The Percussion Discussion
or: Gunslingers and the Kitty's That Love Them
This weeks grab bag yields a true surprise. The New Adventures of Rick O'Shay and Hipshot #1 (of two). New in that it was the first time creator Stan Lynde had dealt with these characters in more than a decade and in terms of format as well. Prior to this Rick O'Shay had been a newspaper strip that ran from the late fifties to the early Eighties. Series creator Stan Lynde was responsible for all but the last few years when he left to create a new strip he could own himself, the short lived Latigo.
Rick O'Shay's history is something like that of Wash Tubbs. It starts out as a humor strip that, over time, becomes more interested in drama and adventure. I don't know that it pivoted on the appearance of Hipshot as did Wash Tubbs with Captain Easy but, the strip's logo to the contrary, Hipshot Percussion was the real star.
Rick was the Marshall in the small frontier town of Conniption. His best friend, Hipshot, lived outside of town and was the source of much mystery, speculation and trouble. All anyone really knew was that Hipshot was the fastest draw this side, that side, or any other side of whatever line you care to recognize.
Lynde's work might be described as Al Capp meets John Severin. His figures could be a bit stiff but he had a great sense of character and a fine eye for detail: architectural, fashion, hardware, animals… A recurring theme on Sundays was a single panel panorama of Hipshot in the high country: riding, hunting, talking to "the Boss".
For your amusement, I present - Hipshot Percussion and his fabulously furry, feline, friend, Belle Starr, wonder kitty of the wild, wild, west.