Wednesday, February 14, 2018


RESOLVED: The Rawhide Kid is my favorite western comics character and one of my favorite comics characters period.  This is why I’ve written over a hundred columns about him. Something about his short stature, but large courage, honor and fighting skills speaks to me.  After rereading the Kid’s earliest adventures when Marvel reprinted them in a pair of Marvel Masterworks and an Essential Rawhide Kid volume, I decide to reacquire every Rawhide Kid comic, reread them and write about them. We’ve reached the title’s extended twilight.  We’ve seen the last new Rawhide Kid story that will appear in the now-bimonthly reprint series. This is the 134th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.

The Rawhide Kid #147 [September 1978] has a cover by Paul Gulacy, which illustrates “Renegades of the Wild North!” This story first appeared in Rawhide Kid #95 [January 1972]. That issue’s cover was  penciled by Larry Lieber with inks by Frank Giacoia.

The 14-page ““Renegades of the Wild North!” was written and drawn by Lieber with inks by George Roussos. Regular bloggy thing readers know what a huge fan I am of my friend Larry’s work, but this tale might just be my least favorite of his Rawhide Kid stories. I wrote about it on July 13, 2016. You can read my review here.
The inside front cover of the issue is an advertisement for The Bad News Bears Go to Japan. Wikipedia tells me that:

The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (also known as The Bad News Bears 3) is a sport-drama 1978 film release by Paramount Pictures and was the third and last of a series, following The Bad News Bears and The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. It stars Tony Curtis and Jackie Earle Haley, also featuring Regis Philbin in a small role and Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in a role.

At first glance, I thought this ad was drawn by Jack Davis. But, as it’s not signed and doesn’t look like Davis’ work when I look at it more closely, I’m going to guess that it’s drawn by an artist who was trying to ape the Davis style. If anyone can identity who drew this ad, please share that information with us.

[ADDENDUM: Reader Joseph Graves writes "The poster was done by Bruce Stark, who also did magazine covers and caricatures." Thanks, Joseph!]

Rawhide Kid readers still got a Jack Davis fix this issue. He drew a half-page “Slim Jim” ad.

Most of the paid ads in this ish are unimpressive. The newspaper Grit. ICEE frozen drinks with ICEE bear points on the cups, points that can be exchanged for various gifts. Novelty ads. Learn how to be a locksmith. Build strong arms. Daisy rifles. More novelties. Sell Christmas cards to earn cash or prizes. Baseball cards inside boxes of Hostess cupcakes and the like. Grow muscles. Sell other Christmas cards for cash or prizes. Gliders. Yawn.

The one interesting paid ad is a Clark Bars offer that would bring you a radio-controlled Batmobile of Spider-Mobile. Yours for just $12.95 each and dozen candy wrappers.

Heroes World’s usual full-page ad is all about the t-shirts. Here’s the problem. It’s a confusing ad that doesn’t show all the shirts that the copy says are available. I’m guessing “Captain America with declaration” and “Spidey, Cap and Hulk marching scene” refer to images from various Marvel calendars. I have no guess as to what “all over print” refers to. Most interesting is the addition of a Red Sonja t-shirt. It’s only available in adult sizes. To quote the ad: “Sorry, kids...she’s just too hot to handle!”

The issue has the usual two pages of classified ads. There are 22 ads for mail-order comics dealers, an ad for Star Wars buckles and belts and the now-usual ad offering 3 mil comics storage bags for three bucks per hundred.

There’s another uninspiring half-page ad for Pizzazz in this issue. I don’t think I’ve ever actually owned or read an issue of Pizzazz, so a trip to eBay is probably in order.

The other half of the Pizzazz page is a Marvel subscription ad we have seen before. It shows Iron Man, Conan and, from the Defenders, Nighthawk. The choice of characters puzzles me. Conan was a pretty big hit, so he makes sense. Iron Man wasn’t setting the industry on fire, but he was one of the classic Marvel super-heroes. The one I don’t get is Nighthawk.

The Outlaw Kid reprint comes from The Outlaw Kid #19 [September 1957]. John Severin drew and signed the cover.

“Gun Crazy!” (4 pages) was drawn by Doug Wildey. The writer has not yet been identified. This is the third reprinting of the story. It also appeared in Outlaw Kid #8 [October 1971] and Outlaw Kid  #24 [October 1974]. I’m not giving you a recap of this short story or the usual spoiler warnings. Because it’s basically the same story as the Outlaw Kid reprint that ran in the previous issue.

A bully is shown bullying someone. The Outlaw Kid gives him what-for, refusing to engage in a gunfight with him. The bully tries to ambush the Kid. Not paying attention to his whereabouts, the bully puts himself in mortal peril. The Kid saves the bully and the bully vows to change his ways.

I’m of a mind that this reprint rehash indicates how little thought was going into Rawhide Kid at this time. The new covers were nice, but the interiors were by the numbers. Run the next 14-page Rawhide Kid story in order. Run the first four-page Outlaw Kid story that you can lay your hands on.

The only remaining editorial material in this issue is the Bullpen Bulletins page. Normally, I give you an item-by-item recounting of the page, but, this time around and, for the immediate future, I’m just going to scan and include the actual page. This is only partly due to my getting lazy in my old age.

The truth of that matter is that the Bullpen Bulletins pages that were run during Jim Shooter’s time as editor-in-chief strike me as unbearably insincere. The “Stan Lee’s Soapbox” feature is sincere, but lackluster compared to Stan’s previous efforts. The individual items neither convince me of their honesty or make me want to read the comics and other publications they plug. What was once one of my favorite elements of a Marvel comic book is now something I just skim because it’s there.

There are only four more issues before Rawhide Kid ends its long run. But I may have some surprises for you before I call it quits with my equally long “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” series. Keep watching the bloggy thing.

The bloggy thing is still in standby mode while I work on a number of personal and professional matters...and attend some conventions in Windsor (Canada) and Pensacola (Florida). But I’ll be back soon with more stuff. Have a great day.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

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