Sunday, 16 August 2009

Rick O' Shay

Here's yet another great newspaper strip reprint book I picked up in Cambridge's legendary remaindered bookshop back in The Bronze Age. I know we have tons of deluxe limited edition reprint tomes these days, but I still kinda miss these tatty old paperbacks of strips I'd never heard of.
Rick O'Shay actually began life in 1958, running until 1981, and is a glimpse into the old western town of Conniption, as watched over by Deputy Sheriff Rick & his ace pal, the laid back gunslinger Hipshot Percussion.




It's a beautifully warm-hearted, gentle strip, and creator Lynde's love for the wide open spaces of America, and for the simplicity of his character's lives, shines through in every panel. The best member of the cast among the town's shopkeepers, drunks, lawyers, & n'er do wells is obviously Hipshot, a violent man with a gentle heart, who has a quiet spirituality to him.
It is a comedy, of sorts, but it's also subtly about people & life. Here's some examples.











7 comments:

  1. Lovely stuff, Pete. Apart from one illustration in Maurice Horn's World Encyclopaedia Of Comics I've never seen an example of this strip before. I loved the "another day, another dollar" strip, simple but beautiful artwork, and Hipshot's reflection blasting a hole in his hat. A real discovery, thanks for posting.

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  2. Creator Stan Lynde published multiple chronological volumes of collections of RICK O'SHAY at least some of which are still in print and there was even a short run comic book series of all-new stories in the late eighties or early nineties! It's all great stuff!

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  3. I'm proud to say that I'm a Cowboy/Western comic book/strip fan and not ashamed of it.Some guys would rather admit to being girly romance or funny animal comic fans than western.These were some of the best drawn and written comics around.

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  4. Yep, I remember the original comic strip, used to read it along with Gasoline Alley, Alley Opp, Steve Canyon, Prince Valiant, Beetle Baily, and many more. Looked forward to Sunday Funnies!

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  5. I had followed RICK O'SHAY and HIPSHOT for years. I met Stan about 20 years ago and now call him FRIEND. It's STILL the best thing on paper.

    Tom Foolery
    SASS 2348

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  6. Found this when searching for Hipshot Percussion today... grew up in WY/MT and followed this comic strip from the time it started appearing in the Billings Gazette... it remains one of my favorite comic strips for both the writing and the art... and my favorite all-time Sunday strip is one I can still recall in my mind's eye of Hipshot all dressed in his finest garb and sitting on his horse in the gloriously drawn great outdoors... attending his church of choice!

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  7. I have this book! 'Rick' was one of my favorite strips. I love the one: "I don't like fish bothering me while I'm fishin'"

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