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Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Reading some commentators, you’d think that the concept for Aliens and Cowboys was new. Yet combining western and science fiction genres goes back to the 1950s, if not earlier.

Certainly, the pulps had fun with cross genre books, and comics tended to follow suit.

Here is an eye-catching cover of a DC Comics Special from 1970.


The Special is a crafty idea, as it repackages previously published tales about several DC frontier characters within a cross-genre story arc. There’s a book-end and linking storyline ‘Behold the Wild Frontier’ where the modern-day Gramps tells frontier tales to his two grandsons. This arc is drawn by Gil Kane, I reckon (author and artist credits were not given), and here’s the first page.

The rest of the stories are drawn by their respective illustrators of the time. There begins a Daniel Boone tale, ‘Son of Chief Black Fish!’ Then Gramps went on to relate the story of ‘The Junior Ghost Patrol!’ featuring Tomahawk. Next up was Davy Crocket with ‘War Stick of Chief Fighting Elk!’ This was followed by Kit Carson and ‘The Raiders of the Oregon Trail!’  We’re moving forward a little in time, I guess, and now meet Buffalo Bill in ‘Young Bill – of the Pony Express!’ No sooner is that story told than Gramps relates the story of Pow-Wow Smith, Indian Lawman. (The only story title that doesn’t boast an exclamation mark!) And the book-end/story arc concludes with Gramps meeting up with aliens. The comic is rounded off with a DPS text story, ‘Death Hunt’, uncredited.
[Eli Katz (April 6, 1926 – January 31, 2000) who worked under the name Gil Kane and less famously Scott Edward, Gil Stack and other pseudonyms, was a comic book artist whose career spanned the 1940s to 1990s and every major comics company and character. Kane co-created the modern-day version of the superhero Green Lantern.]
Ah, those were the days.

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