For my 4000th post (so what? Big deal!), I'd like to take a look at the ultimate comic book ever--one that has everything good in one newsprint wrapper:
Cowboys fighting Nazis.
Cowboys fighting Nazis...ON MARS!!!!
And yes, this really happens!
From 1948 through 1952, Charlton published a nondescript little title, Cowboy Western Comics:
But in late 1952, things drastically changed with issue #40:
I'm not sure why this happened, except perhaps Charlton was trying to catch onto the sci-fi trends that was just barely beginning to bubble through American pop culture. And why not combine it with a western?
Whatever the reason, the creative pedigree was remarkable. The lead feature, Spurs Jackson and his Space Vigilantes, was created and written by pulp legend Walter Gibson, who wrote hundreds (thousands?) of Shadow stories for the pulps and comic strips.
The art for the first issue was mostly by John Belfi. But with the second issue, art chores passed to Golden Age veteran Stan Campbell (here's a nice appreciation of his work).
And we were off to the races:
Then came the cover I started this post off with...oh, heck, it's a beauty, so let's look at it again!
But that was it. After 6 gloriously nutty issues, Charlton decided to go back to boring old Cowboy Western Comics...
And that's why I love comic books, and why I'm still doing this after 4,000 posts. No matter how many I've read, there's still so much more to discover. Titles I never knew existed, insane ideas churned out with glee (and sometimes great skill), unexpected authors and illustrators appearing in the most unexpected places, homage covers back in 1953, for heaven's sake!!!
And on a good day, you'll find cowboys. Fighting Nazis. ON MARS.