Tuesday 5 July 2011

Exciting Western, June/July 1960

British Edition Vol. 5  - #7


Coon Hunter by Ben Frank
     Gummy Wilson always figured nothing was trickier than a coon – till he met up with a killer and a spunky red-haired gal.

An Old Cold Trail by H.A. DeRosso
     Ernie had paid for his crime, and figured it was time now for someone else to do a little paying.

Freight-Line Killer by Garold Hartsock
     Keen wits are sometimes better than blazing guns to trip a killer.

Purple Whisky by Frank Scott York
     Lou Fox knew all about redeye but – Purple Whisky – was a bay horse of a different colour!

Featured Novelette:
The Killer Sheriff by George Kilrain
     To young Hod Wesley, a lawman was only as big as his gun was fast. He had to learn that it took a bigger man not to use a gun at all.

Published before I was born, this pulps’ stories are written by writers that are mainly unknown to me. I say mainly because I do recognised one of the above names, that of H.A. DeRosso. So I approach these pulps with an open mind, not having any idea as to what to expect.

I think this is the first pulp where I’ve actually read all the stories from beginning to end. I found them all to be of a fairly consistent quality, and not to heavy on the ‘old West lingo’ I often find difficult to make sense of without having to re-read the sentences. I was also surprised to find that two of these stories, Coon Hunter, and Purple Whisky, contain a lot of humour, in fact the latter is a comedy out right.

Did I have a favourite story in this issue? Yes, two in fact, that are both very different to each other, these being Purple Whisky and An Old Cold Trail. The story I liked least was the featured novelette: The Killer Sheriff.

The great thing about these old pulps is that I find them a great way to try authors new to me, and I often discover one or two that I’d like to read more by. In this case there are three I’ll be hunting through my collection to see if I have more by them, these being Ben Frank, H.A. DeRosso, and Frank Scott York. If anyone has any info on the first and third of these then please add it to comments.


James Reasoner said...

Ben Frank did a long series of humorous Westerns about a character called Doc Swap. These appeared in the pulp TEXAS RANGERS, and to be honest, I'm not all that fond of them. But they're fairly entertaining in small doses, unlike some other "comedy" Westerns I've read.

Steve M said...

I've just checked the few TEXAS RANGERS I have and discovered I have one story by Ben Frank: Journey to Dry Flats.