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Week 171 - Bob Colt #5

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topic icon Author Topic: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5  (Read 364 times)

MarkWarner

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Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« on: July 10, 2017, 04:42:37 PM »

The good news is that, a few reading group suggestions recently come in. HURRAH! But we need more as "The List" is currently pathetically short.

Not being a great fan of western comics (horror, kids and funnies for me),  I fear I may have been neglecting the genre bit. Luckily the below message appeared in my inbox:

Quote
What about a western for a change, and not one of the better known ones.  I've been reading some of the Fawcett cowboys and think the group could have a look at an issue of Bob Colt.  #1 is nicely drawn by George Evans, but #5 has a dinosaur story.  None of these will set the earth on fire but they're entertaining.

I am a BIG fan of dinosaurs so it was a sale. The book can be found here http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=31118, and the story we are concentrating on is "The Mesa of Mystery" starting on our page 18.

Happy reading!!

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Morgus

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 12:47:51 AM »

Ever since I saw VALLEY OF GWANGI I have loved cowboys and dinosaurs together and wished it could have been. And here it is, what?, a decade BEFORE that movie? Not bad at all. Yeah, doc. I bet it took a LOT of time to train a T rex. Nice art and the stories moved along at a brisk pace. And hey, unlike the latest JURASSIC PARK movie, you don't need THAT many bullets to bring down a thunder lizard. Nice.
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crashryan

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 04:26:56 AM »

This turned out to be a fun read--the Bob Colt stories, anyway (see below). But what's really interesting is the story of the comic itself! I'd never heard of Western movie star Bob Colt, so I googled him and discovered he never existed. Fawcett made Colt up. They dressed a young model in western duds and shot the "stills" that decorate Bob Colt's covers.

But that ain't all, pardners. The young model was none other than the immortal Steve Holland, soon to become TV's Flash Gordon and later James Bama's model for the Doc Savage paperback covers. Holland also modeled for Mack Bolan and The Avenger. He had a long modelling career and Bama called him the best male model he knew.

As for the stories, they're better than the typical western comic fare. "Mesa of Mystery" is great fun, though we know who the "mystery" dino trainer is the moment Miss Simms says Foster mysteriously vanished. It's a shame Colt killed the dinos...they didn't do anything wrong. I'd rather he'd sealed up the Lost World entrance so the critters could find some peace (until Turok and Andar stumbled upon them).

Bob McCarty does a nice job on the artwork. I've always liked his work. It looks to me like someone else inked these stories. They lack the crisp, slightly-exaggerated feeling of most of McCarty's art.

As for the "humor" features...well...I love good puns, and "Rawhide Hotchkiss" is completely lacking in them. The one-pagers suffer from that plague of comic book fillers, the single panel joke stretched painfully to fit a whole page.

But cowboys and dinosaurs more than outweigh bad jokes. Thumbs up from me for "new western movie star" Bob Colt.
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SuperScrounge

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 06:55:04 AM »

Interior front cover photo - Guess Bob didn't like the pictures that photographer snapped.  ;)

The Jackal - Not bad.

Chuck Waggin - Eh.

Sappy Nappy - Ugh.

The Mesa of Mystery - Not bad. Not sure when these stories were supposed to be set, but Miss Sims book has an illustration of a triceratops which wouldn't have been known about until after 1889. Kinda funny how "Cowboys and Dinosaurs" is practically it's own subgenre of fiction (is there any genre writers haven't stuffed dinos into?)

Strange Revenge - Not bad.

A Date! - Bit weird to see a non-western filler in this comic. Okay.

A Hunting We Will Go! - Why do I think the writer was a fan of Smokey Stover? Just slightly painful to read.
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The Australian Panther

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 11:54:26 AM »

As a photographer myself, I particularly like the one on page two. Dynamic pose, well lit in the foreground, nice shadows.

