Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Archives

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - Archives

Do You Remember?
    - Archives

Comic Book Cowboys
    - Roy Rogers (Pt. 3)
    - Roy Rogers (Pt. 2)
    - Roy Rogers (Pt. 1)
    - Joel McCrea
    - Rocky Lane's Black Jack
    - Clint Walker
    - George O'Brien
    - Frontier Doctor
    - Casey Jones
    - Wild Bill Hickok
    - Randolph Scott
    - Zorro
    - The Deputy
    - Will Rogers
    - Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
    - Rin Tin Tin and Rusty
    - Gunsmoke
    - Tex Granger
    - Range Busters
    - Vaughn Monroe
    - Tombstone Territory
    - Hawkeye
    - Bob Baker
    - Johnny Ringo
    - Shotgun Slade
    - Straight Arrow
    - Colt .45
    - Steve Donovan
    - Bob Colt
    - Early Marvel Westerns
    - Reno Browne
    - Red Ryder
    - Sheriff of Cochise
    - Wild, Wild West
    - Tales of the Texas Rangers
    - Fury
    - Tom Mix Western
    - Tom Mix Comics
    - Cody of the Pony Express
    - Audie Murphy
    - Outlaws
    - Iron Horse
    - Circus Boy
    - Buckskin
    - Annie Oakley and Tagg
    - DC’s Hopalong Cassidy
    - Hopalong Cassidy
    - The Big Valley
    - George Montgomery
    - Daniel Boone
    - The Rebel
    - Jim Bowie
    - Restless Gun
    - Laramie
    - Dale Evans
    - Gray Ghost
    - Lawman
    - Buffalo Bill Jr.
    - Rocky Lane Western
    - Have Gun Will Travel
    - Wagon Train
    - Cisco Kid
    - Wyatt Earp
    - Oneshot Comics: The Virginian, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, The Legend of Jesse James, Cowboy in Africa
    - Lancer
    - Alan Ladd
    - Tales of Wells Fargo
    - Maverick
    - Bonanza
    - Jack Randall and Tom Keene in POPULAR COMICS
    - Stoney Burke, Laredo, High Chaparral, Cimarron Strip, Custer
    - Rawhide
    - The Lone Ranger
    - Rex Allen
    - Walt Disney Presents... Andy Burnett, Texas John Slaughter, Elfego Baca and Swamp Fox
    - Smiley Burnette, Andy Devine
    - Gabby Hayes
    - Brave Eagle, Broken Arrow, Boots and Saddles
    - Gene Autry
    - John Wayne
    - Rod Cameron
    - Bat Masterson
    - Durango Kid
    - Cheyenne
    - Johnny Mack Brown
    - Buck Jones
    - Range Rider
    - Tim McCoy
    - Buster Crabbe
    - Bob Steele
    - Monte Hale
    - Sugarfoot
    - Ken Maynard
    - Jimmy Wakely
    - Hoot Gibson
    - The Rifleman
    - Whip Wilson
    - Wanted Dead or Alive, Texan, Mackenzie's Raiders
    - Lash LaRue
    - Tim Holt
    - Tex Ritter
    - Bill Elliott
    - Sunset Carson

Westerns of...
    - Archives

Heavies and Characters
      - Archives

The Stuntmen - Neil Summers
    - Archives

Western Treasures
    - Archives

Circus Cowboys
    - Archives

Radio Range Riders
    - Archives

Rangeland Elegance
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Subscribe to Western Clippings


Western Clippings Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips
    - Page 1 (1910-1949)
    - Page 2 (1950-1979)

Sunday Comic Strips
    - 1907-1990


Miscellaneous Collectibles


Lobby Cards

Movie Posters



Cover to Fawcett's GENE AUTRY #1.Gene Autry was not only the forerunner of all the singing cowboys, he also was the first B-western cowboy to have a regular comicbook series. Fawcett’s GENE AUTRY COMICS #1 went on sale for a dime in Dec. ‘41. It’s now worth $629–$11,000, depending on condition…if you can locate a copy. Fawcett published 10 issues from ‘41-‘43.

Dell took over with #11-12 then put Gene into their Four Color Comics series in ‘44 for seven issues (FC 47, 57, 66, 75, 83, 93, 100) before resuming numbering with #1 in May ‘46 and continuing for 121 issues til January/March ‘59. By ‘48 Dell was publishing more than one million GENE AUTRY COMICS every month.



