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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The latest restoration...

A-1 #105 / GREAT WESTERN #9  (April-June 1954)

All-reprint collection  /  new cover by FRANK BOLLE


A relative quickie, except for my having to do a huge amount of "copy-and-paste-into" on all 4 edges, especially the right edge, where I reconstructed about a 1/2" strip all the way down using a 2nd scan for reference.  To give you an idea of what was involved, there's 2 horses all the way over there, and the right one was completely missing on the big scan.  I'm always amazed when the finished result looks this good!

I notice Frank Bolle signed the rock between the Indians "FWB".

I sometimes wonder if the measure of the popularity of a genre is the extent to which creators can get away with telling inferior stories. There were very, very many western comics in the 50s. I've only scratched the surface of them. Many of the stories are forgettable. But I re-read a good one recently, the Arizona Raines story "Water-Hogs Die Broke" from Crack Western #70. It struck me as a story one could enjoy for its writing, as opposed to just its art.

The latest restoration...

A-1 #103  /  BEST OF THE WEST #12  (April-June 1954)

cover by FRANK BOLLE

This was a real challenge.  The entire right edge was missing, and had to be reconstructed using a 2nd, much-smaller scan for reference.  The entire logo area had to be cleaned up with airbrush, the left, bottom & right edges required extensive copy-and-paste, there was a lot of color-plate registration problems (especially on the figure of Red Mask), and the greens in the villain had to be cranked up.  MUCH better now!


The latest restoration...

A-1 #113 / GREAT WESTERN #10  (July-September 1954)

All-reprint collection  /  new cover by FRANK BOLLE


Luke Blanchard:

"I notice Frank Bolle signed the rock between the Indians "FWB""

When I was doing the BIBLE project, one thing I found maddenning was how, once Al Stenzel pushed Johnstone & Cushing out of business and took over their accounts, artists' signatures for the most part vanished.  I think it wasn't until after Stenzel passed away that Frank Bolle's "FWB" started to appear.  But then, not consistently.  There were stretches where his signature seemed to be "snuck in", and other times I swore it must have been whited out.  MUCH later (he latsed on the series 20 years!!) it started to turn up again.  After he departed, the magazine actually started adding artist credits in type along the side.

Even in the 50's, Creig Flessel's signature did not appear on EVERY episode, nor did Irv Novick's.  After them, there were NO signatures or credits on that feature until around 1979.  Most of my identification of artists was guesswork, some confirmed by other fans.  But there's a stretch in the mid-70's, between Curt Swan & Frank Bolle, where I believe there's 5 different artists, and I have yet to I.D. any ot them!

I saw an instance of a CAPTAIN ACTION box where Gray Morrow had done the cover painting-- and in a scan of the original art, you could SEE where his signature had been PAINTED OUT!  Seems to me, if I were running a company, I'd want to show off the artists who were doing the artwork.

"I sometimes wonder if the measure of the popularity of a genre is the extent to which creators can get away with telling inferior stories."

Somehow, DC and Marvel in the 50's, 60's & 70's immediately comes to mind.

I got the idea that Mort Weisinger used to think, "We make CRAP for IDIOTS! But OUR crap is better than anybody else's!!!"

Just finished some stunning restorations on a set of "GREAT WESTERN" covers from the early 1950's. 1 by Fred Guardineer, the other 3 by Frank Bolle! They're posted on my "A-1" page. Enjoy!


The latest restoration...

A-1 #127  /  GREAT WESTERN #11  (October-December 1954)

Another all-reprint collection, NEW cover by FRANK BOLLE

This one required me to airbrush the entire yellow background, plus the black and red in the logo, carefully trimming a bit off the bottom and adding more space at the top in order to get the entire "ME" and "ANC" logos in, plus some minor repair for creases & damage.  NOT BAD!


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