Tuesday, February 27, 2007

As usual, I totally blame Brandon for this one.

Sonuva...we interrupt whatever the hell it was I was doing before. Bitching about Civil War or why Wolverine is a wee little girl compared to the increasingly senile Captain America will keep; but we've got important matters afoot.

Brandon over at Random Panels has been bringing Manly Tales of Manliness this week, and it's been some classic, and non-superhero, stuff. The link is to a John Severin-drawn story, and like pretty near everything he draws, the gawddamn manliness just about wafts off the pages. How to put this, because I know he could do superhero stuff; I seem to recall an old issue or two of Hulk from him: Severin is so good at the western, 'realistic' style, it's almost like he was typecast in it. I don't know much about him as a person, but I picture Severin like Sam Elliott. Or maybe Hank Hill.

To the point: Brandon's link reminded me of my favorite (John) Severin story, from an old issue of the 80's Savage Tales black-and-white magazine; one that would make, if not a full-length feature, a right fine short film. If you had the budget to blow up a locomotive towards the end. And don't even think about using 'special effects,' because computer graphics and westerns mix like peanut butter and malt scotch. But, it was a great little story about an aged cowboy out to avenge his murdered sons. Who were killed by a pre-WWI Kaiser German, who was leading a train robbery. Typing it out, it sounds a lot like "western Die Hard," except I know it predates that by at least a couple of years and probably wasn't a new idea then anyway.

Anyway, after a short look, I found Savage Tales #4, the last issue of that book I bought as a kid. (Oddly enough, it was on top of a box of mostly Captain America.) I don't know if I was spending my cash on something else, or if the features changed, or if maybe the distribution went south; but I don't remember why I didn't have more issues. And either #2 or #3 have the story I'm thinking of. Maybe. Gawddammit. So, today we've got a good chunk of "Pistolero," written by Chuck Dixon, art by John Severin, and I totally blame Brandon for me not being able to find that other one. Grr.

By the way, the rest of that issue? a pre-the 'Nam Doug Murray and Michael Golden "5th to the 1st" story, Herb Trimpe's Skywarriors serial, and a short piece pre-the Crow from James O'Barr. Not bad stuff if you can find it, and I bet a lot of the copies of this issue are read-to-pieces like mine and thus pretty cheap. Good hunting.


The Fortress Keeper said...

John Severin is always welcome around these parts, stranger.

Brandon said...

That was damn manly.

I first saw Severin's work in Cracked Magazine when I was a kid. I think he was my first man-crush.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Dixon and John Severin. You can't get more manly than that.