Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Although this issue of the comic book is numbered 28, this is actually the 19th issue of Billy the Kid:  Western Outlaw.  The comic book's first few issues were titled (and featured) Masked Raider, who was a masked gunfighter who had a pet eagle.  The Masked Raider was not as popular as Charlton  Comics had hoped and by issue #6 the title was changed to Masked Raider Presents Billy the Kid and by issue #9 the Masked Raider was history.  Billy rode roughshod through to issue #153 in March 1983 -- a pretty long career for a short-lived gunfighter, even if the last 59 issues were reprints.

Charlton's Billy was young, blond, handsome, and noble...a true gentleman.  In the second panel of the lead story in this issue, a political boss calls Billy the Kid "a menace to society [,] a baby-faced killer who should be locked up..."  Surely the man was confusing the historical Billy with the comic book Billy.

This issue gives us four stories of the comic book Billy, plus one filler gunfighter story.  We also get a chance to use a 25 cent off mail-in coupon for Pomatex Double-Duty Hair Cream (presumably a double dab'll do ya), or get a valuable International Correspondence School High School Diploma, or a chance to win a genuine photo ring as easy as falling off a log (and, in the fine print, you also get 14 packages of Cloverine Brand Salve* to sell at 50 cents a package, because everybody needs salve, right?), or 150 Civil War soldiers for only $1.49 (!).**  Gotta love those comics from back in the day!


*Did anyone ever sell the stuff when they were a kid?  Nobody I knew did.  No kid in my neighborhood sold America's newspaper Grit either.

**Of course, "soldiers" is a relative term which in this case includes Gatling guns, field cannon, ships (three each of the Monitor and the Merrimac), wagons, mortars, and nurses, and non-fighting enlistees.

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