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Monday, October 12, 2020

WARNER WESTERNS—CHEYENNE DELL COMICS

  

WARNER WESTERNS
CHEYENNE DELL COMICS
Dell Comics practically cornered the market with the movie cowboys, and did even more so with the TV cowboys. Nearly every western broadcast on network TV had at least one or two tie-in issues published by Dell. The more popular shows often had a much longer run.

Between 1956 and 1961, Dell Comics published 25 issues of their TV tie-in Cheyenne comic. The four-color comics start out being published quarterly. When the comic proved popular, the publishing schedule changed to bi-monthly. The comics were 36 pages long and contained two comic stories, often based on episodes of the TV series, featuring Cheyenne as the main character. The comic was often filled out with a generic western text story; a shorter comic story featuring the adventures of Small Bear, a Cheyenne Indian, and a one or two-page spread featuring Cheyenne's tips on trail life, such as hunting or cooking in the wild.
 
The comic stories emphasize action over plot-heavy drama, and romance is almost non-existent. Gun play is a regular part of the stories, but given a softer edge. Characters are often wounded rather than outright killed in gunfights.
 
Art and ink duties were most often performed by Tom Gill, with many of the stories written by the prolific Paul Newman. The most notable thing about the art is how little the Cheyenne character resembled Clint Walker. It’s unknown if this was for convenience, contractual limitation, or by design.
 










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