More Wild Western Wonderment from artist Frank Bolle!
After 19 issues, someone apparently felt that Tim Holt needed a "gimmick". Following the trend of The Durango Kid and The Ghost Rider (not to mention The Lone Ranger), in TIM HOLT #20, he took on a secret identity in the form of Redmask. This never carried over to his films, though-- only the comics.
The Ghost Rider feature continued as usual.
5 issues later, in TIM HOLT #25, a female masked bandit was introduced, The Black Phantom. Like Valkyrie in AIRBOY, P'Gell in THE SPIRIT and Catwoman in BATMAN, she had romantic feelings for the hero, and eventually reformed. She even got her own (short-lived) spin-off book!
A month after her debut, M.E., perhaps at the height of their popularity, added the anthology BEST OF THE WEST to their output. While A-1 was their version of Dell's FOUR COLOR COMICS (a rotating anthology with different features every issue), BOTW was perhaps their version of DC's WORLD'S FINEST or COMICS CAVALCADE, which gatthered together several of their most popular features for additional stories. Much like many "various-artists comp" music CDs I've bought over the years, the idea is simple. A collection of stories, each starring a different hero, to attract fans of any one of them. Not only would fans be buying 2 books instead of 1, if they liked any of the other characters, they might up wind up regularly buying as many as 5!
Although the 1st issue of BOTW did not feature Tim Holt or Red Mask, it did feature Ghost Rider !
TIM HOLT 20 / art by FRANK BOLLE (November 1950)
TIM HOLT 21 / art by FRANK FRAZETTA (December 1950-January 1951)
TIM HOLT 23 / art by FRANK FRAZETTA (April-May 1951)
TIM HOLT 24 / art by FRANK BOLLE (June-July 1951)
TIM HOLT 25 / art by FRANK BOLLE (August-September 1951)
A-1 #42 / BEST OF THE WEST 1 / art by FRED MEAGHER, JOE CERTA, FRANK FRAZETTA & BOB POWELL (September-October 1951)
TIM HOLT 27 / art by FRANK BOLLE (January 1952)
TIM HOLT 28 / art by FRANK BOLLE (March 1952) (In Progress!)
If anyone could supply me with a much bigger image of #28 to work with, I'd appreciate it.(There's only so much one can do-- or am inclined to try to do-- with SOME real horrific messes.)
Artwork (C) Magazine Enterprises
Raw scans from Heritage Auctions site
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa
Read the complete contents of TIM HOLT comics at Comic Book Plus!
Visit the Frank Bolle Studio site
See Frank Bolle's work on the BOYS' LIFE BIBLE Stories series!
Read "Pappy"s TIM HOLT article at the Insomnia Notebook blog
Read the RED MASK article at Don Markstein's Toonopedia site
Read the TIM HOLT biography at the IMDB site
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
Buy BEST OF THE WEST reprints from the AC Comics website!