Hoot Gibson Comics

 

Hoot Gibson (1892 – 1962)

After joining a circus at age 13, Gibson became stranded in Colorado and there began work as a cowpuncher. By age 16 he was a skilled performer in Wild West rodeo shows, going on to win the title of "World's All-Around Champion Cowboy" in 1912. It was about that time that Gibson began working in films as an extra and stunt man, frequently acting as a double for Harry Carey and other western stars; during the teens he appeared in many western two-reelers, but his career progressed slowly.

After starring in his first feature films, John Ford's five-reelers Action and Sure Fire, Gibson skyrocketed to fame and went on to become the cowboy idol of millions of American kids in the '20s and well into the '30s. However, Gibson was an atypical western hero as he rarely carried a gun and was more of a comedian than action hero. Universal's #1 cowboy star throughout the '20s--earning $14,000 a week as star and producer--Gibson's only significant rival was Fox's Tom Mix. Gibson's popularity continued until 1936, the last year in which he was on the Top Ten Money.

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By the time comic books based on movie and TV cowboys were extremely popular in the late '40s and '50s, Hoot Gibson's star had long faded at the box office so the big two of western-movie/TV related comic publishers, Dell and Fawcett, were simply not interested in old Hooter who wound up at Fox Features Syndicate in 1950. By that time, Hoot hadn't starred in a western since 1944. No wonder his comics didn't sell well up against Roy, Tex, Gene and Durango. Fox Features by the time got around to licensing a cowboy, they had to settle for Hoot Gibson. For postal regulation reasons, Hoot Gibson picked up its numbering with #5 (May '50), continuing the numbering from the discontinued My Love Story. Number 6 (actually #2) followed in July '50, then the confusing numbering reverted to #3 (Sept. '50). #5 and 6 featured very poor front and back cover photos and an artist's rendition of Hoot that looked nothing like the cowboy star, except for the second story in #6, Hunchback of the Double-X, which managed to get Hoot's looks correct. #3 had a painted cover and interior art that, in two out of four stories, managed a reasonable resemblance to Hoot.

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