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!
This cover alone must have whittled down his “cool” status a few wooden pegs.