Art by Til Goodan from GENE AUTRY #2.The title changed slightly with #102 to GENE AUTRY AND CHAMPION. With #112 (11/56) the change was even more dramatic, with the established photo covers being abandoned in favor of painted covers of… Champion. Even Champ’s name was now larger than Gene’s! By #113 Gene’s horse had even supplanted him as the lead story. (Dell also published GENE AUTRY’S CHAMPION for 19 issues from ‘50-‘55.)

Although Fawcett #1 and 3 and Dell #11 had photo back covers, the first Autry photo front cover was on Dell Four Color #100. Regular issue #1 was again drawn, then photos were used continually from #2-111. Photo back covers ran from #4-65 (except for #19, #46, #47). All cover photos were specially posed by Gene except for the rare movie scene from “Strawberry Roan” (w/Eddy Waller, Pat Buttram, Rufe Davis and others) on the back of #12 (2/48) and of Gene and Barbara Britton from “Loaded Pistols” on the back of #25 (3/49), released in conjunction with the films. Various Champions were shown on the front or back of many issues.

Page from Dell's GENE AUTRY FC #66.Different artists worked on GENE AUTRY COMICS. Excellent western artist Till Goodan drew several Fawcett and Dell FC covers and the interior of #2, with spot illustrations in several others. Jim Chambers did work at Fawcett along with some other rather inferior artists. Artists at Dell were never allowed to sign their work, but they included Chambers, Jesse Marsh, Nat Edson, Nicholas Firfires (second husband of Buck Jones’ daughter Maxine), Ray Ramsey, John Ushler, Tom Massey, Mike Arens, Russ Manning and Dan Spiegle. Firfires, Marsh and Ramsey did the bulk of the work.

Stories came from writers Gaylord DuBois, Phil Evans, Dick Calkins (creator of Buck Rogers), Jean Klinordlinger, prolific Paul S. Newman, Eleanor Packer, screenwriter Eric Freiwald, Robert Ryder, John Wade Hampton and Kellogg Adams.


Page from GENE AUTRY #50.Predating all of these, POPULAR COMICS #28 (5/38) (published by Dell) featured a six page movie adaptation of Gene’s “Old Barn Dance”. Gene also appeared in Dell’s WESTERN ROUNDUP Giants #1-18, five small Quaker Puffed Wheat/Rice giveaway comics (‘50), an 8x6" GENE AUTRY ADVENTURE COMICS giveaway from Pillsbury in ‘47, five 1953 3-D pocket-size giveaways and 10 MARCH OF COMICS (an advertising venue for Weatherbird Shoes, Sears, etc.)

Beginning with a movie adaptation of “Public Cowboy No. 1” in ‘38, Whitman issued 11 Gene Autry Big Little Books. The others were all original stories. In ‘49-‘50 Whitman produced two slightly taller Autry New Better Little Books. Then there were hardback novels, coloring books, paint books, paperdoll folios, Sandpiper and Little Golden Books and English publications all bearing Gene’s likeness.

Page from POPULAR COMICS #28.Additionally, GENE AUTRY RIDES came out as a Sunday only newspaper comic strip in the Spring of ‘40. Distributed by Gene’s own organization, it was written by screenwriter Gerald Geraghty (“Phantom Empire”, “Mexicali Rose”, “Riders In the Sky”, etc.) and drawn by cowboy cartoonist Till Goodan. The first story was a loose adaptation of “Phantom Empire”, with Gene’s sidekick changed from Smiley/Frog to Frosty. The strip ended in ‘42 as Autry entered WWII service.

Gene’s renewed popularity on TV led to a second GENE AUTRY strip. General Features began a daily 9/8/52 with Sunday pages following 4/26/53. The strip, which often found Gene far from the western range—in Australia and Arabia for example, was written by Bob Stevens and competently illustrated by Bert Laws. The strip ended in ‘55.

GENE AUTRY in Public Cowboy #1 Big Little Book cover.

GENE AUTRY RIDES! Sunday page for 3/3/40.

"Gene Autry" Sunday strip for 8/19/53.


Covers to Fawcett GENE AUTRY COMICS #5 and #8.

Covers to Fawcett GENE AUTRY COMICS #9 and #11.

Covers to Dell GENE AUTRY COMICS #5 and #29.

Covers to Dell GENE AUTRY COMICS #51 and #88.


top of page