Many western TV series focused their attention on child actors—Johnny Crawford on “Rifleman”, Johnny Washbrook on “My Friend Flicka”, Kurt Russell on “Travels of Jaimie McPheeters”, Bobby Diamond on “Fury”, Lee Aaker on “Rin Tin Tin”, