Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Morning Western Pulp: Western Action, March 1941

I mentioned both versions of the character The Rio Kid on the WesternPulps group the other day, so I thought it might be a good idea to feature one of them this week. The best-known Rio Kid, of course, was Bob Pryor, the star of his own pulp magazine that ran for 76 issues from 1939 to 1953. Many of those novels were reprinted in paperback by Curtis Books and Popular Library. I've read a lot of them, and it's one of my favorite pulp Western series.

But there was another Rio Kid, this one not having any other name that was ever revealed to the readers, as far as I recall. He was created by Davis Dresser, much better known as Brett Halliday, the author of the Mike Shayne private eye novels. Under the name Don Davis, Dresser wrote four novels about this Rio Kid. They appeared in the pulps, in hardbacks, and in paperback reprints during the Fifties and Sixties from Pocket Books. Those are the editions I remember reading when I was a kid, and I recall that I enjoyed them very much. I probably ought to reread them one of these days.

"Death on Treasure Trail" appeared in the March 1941 issue of WESTERN ACTION, along with a couple of short stories by Mat Rand and James Rourke. This is another of those "shootout at the poker table" covers that were very popular on the Western pulps. After you see enough of these, you start to get the idea that there was no such thing as a friendly game of cards in the Old West. That's what the authors and artists wanted you to think, anyway.

And as a bonus, here's the paperback edition of DEATH ON TREASURE TRAIL.

1 comment:

Walker Martin said...

I've also noticed that there were very few friendly games of poker out west. In fact the bloodshed was so extreme, you would think that there would be a rule that card players had to leave their guns with the bartender.