Monday, May 29, 2017

Kim Redford Discovers Ranch & Range Romance Comics

How had I never heard about Cowgirl Romances comics from the 1950s till my friends Scott and Sandi sent me a postcard of a terrific cover? What fun, I couldn’t help but think when I read, “All new romances of ranch and range!” I had to know more about these comics, so I went online and discovered ComicBookPlus, free and legal public domain books. Under Westerns, I found Annie Oakley and many others, but I was still looking for Cowgirl Romances, so I kept going till I came to the Western Romance section. Now we were getting somewhere.



 ComicBookPlus lists fifteen titles and seventy-one issues in the Western Romance category of contemporary and historical comics published between 1949 and 1958. They include Fiction House's Cowgirl Romances of twelve issues and Fawcett's Cowboy Love with an eleven issue run. These comics appear to be exciting pulp fiction with titles such as “Dowry Paid in Lead,” “Call Her Gun-Girl,” and “Koln Dilgen Tames Rocking River, but He Can't Tame Mary Mercer!”


I couldn’t wait to get started looking between the covers. First, I picked the comic to match my postcard that turned out to be issue eleven of Cowgirl Romances published in the fall of 1952. I set to reading “Love Is Where You Find It,” and I soon discovered four more illustrated stories in the same issue, “Fight for Your Love,” “Honeymoon Range,” “Heartbroken Buckaroo,” and “I’ll Love You Always.” I enjoyed them all. They’re short, easy-to-read, feel-good stories that evoke the time period when lots of folks were finding love on ranch and range.



Range Romances also caught my eye at DigitalComicMuseum, so I took a look at the December 1949 issue—all historical stories— with “Gunsmoke Heartbreak,” “Petticoat Law,” “Outlaw Love,” and “Tenderfoot Sweetheart.” I also peeked at an issue of Real West Romances with a contemporary setting . . . “Sometimes a cowhand can’t figure whether to pursue them or run away from them—Wild Hosses and Ornery Gals!”

What wonderful entertainment with a vintage touch of clever stories and gorgeous illustrations. What can I say? I’m hooked to learn more, read more, and share more. And now I’m well aware that authors writing Westerns have been building on a large body of work for a long time that includes beautiful comic books and graphic novels. I guess we’d better thank the Gutenberg press for starting the process of getting our writing into the hands of a large audience on a wide range of topics.

And who knows, maybe in my next Smokin’ Hot Cowboys novel, I might just come up with a character that can’t resist collecting cowgirl and cowboy romance comics set on ranch and range. Now that’d be fun, wouldn’t it?




Kim Redford is an acclaimed, bestselling author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at Kim Redford.

6 comments:

  1. Hey, girlfriend, how much fun is this? I've never heard of the comics before this post. Happy reading!

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    1. Hey back at you...thought of your fine collection of vintage handbags when I was reading these comics and hoping I might see a cowgirl purse!

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  2. Fascinating glimpse into a past that expanded and grew into today's contemporary Western romance genre. Loved to see the down home comic touch to the tone and titles.

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  3. Delightful post Kim! These dime westerns are priceless. What fun! Looking forward to your book! Love those covers.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I'm a big fan of your Stranje House novels, and I can't wait to read the latest!

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