Wednesday, December 13, 2017


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 130th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns. 
The Rawhide Kid #143 [January 1978] has another terrific cover by Gil Kane. Like his previous covers, it doesn’t illustrate a scene from the story reprinted in this issue.

This issue reprints “Gunman’s Quest” (17 pages) from Rawhide Kid #45 [April 1965]. The original and still very much classic cover for that issue was penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Chic Stone. I always liked that artistic combination.

Written and drawn by Larry Lieber, “Gunman’s Quest” is an expanded origin story for the Rawhide Kid. It also introduced the brothers he never knew he had. I wrote about this landmark story on January 23, 2013. You can read my comments here.

The Johnston Smith companies with its endless supply of cheap-ass novelty items has an ad on the issue’s inside front cover. A little further in is a full-page ad for “Super Sea Monkeys.”

Simon & Schuster has a full-page ad for their complete collection of Marvel books. New to their roster is The Superhero Women, which features stories of Medusa, Red Sonja, the Black Widow, Ms. Marvel and others.

There are the usual three pages of classified-style ads with 22 ads for mail-order dealers selling old comics. In addition, the pages have ads for comic bags, a “Learn Cartooning” course and a Creation comic convention scheduled to be held November 25-27 at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Manhattan.

There’s a half-page ad for Slim Jim meat snacks with werewolf art by Jack Davis and a half-page ad recruiting entrepreneurial kids to sell the newspaper Grit.

The Superhero Shop of New Jersey changed its name to Heroes World and continues to sell comics merchandise. For $5.55, you could have bought a Spider-Man Utility Belt featuring a Spidey watch, Spidey handcuffs, Spidey Grappler (rope and hook), Spidey web and a Spidey communicator. Did any of that stuff actually work?

Poster Bonanza - with a mailing address in my home town of Medina, Ohio - would sell you five 11-by-17 posters for $2.75. Group A had Farrah Fawcett, John Travolta, Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman, Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man, and Osmond siblings Donny and Marie. Group B had Kiss, the Hardy Boys, Grizzly Adams, Kristy McNichol and Baretta.

This poster ad didn’t surprise me as much as you might think. I had a post office box in Medina for a decade or two and discovered Medina Ohio was a popular address for such offers and for coupon redemptions. There was a processing center somewhere in my city. I discovered this when some coupon offer mistakenly printed my P.O. Box number and I started receiving literal boxes of envelopes. It took a couple months to fix that mess.

A half-page Marvel subscription ad ran in this issue, offering six titles for the price of five. The bottom half of the page pitched mail-order locksmith lessons. The Pizzazz (magazine) ad that ran on the inside front cover of the previous issue ran as an interior ad in this one. It was followed by half-page ads for Clark candy bars and a half-page ad for “Strong Arms” from bodybuilder Mike Marvel.

This issue’s Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page listed Archie Goodwin as editor; Jim Shooter as associate editor; Roger Stern, Ed Hannigan, Ralph Macchio, Jo Duffy as assistant editors; Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby as consulting editors; John Romita and Marie Severin as art directors; John Verpoorten as the production manager; and, of course, Irving Forbush as unindicted co-conspirator.

“Stan Lee’s Soapbox” had the Man plugging The Superhero Women, the forthcoming How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way and the second issue of the Marvel Special Edition reprinting of Marvel’s adaptation of Star Wars. Having grown up on meatier soapboxes, I was not enamored of this never-ending parade of plugs.

In other news...

Marvel colorist Don Warfield and his wife Gayle Landers announced the birth of their daughter, Ellen Kelly Warfield.

Marvel would be publishing Man From Atlantis, starting with an 80-page issue selling for a buck. The page also hinted at a “colorful” surprise for the readers of The Savage Sword of Conan. This likely involved reprinting black-and-white stories in color.

Ernie Chan would be drawing a Marv Wolfman-written issue of Marvel Two-In-One wrapping up loose ends from Marv’s short-lived Skull the Slayer title. Carmine Infantino would guest-pencil two issues of The Defenders with inks by Klaus Janson. After that, Janson will remain to ink new regular penciler Ed Hannigan.

Danny Fingeroth was taking over as assistant editor of the British weeklies as Bob Budiansky turned his attention to penciling comics. British department staffers Dave Wenzel and Duffy Vohland were doing a Solomon Kane story for The Savage Sword of Conan.

While Jack Kirby finished the Silver Surfer graphic novel he was working on with Stan Lee, and working on some new creations, the new Captain America creative team would be writer/editor Roy Thomas, penciler Sal Buscema and inker Joe Sinnott.

John Byrne and Terry Austin were the new X-Men art team. Delightful Dave Cockrum was drawing an issue of John Carter, Warlord of Mars. Tony and Mary DeZuniga are back in New York City after their long-time residence in the Philippines.

And that wrapped up this month’s Bullpen Bulletins.

Next...Thor starred in “The Ding-a-Ling Family!” Weird hill-folk end up in orbit around Asgard and attack Thor and his fellows. They are subdued when Sif gives them Hostess fruit pies. I’m fairly certain John Buscema penciled this one-page comics story.

The “Mighty Marvel Gallery of Western Heroes” pin-up series kicks off with Red Wolf by Neal Adams. This is a reprint of the cover of Marvel Spotlight #1 [November 1971].

There are three more full-page paid ads in the issue:

“To All Who Want Powerful Muscles Fast!”, Olympic Muscle Builders of Rockaway, New Jersey had your back. If you sent them fifty cents for handling and mailing charges, they would send you the first lesson free.

The inside cover advertised “50 Mile Power Binoculars” from Foster-Trent of Larchmont, New York. With shipping and handling charges, the cost was four bucks for one set or seven bucks for two sets. If you lived in New York, you would also have to pay the appropriate sales tax.

The back cover had an ad for the talking “Patty Prayer” doll, which could kneel and say a bedtime prayer. Niresk Industries of Chicago was selling the doll for $11.95. That price included two bucks for postage, handling and insurance. The doll was said to be almost 20 inches tall, non-allergenic, soft, cuddly and lifelike. Now that’s an evil doll movie just waiting to be filmed.

That wraps up this installment of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday.” We have eight more issues to go until the end of the trail for this title. Look for the next guns-a’-blazing installment in just seven short days.

As for tomorrow’s bloggy thing, mosey on by and we’ll both see what I came up with.

© 2017 Tony Isabella


  1. I probably attended that Creation Con; I went to most of them in 1974-77.

  2. Tony, Is the Heroes World you mentioned above the same company that became the distributor Marvel bought? The distributor that eventually led to me buying my first fax machine rather than wait on hold most of the day. you know, those guys???