Having finished the colossal SPACE CONQUERORS! project at my blog, today I was finally able to set up a page devoted to TIM HOLT / RED MASK from Magazine Enterprises in the early 1950's.
Most of the covers are by Frank Bolle, with a few by Frank Frazetta thrown in for good measure.

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You can get images of those covers you asked after at the Digital Comic Museum. The current image of the cover for #27 there seems to be smaller-sized than the others. A couple of the others aren't in pristine condition.

I've written about issues of Tim Holt here and here, and about the Presto Kid stories in the final issues of Red Mask here.


It's been a little while since I worked on those, but I pretty much went to every site I know of to get the largest-possible image to clean up.  If they've posted any new ones since, great, but I'm not really working on those anymorer at the moment.

Also, I consider it a big difference between finding an image I could post at, say, Nick Simon's site (currently down), and one which is large enough to be really worth the effort of a full-blown "restoration" (although a few of those TIM HOLTs I posted I went overboard on anyway).

TIM HOLT #24  /  Jul'51

Yep, I just did a restoration of a cover that's 61-1/2 years old!

I'd just polished off BIBLE STORIES, 1951 (all Frank Bolle art) when I got the urge to look over my TIM HOLT blog page.  There's a number of those I really wanna do upgrades of, and lots more I haven't even tackled yet.  Just for the heck of it, I did a Google search, and the biggest images that came up for #24 and #25 were both at the Comic Book Plus site (formerly Golden Age Comics site).  I wound up downloading both entire books-- first time since the site upgrade, and whatta ya know? NO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS anymore!  Wow.

The image was "only" 1061 pixels wide, but that was a HUGE improvement over the previous one which was only 337 pixels wide!!  As usual, after clean-up, I created a 700 pixels wide version for posting.

While I'm at it, here's the GHOST RIDER blog page.  Covers by Dick Ayers-- and Frank Frazetta!

TIM HOLT #25  /  Sep'51

The debut of The Black Phantom, the wild west's "answer" to Catwoman!

I originally had a miserably-small image at only 396 pixels (cleaned up from whatever was posted at the GCD-- bleh!).  I then found a much bigger image at the Comic Book Plus site, at 1,055 pixels... but it was a dirty, horrific mess. Just before I got started on it, I did another search, and lo and behold, found one at Heritage Auctions (they didn't have one when I looked there before!). This one clocked in at 1,619 pixels!!  We had a winnner.  Now "all" I had to do was seriously adjust the color (mostly using "levels"), clean up the left edge, and "fill in" a lot of detail at the bottom edge (the whole thing was seriously OFF-rotation before I started).

TIM HOLT #27  /  Jan'52

A FIRST for me!  In the last year-and-a-half, I've done quite a few re-coloring jobs on old comics interior pages, or brand-new coloring jobs on "rejected" covers.  But in this case, I was frustrated by not being able to find a decent-size and quality image of the published color.  I had one at 501 pixels that was a composite image assembled from a Mile High scan (for the top half) and a GCD scan (for the bottom half).  More recently, I found a 551 pixels scan at Comic Book Plus.  But while the figure of Redmask was sharper, the figure of The Strawman was fuzzier!

However, I did have an 851 pixel scan of the ORIGINAL INK ART from Heritage Auction.  Although it required quite a bit of clean-up, and some of the linework on Redmask was quite faded, I realized I'd stand a better chance of cleaning this up and then RE-COLORING the piece from scratch, basing the brand-new color on the original published color.  I started out by doing what I did with the scan of the inks for the rejected cover of X-MEN #10-- cranking the size UP to 2,000 pixels wide-- and then spent about an hour-and-a-half cleaning it up before moving on to the coloring.  The result, as I hoped, was MUCH sharper than the previous images, and almost impossible to tell from the "real thing".

TIM HOLT #32  /  Nov'52

The entire left edge required reconstruction on this one.  Also, there was a lot of "glare", especially on the villain's jacket, due to this being photographed inside a plastic case.  (Don't you hate that sort of thing?)  MUCH better now!

TIM HOLT #1  /  1948

This took a couple of hours.  Fairly "easy" for one of these, yet managed to be a HUGE upgrade from what I started with.

Now... can anyone identify the artist???

Just got the following from Bill Black, the publisher of AC Comics whose reprints introduced me to so many western characters...

Frank Bolle drew every TIM HOLT and REDMASK (and BLACK PHANTOM) story at ME. Only exception were the couple Frazetta covers. He always signed his work except for TH NO. 1.

Sounds definitive to me!

TIM HOLT #1  /  1948

I hate doing the same job twice, but... 4 days after doing this one (from a scan found at the Comic Book Plus site), I found a MUCH larger (and cleaner!!) image at Heritage Auction.  I don't know why or how it didn't turn up before...  Anyway, the previous one was 957 pixels wide; the new one is 2,050 pixels wide!!  (More than DOUBLE the previous version!!!)  The biggest difference one might see in this is, the dust clouds at the bottom are more blue (less purple-ish "dirt" on the left edge), and, the faces of the 2 cowboys, the linework is MUCH sharper.  I couldn't NOT redo this tonight!

TIM HOLT #34  /  Mar'53

All 4 edges needed fixing on this, especially the left edge, which was really ratty.  But overall, it only took a couple hours.  Not bad!



TIM HOLT #35  /  May'53

The biggest image I could find was 972 pixels wide (at the Comic Book Plus site).  It was VERY dirty, and the left edge was a ragged mess.  But I've worked with worse before!

I wound up replacing the entire background with a series of subtle "blends", cleaned up most of the yellow areas, fixed the entire upper-left corner box, filled in the cliff area in the bottom-left (and bottom edge), and lightened up some of the greens, the dark blue, the dark red, and the skin tone on the girl's right arm.  Not bad!



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