The Jackal. Realistic situation although you would want to be careful riding a horse into floodwaters, never know whats beneath. Not a standard western situation but a believable one.
Nice Art, a good read.

Snappy Nappy. Is pretty bad. It must have been hard to find jokes for those one page fillers.

'The Mesa of Mystery'
'Leaping Lizards!' Well drawn dinosaurs. Training Dinosaurs like pets is an interesting plot device.
A writer with a good imagination.

Rawhide Hotchkiss.

Basically a text piece, better a a radio or TV sketch, irritating as a drawn story.

also like the pinup on the inner back page.

Wouldn't have bought it back in the day, but a good example of its type.   

 
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Morgus

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 06:21:34 PM »

great detective work, Crashryan. I couldn't PLACE the guy and then it clicked when you mentioned Steve Holland. I think it was the cowboy outfit versus the space suit that gave me the trouble. Wow, what a hustle, you make a cowboy hero out of whole cloth and create a following. Too bad they couldn't pull it off with some westerns if the momentum had became big enough. Hey, wouldn't a Turok and Bob Colt special been way cool? Loved the Bama compliment. That's major league.
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Kracalactaka

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 03:00:35 AM »

absolutely ridiculous... Cowboys vs Dinosaurs..... wonderful

almost as good as Nazis vs Dinosaurs.

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solve problems the Viking way, Axe them!

Captain Audio

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 07:03:45 PM »

Cool story.
While the dinosaur is a tough customer like the alligator if you hit very close to its tiny brain one shot will kill it. Hard part is sending a bullet through several feet of dinosaur bone and flesh to reach that tiny brain. The most powerful Winchester lever action rifles of that era would like have been the .45-60 model 1876. The later 1886 could handle even more powerful rounds than that. The 1886 could be found chambered in .45-90 IIRC.

An even more useful old west type rifle for dinosaur would have been the Colt pump action rifle in 50-90 Express.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:55:14 PM by Captain Audio »
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crashryan

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 11:53:33 PM »

When I read this story I thought of the awesome story in Dell's Brain Boy #3, featuring Tyrannosaurus Mentalis. Sleep, little chicken...sleep...!
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paw broon

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 03:57:04 PM »

Good fun.  Well done crash with all that background info. on Holland.  I fondly remember those Mack Bolan covers.
Also glad Morgus mentioned Valley of the Gwangi.  I knew there was a movie and just couldn't recall the title.
Not much more to be said that hasn't been said here.  It's a great combination, cowboys and dinosaurs. But as I mentioned, I'm a fan of cowboy comics and started reading the Fawcett westerns after years of consuming Gene Autry and the other Dell cowboys.  I wouldn't have known Bob Colt was a made up for the comic character as I've never been any kind of expert on the tv/movie heroes, apart from the obvious ones like Cheyenne, Roy Rogers etc.
I have to mention the first story, The Jackal and say that I found it very satisfying to see the really nasty bad guys getting caught and brought to justice.
Bob Colt is a nice run of comics and he's a good hero.  I also like the idea of the Hidden Ranch, and his Mexican sidekick, Pablo, isn't treated like a comedy stooge and seems in this first story to be a big part of the team.
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John Kerry

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 04:26:13 PM »

This was an interesting book. As a fan of the War That Time Forgot series in Star-Spangled War Stories I found the second Bob Colt story to be a fun read. The first story brings up a question. Did Bob Colt manage to track down all the people responsible for his father's death? Also how big was that ranch if there were only two people working it? Mind you as a kid I doubt such things would have crossed my mind. This was a nice comic. As a boy I wasn't much into westerns (nor where any of my friends) and Fawcett was long gone by then anyway so this was a totally new and pleasant discovery for me.
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paw broon

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 05:07:35 PM »

