Monday, March 18, 2013
HOT LEAD FLIES
comic book built around a real-life cowboy star. In this case, it
was the amazing Tex Ritter. A popular country western singer and
movie actor, Ritter has a Wikipedia entry that made my eyes go big.
He studied government, political science and economics. He was a
country music pioneer. He appeared in Broadway plays and on radio
programs, including a kids cowboy program he wrote and starred in.
He appeared in dozens of movies, recorded over a dozen albums and
over two dozen singles, toured Europe, appeared on many TV shows, was
a Grand Old Opry regular and even ran for the Senate once. If all
that wasn’t enough, he was the father of actor John Ritter and the
grandfather of Jason Ritter. He died on January 2, 1974 at age 69.
And that’s just the short version of a life lived large and really
well. Wow. Just wow.
Ritter appears with his horse White Flash on the cover shown above.
The lead feature of the issue is the three-chapter “Lawless Furnace
Valley” by artist Pete Riss and a writer yet to be identified. The
chapters are summarized on the Grand Comics Datebase.
Chapter 1: “Ambush” (8 pages). “Lucky Marlin is the law in the boom
town of Furnace Valley until Ranger Tex arrives.”
Chapter 2: “Death's Grip” (7 pages). “Tex is bushwacked by Lucky's
killers, but he beats them off and they shoot one of their own.
Then they hire a big wrestler to take on Tex.”
I interrupt this bloggy thing for a suggestion to the Grand Comics
Database. Especially given the title of this chapter, perhaps it
might be better to say Ritter *chases* them off. Think about it.
Chapter 3: “Showdown” (8 pages). “A wrestling and boxing match
between Tex and Crusher, and a showdown with the gang of robbers.”
Also in this issue:
“Riding The Range With Tex Ritter” (1 page). This letters page has
an opening illustration by Riss and is supposed written by Ritter.
It has “some words on horses and of using horse sense.”
“Loonie Les” (1 page). A western gag page by unidentified creators.
“Pinto Pete” (1 page). Another western gag page, this one drawn by
“Cowboy Cal” (1 page). A third western gag page. The GCD synopsis
says “Cal has been experimenting with breeding snakes and parrots.”
I hope he wasn’t breeding them together. We really don’t need any
more Faux News personalities.
“Incident By The Creek” (2-pages). The text story is signed by Dick
Kraus, who was a Fawcett editor and writer.
“Stage Struck Stewart” (0.5 page). Another western gag strip. The
other half of the page has a “Fleer’s Dubble Bubble Gum” ad written
and drawn by Ray Thompson.
Keep reading this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from the month of my birth. As always, if you have information to
share on these issues, please send it to me and I’ll share it with
your fellow bloggy thing readers.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella