Sunday, 9 November 2014

Western Comics and Black Cowboys blogpost at the V & A

My latest blog post on the V & A website is now live. Here's the opening paragraph:

Despite the insidious racism, like a lot of people then, I was hooked on Westerns, one of the great comics genres that have received little attention over the years. My collecting addiction was hugely fuelled by my account at (where else?) the American bank Wells Fargo. An account with Wells Fargo came with a cheque book printed with Western scenes.  Those cheques corralled a great many Western comics, and I often went after odd and offbeat items in search of good art, rough justice and a wealth of idiosyncratic frontier dialogue wrapped up in fast moving narrative.

Western Adventures was a splendidly wild comic, but one I can’t reread or show about much because it’s a ‘high-baked item’. Sadly, it was left alongside a radiator for decades, and the poor-quality paper crumbles a bit more every time a page is turned.
But just look at the vibrant Cross-Draw Kid for example – he leaps, rolls, spins and almost flies like Superman in his no-nonsense pursuit of justice against “The Skull”:

Looking ahead; who was the John Ford of comics? To be continued...

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