A Western Interlude….

My favorite show on television right now is DEADWOOD from HBO. It’s an amazingly complex and intelligent show — brilliantly written, it’s like Shakespeare set in the old west. And one of my favorite movies of all time is UNFORGIVEN from 1997 starring (and directed by) Clint Eastwood. I love a western that is portrayed in a realistic manner with all the grit and dirt and darkness that life on the frontier and in the towns of the time must have been like. I suppose as with a lot of things, I get my love of the western genre from my father. We watched many a Glen Ford and John Wayne western together on weekend afternoons. As a kid, I also absolutely LOVED the cheesy pseudo-superhero westerns that Marvel published in the 70’s. Titles like THE RAWHIDE KID, KID COLT and the original GHOST RIDER (that’s right, he was a white costumed western avenger with a cowboy hat and a cape before he was resurrected as the character we know today). There was even a title called THE RINGO KID, which thrilled me to no end, for obvious reasons. So naturally, I had to have a western gunslinger character of my own, and so was born THE RIO KID. He looked very much like all the Marvel characters, with a colorful vest, peg leg jeans, a gun belt worn REALLY low on his hips, and white kid gloves– y’know, the staples of cheesy western attire that any self-respecting hot shot would need to look good while ‘slapping leather’. Looking back on those old Marvel characters, they really were very campy and silly– but they’re still a lot of fun and I wish someone would do a comic like that again. Maybe I’ll do it myself some day….. just for the fun of it.


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