I brought up this series in the Guess the Classic Cover thread and promised that I’d start a thread on it.
Not too long ago, I pick up a copy of Judge Colt #4. Thanks to the GCD I was aware of the series, but had never seen an issue. It only ran the 4 issues from 1969 to 1970. As many of you know, I am a sucker for a nice painted cover – so I’ve been doing my part to keep the Gold Key back-issue market alive.
Anyone who has ever pick up a Gold Key comic knows very well that the quality can be all over the place (for every Magnus, there’s a Tiger Girl), so my expectation were fairly low. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The story starts will some typical stagecoach action, but then turns into an interesting little murder mystery, as men from the same Civil War platoon are dying in ‘accidents’ that look a little too perfect.
Judge Colt and the local Marshall get to work and it’s really quite a good little story, as good as any western tale being published in 1970. I wasn’t sure who wrote it or drew it, as neither the Overstreet nor the GCD had any credits. Michi picked up the following on the net:
I guess it probably is Delbo. His name didn't spring to mind, as I went through the usual GK suspects - the two Franks (Bolle and Springer), Dan Spiegle, Paul Norris etc... but didn't think of Delbo. Thee art is not quite as ‘clean’ as most of his art that I’ve seen, the inks come across as pretty strong. I am thinking mostly DC books in the late 70s/early 80s when I am thinking of Delbo, so 'clean' may have been an editorial mandate.I have all four issues of JUDGE COLT, though it's been a long time since I have looked at them. I'll have to dig them out. A quick web search indicates that at least one of the issues was drawn by JOSE DELBO:
José Delbo (b. 1933, Argentina)
Originally from Argentina, José Delbo has drawn for American comic books since the 1960s. He drew stories with 'Secret Agent Mike Manley' for 'Fight the Enemy', a comic book that appeared on Wally Wood's and Samm Schwartz' Tower Comics line in the 1960s. He also contributed to Judge Colt with writer [Leo] Dorfman.
There’s a bit of a grittiness to it; so I thought that it might be a Filipino artist, but I can’t think of any names and it is probably a year or two before Filipinos really made their mark in comics. Take a look at the two pages I’ve scanned below and let me know what you think. They are not in sequential order, so don't worry if the story doesn't make any sense to you.
Google tells me that there was a pulp and radio character named Judge Colt from the 20s and 30s, and I assume that the Gold Key version is the same magistrate. Does anyone know anything about this character. Who created him? Can you confirm what Michi fought out about who worked on the Gold Key issues?
Michi – are the other issues any good?
I feel like tracking them down may be a challenge, but a lot of fun. This one only set me back $2.99, so I’m not going to have to take out a second mortgage to complete the run.