierland made some sense.

 

Yeah, it's an interesting genre. It's an important part of the American myth. We have a lot of cultural lore built around the west. We have important works of art and literature. But if you take cinema as an indicator, there's still interest and cool stuff done now and then, but not enough to merit wagon loads of theatrical releases. I don't think it will die, but I don't think we'll see a resurgence of it either. 

Speaking of which, anyone see (or read) The Sisters Brothers? There's a good one for you.

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western pulp, of which there are many many many

this one is sweet

HopalongCassidysWesternMagazine01fc_zpsv

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I was at a flea market on Sunday. A guy had a Hoppy boxed paint set, 3 boxed jigsaw puzzles. A nice board game, An ice cream container and a few small other things all in near mint condition. He wanted $100. For all of them and was practically pleading me to buy them. I’m sure I could have even gotton them for a little less. I sadly passed. There was a time not that long ago when I could have sold them for 3 to 4 times that quickly. The cap guns still sell fairly well but other than that, his market is gone. Sad...:sorry:

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On 4/21/2019 at 12:50 PM, tv horror said:

Actually Steve it was the Bond craze that killed the Western both in movies TV and I'm sure the comic market. Spies were now the hot topic for the general public and the studio's reflected that trend. A good example of this was the TV series Burke's law starring Gene Barry. As the spy craze hit they changed the entire format from being a police chief to a secret agent called "Amos Burke secret agent!"(thumbsu  

 

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Another example of this is the Nick Carter character.  He appeared as a detective over 4,000 times since 1886, and then suddenly in 1964 he became "Nick Carter - Killmaster" and appeared another 250+ times, but this time as a spy.

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Here's a chart I should have included earlier - longest running series over the period -

672412673_LongestWesternSeries.thumb.jpg.9ab6b0a74ff31662f10880b80b11722f.jpg

These are followed by:

7 series with at least 40 issues: Lash LaRue, Western Fighters, Roy Rogers and Trigger, Tim Holt, Charles Starrett as the Durango Kid, Two Gun Kid, The Cisco Kid.

Arguably, the Roy Rogers should be bundled with Roy Rogers above but since my source data is the GCD and the series are split by indicia these ended up separated.

If you join the separated series, Roy ends up with 91 + 43 = 134 and Gene ends up with 101 + 20 = 121.

Similarly, one should join the series that had legacy runs with other publishers so, for example, Hopalong would have 84 + 50 = 134 and Rocky Lane = 55 + 32 = 87. Here's how the reworked table looks like (see under) and even then I have not yet accounted for any Four Colors for Gene, Roy and the Lone Ranger.

842995015_LongestWesternSeries-Joined.jpg.8b4c031eb092791d620ee7724277fd70.jpg

7 series with at least 30 issues: Western Hero, Indian Chief, Tonto, Six-Gun Heroes, Rex Allen, Silver. The 7th one would be Rocky Lane by Charlton but it is bundled in the table above with the Fawcett.

31 series with at least 20 issues

49 series with at least 10 issues

79 series with at least 5 issues

147 series with less than 5 issues in the period

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