At one point, things were going so well, someone decided a good way to increase sales would be to add an additional book to the roster-- an ANTHOLOGY title which would feature extra stories starring their already-successful features. I've seen this also work in the music biz, especially among "bar bands". You buy a "various-artists compilation", maybe just for ONE feature, and hopefully, you'll wind up liking some of the others-- and wanting more. it's a great marketing tool.
The book in question here is BEST OF THE WEST, which ran for 12 issues, each of them part of the ongoing A-1 anthology. Bobby Benson and Red Hawk each appeared in 1 of the issues; Straight Arrow and Tim Holt / Red Mask ran in 11; and Durango Kid and Ghost Rider appeared in all 12.
The covers were a mish-mash of original pieces and art reused from previous covers or interior panels.
A-1 #42 / BEST of the WEST 1 /
art by ?? [September-October 1951]
A-1 #46 / BEST of the WEST 2 /
art by ?? (1951)
art by FRED MEAGHER (1952)
A-1 #59 / BEST of the WEST 4 /
art by ?? (August 1952)
A-1 #66 / BEST of the WEST 5 /
art by ?? (October 1952)
A-1 #70 / BEST of the WEST 6 /
art by ?? (December 1952)
A-1 #76 / BEST of the WEST 7 /
art by ?? (March 1953)
A-1 #81 / BEST of the WEST 8 /
art by ?? (May-June 1953)
art by ?? (July-August 1953)
art by ?? (September-October 1953)
art by FRED MEAGHER (November-December 1953)
art by FRANK BOLLE (April-June 1954)
Artwork (C) Magazine Enterprises
Raw scans of #1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11 & 12 from the Heritage Auctions site
Raw scans of #2, 6 & 10 from the Comic Book Plus site
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa
Read all 41 issues of TIM HOLT
and all 13 issues of RED MASK at the Comic Book Plus site!
Read all 14 issues of GHOST RIDER at the Comic Book Plus site!
Read all 41 issues of DURANGO KID at the Comic Book Plus site!
Read all 55 issues of STRAIGHT ARROW at the Comic Book Plus site!
See more GHOST RIDER covers on the TIM HOLT pages
Read the GHOST RIDER article at Don Markstein's Toonopedia site
Read the GHOST RIDER article at the International Hero site
Read the Dick Ayers interview at the Twomorrows site
Read the Dick Ayers interview at the Adelaide Comics And Books site