Roping n’ Riding: Selling Western Stars, 1946–1962
The Hollywood studios of the 1950s and 1960s, in both film and television, used intense intertextual marketing. This applied not only to the major stars such as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry—even “sidekicks”, like Gabby Hayes, could feature in their own comics. Several key figures such as Dale Evans, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue, and the Lone Ranger demonstrate that there are different ways to be a Western hero. Television-based comics continue this trend with perhaps a more enlightened attitude toward Native Americans. The way in which the sidekick is woven into the narrative and how it affects the status of the hero is examined in several different cases. Dell’s Annie Oakley comic also demonstrates that the Western comic provided a space for a woman to be just as heroic as a man.