Posted by: Ritchie White @shotgunborivers
For nearly two decades Western Pulp fiction brought us some of the greatest tales of the American frontier, but by the 1960’s it was beginning to die out with the rise of trade paperback. However the Pulp fiction era brought light to new medium, the comic book. A hybrid medium that allowed illustrations and strongly blended written words to convey the story of the illustrations. Even though the comic book era began in 1933, the western comics didn’t become popular until the 1940’s and 50’s, alongside the pulp magazines. Due to competition of comic books, and other mediums, the aforementioned Pulp Magazine era had died out.
However the western comics would come to life for more than four decades, even after its decline in the 1960’s, western comics would move into the revisionist western. Favoring realism over the famous romanticism as western always portrayed, the western comics spun quickly into a Weird West style. A literary sub-genre that combined elements of the western genre and other literary genres such as science fiction, horror, occult, and fantasy. By the 1970’s characters such as Jonah Hex and Bat Lash were born, and lived well into the 1990’s.
Western Comics have since stayed alive within the weird western sub-genre in the new century, and have made something of a comeback. They don’t dominate the market by a long shot. Jonah Hex comes back to life in the All-star Western in The New 52 as late as 2011, and Bat Lash appearing as late as 2006 in comics, and converted to trade paperback in 2008.
To conclude, I have brought you the rich history of the western genre, and where it was born in the past month, to not only share the romanticism of western literature, but to also announce a huge turn in my writing career. As I have been promising the Laramie’s Series, they have taken a bit of a stall. However to my readers, and fellow western genre authors, in the last few months the gears have not stopped turning, nor have any of my ideas. I am glad to finally announce that my career will be taking me on an unexpected detour. I am planning to come forth with a ePulp mini-series magazine titled “Six-Guns and Tomahawks Magazine” starring Lash Larue once named Akecheta (Souix for “He is Fighter”) a Native American turned outlaw. Coming in March with 6 short stories, and the wonderful art from my new illustration artist Brooke Presley-Caban.
We are also creating another ePulp series as well, which will blow you all away as I bring in a weird western under a developmental name of “The Dark Rider” an action packed short story series starring Rex Quade, a gunslinger Cowboy brought back from the dead by Native American Indians to avenge a massacre, with a price to pay.
As a reader and writer what are your thoughts on the history of our genre, and the announcement of my changing gears? Comments are welcome.