Saturday, March 8, 2014

RANGER AL's WESTERN COMIX THEATRE #6 : LUKE SHORT'S "TOP GUN," Dell 1958

 


Albie's Note: I immediately thought of posting this old comic when I read my on-line pal Oscar's BLOG about western writer Luke Short [actually Fred Glidden  November 19, 1908 – August 18, 1975] This one is a real treat if you have certain interests.... I mean, here we have an adaptation of a pulp story by Short and  fine early comic art from John Buscema [1927-2002] all packaged together by the most successful publishing house in comics history: Mighty DELL!

The original story is one I have never been able to find called "Test Pit."  Apparently it was printed originally in the pulp Western Story Magazine back in 1938.  I am a big fan of Short's fiction so I would love to read the novella behind this comic classic, but so far I have never found it collected anywhere. I would to read Short'ss pulp version and compare the two... but just having this one is great enough! I think you'll agree with me it's a great story, and one that would have made a fine movie in the right hands.

Interestingly, DELL actually printed dozens of these comic one-shots from the fiction of western writers like Short, Zane Grey,  Max Brand and  Ernest Haycox.  They are worth looking around for, and the REALLY cool thing is that you can often find these comics dirt cheap even today! 

[I have read that DELL basically kept doing these westerns in the "four color" line because they concurrently held the rights to the paperbacks of the same titles... the idea was to get rural and hinterlands kids started on these sagebrush authors early. I bet it worked well... Heck, like I say, I have been trying to find TEST PIT for years because of the comic treatment!]

In any case here is TOP GUN from 1958... enjoy:

 





















 


 


 





  
 
Fred Glidden

 
John Bucsema
 
PEACE 

2 comments:

Oscar said...

Exciting story and well-done drawings kept my interest.7917 25255639

Albie The Good said...

Glad you liked it Oscar... I think it would be a cool movie even... and I loved the cameo appearance of Mark Twain :)