Thursday, July 14, 2011
Dale and Sierra
Dale Evans was married to Roy Rogers, but apparently the marriage bonds didn't exist between comic book licenses. Roy's was with Dell, Dale's with DC, so neither appeared in each others' comics.
Roy's comic book career lasted much longer than Dale's, and even Roy's horse, Trigger, got a comic book.
Unlike Roy's comic book persona as a Western hero, Dale was presented by DC's Dale Evans Comics as being a movie star who got into adventures, much like the similarly-themed Alan Ladd Comics, also from DC. (See Pappy's #721.)
These stories, a Dale Evans adventure, and also the back-up strip, "Sierra Smith, Western Detective," are from Dale Evans Comics #1, 1948. The Dale story is drawn by Maxwell Elkans "and others", according to the Grand Comics Database. The script is credited to W. Ryerson Johnson, a pulp magazine writer who did some Doc Savage adventures under the Kenneth Robeson byline. The Sierra Smith story is drawn by the duo of Alex Toth and Frank Giacoia.
In "Readin', Robbin' and Six-Gun 'Rithmatic" there's no explaining why a bunch of grown men would willingly go to school, or why they were required to do so (despite Willie being illiterate, that is, which figures into the plot). It's all rather silly, really, but I like the "hot for teacher" sub-theme.
Jordi Bernet is a European comic artist, best known in the U.S. for his Torpedo 1936 strips starring a hired killer. His style owes a lot to both Toth and Joe Kubert, two artists he greatly admires.
Alex Toth did the atmospheric sequence above in 1948, in an era when film noir was at its peak in the U.S. cinema.
I don't like his character, the psychopathic killer, Torpedo, but I love the noir touches Bernet gives to his artwork:
The book, Bernet, edited by Manual Auad, is well worth having. It's available from Amazon.com and other booksellers.