Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Art Gallery: Rio Kid Western

1949

1945

1947

9 comments:

Laurie Powers said...

Nice covers! Thanks for sharing. Do you know who wrote for this mag? (Besides Paul Powers?)

Evan Lewis said...

Surprisingly, there were several authors, using different names. Whether those names were their own, I don't know, but Rio Kid stories appeared by Tom Curry, Jackson Cole, C. William Harrison, Lee E. Wells, Walter A. Tompkins and Gunnison Steele, and were reprinted in paperback under the same names. Most of those guys also wrote Masked Rider stories.

The short stories were by a variety of guys, generally the same crew who sold to Texas Rangers, Masked Rider and Range Riders. I was surprised to find a couple by old time Black Mask writer Nels Leroy Jorgensen. Louie L'Amour turns up occasionally, sometimes as "Jim Mayo".

Richard R. said...

I wonder why there were so many western good and bad guys with the appellation "kid"? Besides their own names, these characters carry the names of states, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, cities, plants, you name it. Those things and more seem to have some character named "The __ Kid" tied with them. Was it that the writers wanted to appeal to the young readers? Was it supposed to imply strength, speed and impetuosity? Was it about boys-with-guns, like Billy the Kid was supposed to be?

I've certainly never heard of a character called, for instance, The El Paso Man, but there must have been an El Paso Kid somewhere along the line.

Evan Lewis said...

Dang good question, Richard. Be interesting to know who coined the names "Billy the Kid" and "The Sundance Kid". Could well have been dime-novel writers.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I think they were all former standup comics. Real kidders. Billy the Kidder's name was shortened to Billy the Kid. Others followed suit.

David Cranmer said...

Colorful action packed covers!

James Reasoner said...

All the authors you mention are real names except for Jackson Cole, which was a house-name, and Gunnison Steele, which was the personal pseudonym of Bennie Gardner. As I recall, all the Rio Kid novels under the Jackson Cole name are by Walker A. Tompkins, with the exception of "Crown for Azora", which is by Dudley Dean McGaughey, aka Dean Owen. Bennie Gardner was the father of the late mystery fan Barry Gardner. Bill Crider and I used to see him at mystery conventions, and Cap'n Bob probably knew him, too. The Rio Kid novels are consistently good, no matter who the author was.

Evan Lewis said...

Thanks James. So Tompkins wrote these as both Jackson Cole and under his own name? Was he also the Jackson Cole of Texas Rangers? I'm pretty sure I also have a couple of Rio Kids with Dean Owen credited as the author.

Must agree - I've never read a bad Rio Kid story.

James Reasoner said...

Yeah, Tompkins wrote Rio Kids under his own name and as Jackson Cole. Leo Margulies probably stuck the Cole name on some of Tompkins' stories, but I don't know why. Quite a few different authors wrote the Jim Hatfield stories in TEXAS RANGERS under the Cole name: Leslie Scott, Tom Curry, Samuel Mines, J. Edward Leithead, C. William Harrison, Walker Tompkins, Bennie Gardner, Lee E. Wells, Joseph Chadwick, D.B. Newton, Dean Owen, Clark Gray, Roe Richmond, Peter Germano, Lin Searles, and maybe one or two others I'm not remembering right now. The actual authors of all the Hatfield stories have been identified except for a handful. Scott and Curry were the most prolific, each authoring more than 50 Hatfield stories, and some, like Harrison, Owen, and Searles, wrote only one. Most of the Hatfield novels reprinted in paperback during the Sixties and Seventies were by Curry and Tompkins, but there are a few by other authors, too.