A friend of mine (who is a comics enthusiast) once gave his father (who sn't) a work of sequential art to peruse, at which time his father asked, "Is this another one a' them dang funny books?" Something like that.
Later, good ol' Dad would hit his son up several times about another installment of that entertaining book, which, at first, he didn't even want to read.
There is comic book material out there to interest far more people than are
currently reading it. That is one of the things this column is all about, broadening the comic-book-reading public.
The creation? Doug Wildey's Rio.
Rio is a former gun-fighter, road agent, and train robber, who, in the course of his many adventures, earns a full pardon for his crimes by working a special assignment for President Ulysses S. Grant. In his travels, he encounters other such historic figures as Jesse James, and the Apache renegade, Geronimo.
The stories combine authentic western locales with interesting characters, both served up with pretty-as-you-please pencils, inks and paints.
Doug Wildey is not just another comic book artist, with all due respect to comic book artists everywhere. His love of the Old West shines through all of his Rio work. His work on the subject has, in fact, been featured in numerous gallery showings, such as the 1992 Nevada show entitled "The Best of the West."
Throughout the stories, however, it's difficult to determine what really steals the show, Wildey's art, or his incredible knack for characterization and story telling. Doug Wildey was one of the medium's true treasures.
There are currently three Rio graphic novels available; Rio, published by the now-defunct Comico Comic Company, Rio Rides Again, by Marvel Comics, and Rio At Bay, from Dark Horse Comics. Prices range from $6.95 to $9.95, with a page count of 60 to 70. Comic shops, bookstores, and online searches can yield results in locating these works. Locate your local comic ship by calling 1-888-comicbook.
Shudder at Vance's Light's End stories at www.hawkpub.com.
Note from Michael Vance: I will be doing an audiotape signing at Steve's Books here in Tulsa on Saturday, 1 to 3. These are new tapes of my short stories narrated by the legendary actor William Windom. I'll do a signing next Saturday, 11--? at Vintage Stock.
Love to see some KOTV/Suspended Animation readers there!