I have been out of pocket for a month – sick, then vacation, but I have not been shirking western comics research. I have been doing a serious bit of research into international westerns, especially all the British ones from Miller & Sons (thanks to finally getting a book that I will share later) and uncovering more than 140 westerns from around the globe ( again, I will post it later). Also, I’ve unraveled the IW and Super Comics mystery thanks to the latest Overstreet Guide and I have made some great purchases this summer so far. Give me some time and it will all be here eventually.
Just returned from Megacon in Orlando, Florida! This has become a fantastic annual event and it was bigger than ever. The cosplay at Megacon is fantastic. I would swear that almost 40% of all the attendees were in costume.
The mix of vendors was very appreciated, as was the unexpected surprise of comic dealers who not only brought western comics, but they brought a lot of them and were generally willing to make deals. The Holy Grail Comics booth was especially well organized with two long boxes of high quality westerns and great prices. I even found Australian, Spanish, and Mexican Western titles; a rare occurance at modern shows.
I will post cover shots of some of the finds soon.
Samuel Colt”s .45 revolver has proven to be the symbol of the gunslinging west and it has inspired several western comic titles over the years. He is a short list. I’d be glad to hear if you know of others.
Gypsy Colt (yes, I know it is a horse, but still…)
Crackajack Funnies began in 1938 and featured Tom Mix for the first seventeen issues, as well as his sidekick Wash Tubbs. It added Red Ryder as seen here on the cover of #9. Cowboy star Buck Jones also made an appearance in several issues. All of the titles covers were great looking and very colorful, even when it switched to mainly telling the tales of The Owl, a sort of Batman knock-off. It ended in the middle of WWII with issue #35.
I have updated the list of modern Westerns for you with a few new finds. As I said before, I will try to update the master lists once a month. Also please note that I only list them if I have actually held the title in my hands, seen an actual issue at a con or shop, or friends have sent me scans or photos. I want to confirm that a title or issue is a real western. For example Vertigo’s Cowboys and the Japanese title Cowboy Bebop are not westerns.
I found four new Western Comics or western themed issues from the Golden and Silver Age and have added them to the Master List on this site. I will be trying to update the lists at least monthly for you. I will be updating the Modern Western list next week.
Recently, someone asked me how many different genres of western comics were out there. We though about it for a while and came up with a list we think covers all of them. However, we could be wrong. Let me know what you think. What did we miss?
The world of Western comics has an amazing number of sub-genres and many more cross-genre books (i.e. Weird Fantasies, Splatter Sci-fi, Weird Superhero, etc.). There is enough variation to wet anyone’s graphic appetite and field of interest. Below are the basics:
Genre Title Genre Examples
Classic Western– The Lone Ranger, Two-Gun Kid, Rawhide Kid, Zorro, All-Star Western, Ringo Kid, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans
Movie Western– Rocky Lane, Rod Cameron, Rex Allen, Tim Holt, the Durango Kid, and many Dell and Gold Key titles like the Sons of Katie Elder adaptation
TV Western– Bonanza, Have Gun will Travel, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Cheyenne, Colt 45 and many Dell and Gold Key titles
Animal Western– Hi-yo Silver, Black Fury, Black Jack, The Legend of Lobo
Superhero Western– Justice Riders, Batman: The Blue, the Grey, and the Bat, 1872, Red Wolf and any of the DC or Marvel time traveling issues
Weird Western– The Original Ghost Rider, Jonah Hex, Graveslinger, The Wicked West, Wynonna Earp, Desperadoes and, of course, DC’s Weird Western
Romance Western– Cowboy Love, Range Romance, Rangeland Love, I met a Handsome Cowboy, Cowgirl Romance
Humorous Western– Teepee Tim, Panhandle Pete, Donald Duck Western stories, the Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, and the recent Rawhide Kid stories
Splatter Western– Gunfighters in Hell, Saint of Killers, Preacher, Django
Historical Western- Indeh, Tales of the Texas Rangers, Geronimo
Dark Fantasy Western– Pretty Dead, Sixth Gun, The Dark Tower, Loveless
Steampunk Western– Kingsway West, The Rough Riders, The Wild Wild West
Futuristic/Sci-fi Western– Hex, Lone, Space Western, Iron West, Madame Tarantula
Just purchased one of my oldest westerns- a 1940 Tom Mix Comics #3. It was worth two box tops from the Ralston Purina Company, a long time sponsor of all things Mix. Thought I would share… and brag.
Hello again, I just put up a new bibliography of the western comics, magazines, websites, and books that I used to help put all this together. You can find it on the Guide page. Also, a special shout out to the creator of the Western Comics Blog here at wordpress for letting me post and connect to more fans of illustrated western fun.
Up until 1975, all of Marvel’s western heroes existed in a separate reality from the modern Marvel superheroes. That is until part of the Avengers went back in time to encounter Kid Colt, Night Rider, the Rawhide Kid, and the Two Gun Kid in issue #141-#142 of their namesake title. Later in issue #147, Two Gun returns with Hawkeye to the future for a few adventures, some of which carry over in Champions #11, Ghost Rider #27, Marvel Tales #100, and Daredevil #215 (as a parallel flashback story). There is a second major time travel story when Ironman leads the Avengers back once again to the wild west in issue #18 of the West Coast Avengers (1987). Recently, Red Wolf was spirited away into the present in a six issue series in 2016 and apparently, he is remaining there for the time being.
DC also occasionally tosses modern super heroes like Batman back in time and most recently, Booster Gold who met Jonah Hex who was then subsequently thrown into the present day for a year of his New 52 series. Back in the 1970’s, Jonah Hex appeared in the Justice League comic a few time in issues # . Hex, was once again thrown into the far future as told in the short lived Hex series 1985-1986. In several of the DC cartoon TV series, like Justice League, the modern greats have met the wild west gun hands as well.