Ok, what were they thinking! Back in 1962, the TV Show “The Rifleman” was a huge hit. In fact in 1958, the first year of the series, it was ranked #4 with an average of 14 million viewers over 40 episodes in season 1. The show aired for 5 seasons with the final episode on April 8th, 1963. Chuck Connors was the star as a retired military veteran now a widowed rancher and raising a son. So basically a tough guy when he needed to be, a good father to his son and a lesson to be learned in every show. The way he handled his modified Winchester 1892 was a highlight of the show and turned Chuck Connors into “Mr Cool” of the period. The show was in reruns for years, in fact you can still check it out on AMC!
In comes Western Publishing, a.k.a. Dell Comics, who pretty well licensed everything that was on TV and made it into a comic book series. The Rifleman comic series ran for 12 issues from 1960-1962. In issue #10, released in early 1962, we have a photo cover of the very cool Chuck Connors, but this time, he is sporting wood and to top it off, has obviously wet himself. Now of all the photos they could have picked from the previous 3 seasons of the show, what were they thinking when they chose this one? Mr Connors’ agent must have been asleep at the wagon wheel, sawing logs! Continue reading →
Nick Cardy (1920-2013) had a long association with comic books beginning in the 1940s and for a time worked with Will Eisner. He took a break to serve in World War II as a tank driver, receiving two purple hearts. He came back to comics and in 1950 began a long career with DC comics. Many of his comic covers were memorable including an amazing run of Aquaman covers which I remember very well. The covers alone enticed me to purchase every Aquaman Comic issue and I’m sure contributed to the character’s rejuvenation for the run.
Like anyone who saw action in war, the memories must have inspired many of his drawings. Even though I may add some of his Aquaman covers to the list of all time favorite comic book covers Nick Cardy’s cover to Bat Lash #2 is my favorite.
Published in 1969, near the end of the Silver Age of Comics, check this cover out. You can feel the tension, hear the the cold icy wind and hear the crunch of snow beneath moccasin covered feet. The searchers move along with grim determination. I can’t help but think that Nick Cardy experienced this type of life and death tension during his time in the combat. He captures it with raw emotion.
A classic comic book cover by a classy comic artist:
Bat Lash #2 by Nick Cardy 1969. All time favorite comic book covers.