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Literature

Weird Western Tales – Graphic Novel Series

Weird Western Tales

   The closest (and longest lasting) genre that is comparable to Gothic Western is Weird Western, which combines elements of the Western with horror, occult, fantasy or science fiction. Weird Western Tales is a Western genre comics anthology published by DC Comics from June/July 1972 to August 1980. It is best known for featuring the adventures of Jonah Hex until #38 (1977) when the character was promoted to his own eponymous series. Scalphunter then took Hex’s place as the featured character in Weird Western Tales. Two other characters were Bat Lash and El Diablo. Bat Lash is a legendary gambler and gunslinger in the Old West. His prowess with a pistol is matched only by his prowess with the ladies, but this frequently gets him in trouble. He was a member of the Rough Bunch with several other heroes of his era. El Diablo, aka Lazarus Lane, a hero of the old west who is said to be possessed by a demon. He was also a member of the Rough Bunch.
   Weird Western Tales The original title ran for eight years and 59 issues. It started with issue #12 (June–July 1972), continuing the numbering from the second volume of All-Star Western two issues after the first appearance of Jonah Hex. The title’s name was partially inspired by the sales success of Weird War Tales. When Jonah Hex received his own eponymous series, he was replaced as the lead feature of Weird Western Tales by Scalphunter as of issue #39 (March–April 1977). The character Cinnamon was introduced in issue #48 (Sept.–Oct. 1978) by writer Roger McKenzie and artist Dick Ayers. The final issue was #70 (August 1980).
   Weird Western Tales Weird Western Tales was revived in 2001 as a four-issue limited series. The mini-series had no relation to the earlier title, instead featuring a series of one-shot Western-based stories.
   A one-shot revival of the series utilizing the original numbering #71 (March 2010) was published as a tie-in to the Blackest Night limited series.
Weird Western Tales was one of DC’s more memorable western series. Launched in the wake of the so-called ‘spaghetti western’ revival, it present western tales that were altogether darker in tone than previous ‘cowboy hero’ books.