Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Annie Oakley Written by Hank Chapman

Atlas had two Annie Oakleys. The original version was very much in the style of Hedy Devine (who had the back-up story in #1), Millie the Model, and the other girl features; she debuted with a Spring 1948 cover date, beating Sun Girl, Namora, and Venus to the stands by half a year. Her comic lasted four issues.

The title was resumed mid-Fifties as a straight western. The covers were by Joe Maneely, John Severin, Carl Burgos, Sol Brodsky, and one was even by the interior artists, Andru and Esposito. The back-ups were the usual western shorts, on which I have no new info.
Annie Oakley 5 splash: 'Great Grizzlies'
Hank Chapman's scripts in the earlier Atlas war titles, even when he isn't credited, stand out with "Cripes," "Holy Cripes," and "Ca-ripes." Not a single one of those shows up in any of these stories. I don't know if those interjections struck Chapman as too modern  for a Western, or if the new Comics Code considered even euphemisms too rough. At any rate, it's the variations on "Oww"—including "Ow-w" and "Oww-w"—that put me on Chapman's track here. The Annie Oakley stories tied in with those war stories in other ways, though; Chapman uses footnotes to translate Western lingo here and Chinese or Korean there; and Texan infantryman Battle Brady, in his own Korean War series by Chapman, uses the expression "Great Grizzlies" that Annie does here.

Annie Oakley

Written by Hank Chapman
Pencilled by Ross Andru
Inked by Mike Esposito

June/55 Introducing the Champion Cowgirl of the West, Annie Oakley
    The Mystery of the Vanishing Herd
    The Secret of Lost Canyon
Aug/     Bushwhack at Bull's-Eye Ranch
    Grizzly Giant of Vista Valley
    Skillets and Six-Guns
Oct/     The Scarlet Shadow Strikes
    The Treasure of the Conquistadores
    Contest of the Champions
Dec/     Queen of the Cowgirls
  On the Warpath
    Six-Gun Showdown
Feb/56 Wanted: Dead or Alive
    The Cowboy
    Flaming Fury
    Buffalo Bandits
Apr/     10  The Tribal Treasures
    Double Trouble for Annie
    Law of the Wild
    Shot-Gun Sadie
 June/    11  Bandits in Buena Vista
    Outlaws Beware...When the Oakleys Ride
    A Sheriff's Duty
    Little Sure Shot


  1. Put Hank down for the writer of the two Annie stories in WILD WESTERN #46 and 47, too. The first has the "OWW!" and the second has the "Great growling grizzlies!" expression. Art by Andru and Esposito.

  2. I keep forgetting just how often the line-ups change in the Atlas Western anthologies, and even in the single-character mag back-ups. Thanks for pointing out those other Annie stories, darkmark!