Reading John's comments reminded me that I was not a big reader of American cowboy comics when I was a young boy.  There were British cowboy comics, some of which were reprints in b&w of American titles, I'm sure, but most were British made, and a lot of them were crudely drawn. The exceptions being Cowboy Picture Library, the digest series which featured some top class art, and the Billy the Kid stories that we have on CB+, and Jeff Arnold/Riders of The Range in Eagle. But titles like Western Super Thriller featured not very well drawn cowboy stories and the saving grace of this title was the Ace Hart stories that turned up.  Talk about cowboys and dinosaurs, in WST you got cowboys and super heroes.  Pity they weren't in the same stories.
Occasionally, you'd see a Dell in a wee, back street newsagent but I'd never seen Fawcett westerns here. 
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Morgus

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 05:24:23 PM »

Captain Audio, THIS is why I keep coming back to this forum...you LEARN stuff. Where else would I be able to find out what kind of fire power I would need to bring down a dinosaur??

Hey, Kracalactaka, where did I miss Nazis and dinosaurs?
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narfstar

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 01:33:04 PM »

I have some Bob Colt and the art and stories are pretty good. I did not know he was a made up character. I wonder if Dell had any made up "reality" characters. I guess I am the lone detractor on this one. I don't mind being preposterous but there was just too much for me in this one. I can excuse that they did not know a Brontosaurus was a swamp dwelling herbivore and was too have to walk on land. The randomness of these few monsters surviving, the professor training them before they killed him, the convenient crumbling of the earth all add up to too much for me.
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SuperScrounge

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 06:37:27 AM »

I can excuse that they did not know a Brontosaurus was a swamp dwelling herbivore and was too have to walk on land.

Actually the swamp-dwelling and being too heavy to walk on land is no longer accepted. Sauropods (dinosaurs with the brontosaur body-type) are seen as plains-dwellers with fossil evidence backing it up.
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MarkWarner

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2017, 12:32:58 PM »

I was going to pick up on this as well.

When I was kid 50ish years ago my dinosaur books had them living in water as they were so heavy. Now the wildlife CGI has them almost dancing on land.

I still have to remind myself that they were more agile than I was told.

Mind you, my book of space said astronauts had to be at least 6 foot tall and be able to keep their feet in ice water for 30 minutes. I decided around the age of 10 that I could not achieve either of them and gave up on my dream. In hindsight, I think it was a massive mistake and one of my biggest regrets.
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EHowie60

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2017, 02:26:38 PM »

When I heard "Cowboys vs Dinosaurs", my first thought was Valley of Gwangi too.

The Jackal: The gang in The Jackal is running one of the lowest robbery schemes I've ever seen. Good job on the writer for thinking up something that bad. Would four people actually be able to fit on a horse like that?

The art's pretty good. Nice clean lines, especially on our hero. Is there a running theme in this book, that each issue Colt tracks down one of the gang who killed his dad?

Pretty clever to get the gang to respond to a fake disaster. But does Colt really need to explain that those "victims" are dummies? It looks pretty obvious to me.

The humor comics are nothing special. But those features rarely are.

The Mesa of Mystery: ooh that splash panel! I love it. The insistence on photo covers though meant that they couldn't put that on the cover to drive sales.

Posting a notice saying not to explore the mesa is probably just going to get more people to wander in, unfortunately. I love how the little Western town has a natural history museum.

Foster has vanished! Oh noooo...will he ever show up again? Oh wait here he is planning to rule the west with his army of dinosaurs. If a civilian hunting rifle can kill these things it seems like maybe the regular army could handle them. And, of course, Foster is killed by his own dinosaurs.

A solid book overall, with a unique second story.
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SuperScrounge

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Re: Week 171 - Bob Colt #5
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2017, 07:10:16 AM »

I can excuse that they did not know a Brontosaurus was a swamp dwelling herbivore and was too have to walk on land.
Thinking it over I completely forgot that the writer and/or artist of the story wouldn't have had access to the currently accepted ideas of how sauropods lived.

If they had researched the idea back then the idea of sauropods living in swamps would have been the major hypothesis.
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