Sunday, June 16, 2019

Another Portland Rogues Gallery

A couple of months back I posted some of Bob Stuart's fine photos of Portland area collector types. (You can still see them HERE.) Well, here are more of the usual suspects, this time from our May lunch at Szechuan Kitchen. Thanks, Bob, for not catching us with food in our mouths.

Don't fret about names yet. All will be revealed.

 Mike Britt and Larry Paschelke

Rob Edwards and Barry Bernard

Cheryl Britt and Bette Wald

 Frank Portwood, Dick Wald, Monte Wolverton, Carl Richter

 Tim Goodyear (far left), and friends

Debbie Cross (foreground), with June Edwards and Judy Paschelke

 Some of many wonders on hand for show and tell

Some weirdo brought this Roy Rogers playset 

Some weirdo (me) and Pat Rosenkranz

Paul Wrigley and Debbie Cross, Judy Paschelke and Bette Wald

Mike Britt and David Wilson

Saturday, June 15, 2019

THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE's Comic Book Debut (1946)

You probably know the Phantom Detective as a second-tier pulp hero who starred in his own pulp mag from 1933 to 1953. But did you know he also had a ten-issue stint in Thrilling Comics? That's so. This was his first adventure, from #53 in April 1946. Thanks to dsdaboss for uploading it to comicbookplus.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Forgotten Books: A BADGE FOR A BADMAN by Brian Wynne (Brian Garfield) (1967)

In jawing about the first four Marshal Jeremy Six novels, I discussed Garfield's most commonly used theme. There is always, it seems, some outlaw gunman turning up in Six's jurisdiction of Spanish Flats who is ripe for redemption.

This fifth book gives us a variation on that theme. There's one guy who fits the mold, another who has already been redeemed, a third who is Jeremy's current project. What there is NOT is "a badge for a badman." Nope. Nary a one of them gets to don a star, or hankers to, or is even considered for such a role. Must be one of those title slapped on the publisher. (It should also be noted that, contrary to the cover art, Six does NOT have a little man growing out of this stomach, or little houses and riders attached to his arms.)

Nevertheless, the books begins in fine style. The first two chapters read like accounts of the build-up to the famous fracas nextdoor to the OK Corral. At such-and-such a time, so-and-so was seen to be walking up this-or-that street, where he was observed to do thus-and-so, It works well, laying the groundwork for a gun battle that leaves a hardbitten coot named Buel Marriner dead in the street. 

I'll let Garfield describe the showdown:

     Old Buel let out a long sigh of breath. "I didn't come here to talk, Six."
     "Then stop talking." Six's hatbrim rose a few inches. He was standing with his feet slightly apart, arms hanging relaxed.
     Old Buel nodded slowly. Some saw his shoulders stir just as his hand whipped to his holster. Earsplitting gunshots cracked the night wide open, and in the uncertain light it was hard to make out what was occurring on the street; but when the echoes died Six stood on the same spot, right arm extended with his gun lying fisted, pointing into space where Buel Marriner had stood.  
     Old Buel had crumpled to an awkward crouch; he seemed ready to pitch forward, but he did not. His revolver lay on the street below his hand, a small wisp of smoke rising from the bore.

Buel's son Cleve, who witnesses the fight, is one of the seemingly endless rannies Jeremy Six used to ride the river with. In the old days, Six had almost managed to turn Cleve away from the Dark Side, and now that the evil old man is dead, he has another chance. Standing in his way, though, is one of the most bloodthirsty villains Garfield ever created: Buel's widow - and Cleve's mother - an old battleaxe called Ma Marriner. 

Ma is a sort of quasi-female version of the Incredible Hulk. She has a voice like a foghorn, looks like she's been "clouted by the Ugly Tree," and has a disposition to match. Despite being told her man died in a fair fight of his own making, she's wants Jeremy dead, and insists her son Cleve do the deed. 

Meanwhile, purely by coincidence, a long lost cousin of the Marriner clan - Wes Marriner by name - comes trotting into town. Now on the dodge from the law, he's still another of Jeremy's old riding partners, and to retire from outlawry. 

That's the setup, and as you'd expect, there's many a shot fired before the whole mess is resolved. And that's all I'm telling, except that Jeremy will return in three books written by Garfield, and one penned by someone else. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Word from Our Sponsor: GENE AUTRY Bicycles

I've long admired pics of the Hopalong Cassidy bike, with the brace of Hoppy pistols holstered on the handlebars. But I had no idea there had been Gene Autry bikes too, until I lamped this ad. (I have since learned Monark also did Roy Rogers models, to be seen here soon.) Yippee-ki-yay!

They also made one with a motor, called a Whizzer. Man, would I like to whiz around on this baby . . . 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

PUNCHO VILLA by Howard Nostrand (1954)

One of Mad comics' better imitators was Harvey Comics' Flip. It's a damn shame the mag only lasted two issues. This tale is from issue #1, dated April 1954. Thanks to Kracalactaka for uploading it to comicbookplus. Art is by Howard Nostrand and script credited to Nat Barnett.