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Cover to BOB STEELE WESTERN #2 (2/51).“BOB STEELE”

Battling Bob Steele didn’t come to comic books until December 1950, four years after he’d made his last B-westerns for PRC in 1946. But prolific cowboy comic publisher Fawcett knew the re-showings of his dozens of B-westerns on early TV would prompt fast sales.

Steele, the son of director Robert North Bradbury, started off in silent films as a child working with his brother Bill, in his Dad’s films. He soon starred in a silent series for FBO between ‘27-‘29 and another at Syndicate in ‘29-‘30. When sound came in Steele was never unemployed, hopscotching from series to series, some better than others, at Tiffany, Sono Art-World Wide, Monogram, Supreme, Republic, Metropolitan, PRC and Screen Guild.

An action page from BOB STEELE WESTERN #2 with art by Eddie Robbins.A versatile actor, Bob was also featured in A-productions such as “Of Mice and Men”, “The Big Sleep”, “South of St. Louis”, “The Enforcer”, “Island In the Sky” and others.

Fawcett released 10 bi-monthly issues of BOB STEELE WESTERN between December 1950 and June 1952. All had terrific photo covers, with #1-4 also having photo back covers. For whatever reason, Fawcett’s colorist suited Bob up in a bright yellow shirt, green pants and brown hat. Sounds odd, but in print it looked good. His horse in all his action-packed adventures was named Bullet.

Artists varied, Eddie Robbins contributed work to #1, 2 with Myron Fass coming aboard with the lead stories in #4, 5. Onetime Captain Marvel artist Pete Costanza did work in several later issues along with other unknown artists.

Eddie Robbins (1919-1982) later drew the “Mike Hammer” comic strip.

Myron Fass captured Bob Steele's likeness in BOB STEELE WESTERN #5 (8/51).Myron Fass, born in 1926 in Brooklyn, started in the Iger Studio about 1948 and later was known as the biggest, and sleaziest, multi-title newsstand magazine publisher in the country. He owned the tabloid NATIONAL MIRROR from ‘64-‘73 and by the ‘70s he was churning out dozens of wrestling, UFO, war, horror, sci-fi and girlie one-shot mags, eventually earning him a fortune. Fass was last known to own a gun shop in Florida in the ‘80s.

Pete Costanza (1913-1984) attended Grand Central Art School in New York City and became a magazine and pulp illustrator from ‘33-‘41, later contributing art to dozens of comic companies.

Many of the Bob Steele stories were written by prolific comics writer Paul Newman (1924-1999).

AC Comics issued a BOB STEELE #1 reprint in 1990.

According to Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, BOB STEELE Fawcett #1, in Fine condition, sells for around $129, #2 for $66, #3-5 for $45 and #6-10 for $42.

   
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