Monday, December 10, 2012

Number 1278: A legendary comic book artist adds to the legend of a Western icon

Although Wild Bill Hickok is an historic character from the American West, he's also accorded a legendary status. Much of the story that is written of him mixes in heavy doses of fiction. That includes the Wild Bill Hickok series from Avon, which began in 1949.

For the purposes of this blog, what interests us here is that Wild Bill’s origin story, told here in Wild Bill Hickok #1, is drawn by Jimmy Thompson. Thompson, as this article states so well was fully formed as an artist when he entered comic books in their early days. He drew for Timely and DC, and left both of them in the late forties. He showed up here at Avon in 1949, and then, as the article states, left comics after 1952.

Jimmy Thompson, like some other really good artists of the Golden Age, hasn't exactly flown under the radar — he's been written about, and his work shown, including here at Pappy's* — but most people who write about him don't believe he's accorded the status he deserves for his artistic skill. I think when you look at this story you'll recognize that he was a very good artist, right up there with the best of them, but whose proverbial light has remained mostly under the proverbial basket.

*See Pappy's #317, and Pappy's #1115


bzak said...


Jimmy Thompson's "Robotman" that he did for DC is an under appreciated classic. Thanks for this.

Brian Riedel

HEH said...

Nice artwork. There's vitality in each panel!

Duffs said...

Great art. I love Thompson's work. But what's really extraordinary is that the letterer got a credit!

Pappy said...

Howard Ferguson was a top letterer of the era, and occasionally put his name on his work. I have seen it a few times in comics from the forties.