Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
The Lone Ranger #9 – March, 1949
Cover art by Morris Gollub
Something very unusual happened on the last day of this year’s Phoenix Comcon. Something so shocking that I’m still reeling from the effects of having seen it. No, I don’t mean the Joker henchman walking around with a very realistic looking sawed-off shotgun (although that was rather unsettling); I’m talking about the comeback of pulp-western themed costumes – a most welcome sight at the Arizona’s largest pop culture convention.
I’ve long maintained that cowboys are the original cosplayers and I’ve been waiting to see them reemerge and take their rightful place among the super-icons gathered at comic conventions. 2015 might finally be the year we see those awesome boots and hats step back into the spotlight.
On Sunday at Comicon I actually saw at least three western outfits, with the wearer’s age range spanning across three generations, and it was thrilling to see people embracing our old west heritage (and I’m not even mentioning the incredible Steampunk costumes that had a western flair.)
Heck, Christopher Lloyd at his Comicon spotlight panel even mentioned that one of his favorite roles was playing ‘Butch’ Cavendish in 1981’s The Legend of the Lone Ranger. If “Doc Brown” is giving you a ringing endorsement, what more do you need?
I’m one of the few people who actually enjoyed the 2013 movie reboot of The Lone Ranger, and, I guess, maybe one of the few people who got what director Gore Verbinski was doing with the film; which was showing the Lone Ranger through the eyes of Tonto, as an allegory for how Native Americans of the nineteenth-century viewed all white men. (Let’s not get into the part where Johnny Depp is actually a white guy – as that kind of blows my theory out of the water.)
The Lone Ranger has been appearing in comics and comic strips almost as long as they have existed (and I keep meaning to catch up to Dynamite Comics’ recent iteration of the hero, which I understand is quite good.)
The Lone Ranger #9 is a classic comic cover from 1949, featuring the masked man and his super-steed, Silver, jumping across a dangerous ravine, with the bad guys in hot pursuit, capturing the imagination of wannabe cowboys and cowgirls of all ages.
Another reason that I was so excited to see western heroes represented at Comicon is that it shows there is still interest in the pulp heroes of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, even if most conventions are slacking in regards to panels and meet-ups that cater to those die-hard fans (hint).
So let’s get it together conventions! Doc Savage, Tarzan, The Lone Ranger, John Carter, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, The Shadow – these are the grandfathers of the modern pop culture you celebrate, so show a little respect and give them their due. Until next week … “Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!”
Be sure to follow us on Facebook!