Last month we wrote about Marvel Comic’s phony movie cowboys.
Although Fawcett Comics had plenty of real/reel B-Western cowboys in their stable (Lash LaRue, Bob Steele, Ken Maynard, Tom Mix, “Rocky” Lane, Monte Hale, Tex Ritter, etc.), Dell was also signing up the stars, so when Fawcett ran out of B-Western stars to license, they managed to invent a phony like Marvel did with Tex Morgan, etc. Guest they thought the kid readers would never know the difference.
So Fawcett hired male paperback, magazine and fashion model Steve Holland, born January 8, 1925, in Washington State, to portray “Sensational New Western Star” Bob Colt on their comic covers.
Featured in 10 issues of BOB COLT from #1 (November ‘50) to #10 (May ‘52), Bob Colt’s film career was as fake as his comic book adventures. Fawcett gave Colt a horse named Buckskin and a Mexican sidekick named Pablo. Most of—but not all—the stories were drawn by Bob McCarty who also did work over the years at Avon, Charlton, Dell, ME, Toby, Feature Comics, Trojan and others. Most of the cover poses are action shots, but on #9 Fawcett even gave Colt (Holland) a guitar to strum.
Holland went on to star in a made in Germany TV series of “Flash Gordon”; 31 episodes in ‘54-‘55. He did some other minor movie and TV work.
But he’s best known work is as a model for James Bama’s illustrations of DOC SAVAGE used on the covers of the paperback reprints of the ‘60s. Bama called Holland “the world’s greatest male model.” Holland’s facial features were also used on the ‘70s reprints of the original pulp THE AVENGER novels. Holland was also the model for Mack Bolan of THE EXECUTIONER novels.