Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Art Gallery: Masked Rider Western

1947

1950

1946

10 comments:

George said...

Wonderful artwork! They just don't draw like this anymore!

David Barber said...

Evan, were these comics? The artwork is fantastic and just from the picture you know they are going to be action packed. You just cant get hold of stuff like that over here. I struggled to get 2 of the 3 westerns that were recommended on David Cranmers blog. I only managed to get Lonesome Dove from the library and that was ordered for me.

Richard R. said...

GREAT artwork! I don't think I've seen this pulp before.

I notice the stories featuring Wayne Morgan are each written by a different person (or different pseudonym). Isn't that a little unusual?

Wonderful. Thanks again, as always, Evan for a great post.

Evan Lewis said...

Masked Rider was a long-running western pulp, each issue featuring a short novel about rambling cowpoke Wayne Morgan and his alter-ego, the mysterious Masked Rider. The Rider is a cross between Zorro and the Lone Ranger. Despite his cover image, in the stories and interior illos he wears a black cape and hat. He also has a faithful Indian companion. Covers from the 30s often showed him in black, while these later issues seemed aimed more at attracting Lone Ranger fans.

Yeah, it was unusual that the various authors of the lead novels used their own names (or their own pen names), though the same thing was done in the companion magazine, Rio Kid Western. At least a couple dozen Masked Rider novels were reprinted by Curtis books in the late 60s and early 70s. They're a little hard to spot in the used book stores because they're filed by author, and there were quite a few of them. Look up "Masked Rider Western" on Abe and you should find some.

Richard R. said...

Cool. Thanks, Evan!

James Reasoner said...

The lead novels in RANGE RIDERS, the other Western hero pulp published by Ned Pines, were also bylined with the real author's name, or in the case of Gunnison Steele and Dean Owen, an exclusive pseudonym instead of a house-name. I've never understood why those novels weren't reprinted in paperback during the same era when Jim Hatfield, the Rio Kid, and the Masked Rider were being reprinted. They were written by the same stable of authors and were just as good.

Evan Lewis said...

I have a few issues of Range Riders, and I like them too.

Laurie Powers said...

I have one Rio Kid Western but no Masked Riders. These are great.

Ann Littlewood said...

That mask ain't much for anonymity, more like a fashion statement. Great art, though.

Andrea McKee said...

When you read the stories, the guy wears a black cape, hat and mask, all very Batman like, but the cover illos always make me think the artist didn't read the stuff. Colors like the red and yellow and green stuff the character on the cover wears would stand out in any cowboy gathering, and get you identified pretty quick. Still, the artist always got the black horse right, so that's something, anyway. I wonder if I'd get in trouble if I transcribed the stories from the pulps and put them out on the web?