Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Otto Binder on The Westerner

Although Jerry Bails and Hames Ware in the Who's Who had Otto Binder writing Wild Bill Pecos for Orbit (giving his tenure as 1950-51), it seems there are no records of which particular stories he wrote. I've mentioned a number of times that at least some of Binder's records were compiled after the fact; as I understand it, Jerry went through his comic book collection with Otto and asked, "Is this story yours? Is this?" (After which he wrote in the credit on the stories' first pages.) But I suspect Jerry hadn't collected The Westerner.

Mostly Binder's stories here fill in around those noted in William Woolfolk's records; the question is where Binder comes aboard. I don't find any Binder stories on the title before issue 34 in 1951—although the tenure is correct in that he wrote the first of these in 1950. There are stories in 35, 36, and 37 by neither Binder nor Woolfolk.

Otto Binder's style is pretty obvious: "Ulps," "Omigosh," "Yayyy." In the Lobo stories, with only American Indian characters, he doesn't use these informalities, so there I'm going by his style of exclamatory and explanatory captions. The cowboy expressions "Jumping horned toads" and "Howling coyotes" he uses also on a Fawcett story, "Ken Maynard and the Pied Piper of the West" (Ken Maynard Western 3, Apr/51)—again, Bails and Ware had this feature listed for Binder, but individual stories evidently were never singled out (#3 is the only issue I've seen so far). Binder shows a prediliction for alliterative names: Bronco Baily, Blazes Barns, Bushwhack Barton, Bruce Bates, Diablo Dan, Owlhoot Orton, Pete Piper.

The Westerner 41--The Twin Terrors--'Ulps'

The Westerner
scripts by Otto Binder:
Wild Bill Pecos (except as noted)

Mar/51 34  The Two-Gun Grandpappies
Death Hunt
Apr/     35  The Riddle of the Petrified Forest
May/     36  Wild Bill Pecos and the Tombstone Bugle
Tombstone City Goes Loco
June/     37  Gun Trouble
July/     38  The Kidnapped Cayuses
Aug/     39  Wild Bill Pecos and the Substitute Marshal
Sept/     40  Hostage for Death [LOBO THE WOLF BOY]
The Swirling Peril
The Greatest Hero or Hair-o of the West?
Dec/     41  The Three Great Tasks [LOBO THE WOLF BOY]
Nuggets Nugent and the Twin Terrors [NUGGETS NUGENT]
Wild Bill Pecos Guns for Nuggets


  1. Do you have any idea who wrote the stories in Ziff-Davis's ELLERY QUEEN #1-2?

  2. The writers identified with Z-D by the Who's Who include Otto Binder, Walter Geier, Bob Haney, Harry Lazarus, Mickey Marks, Paul S. Newman, Don Rico, Jerry Siegel, and Robert Turner, some with specific features although none with Ellery Queen. Out of these, the one whose style seems at first glance most like the Queen writer's would be Siegel, but I'd certainly put a question mark after his name.

  3. Thanks. I'm not yet willing to even i.d. him with a question mark, but we'll see.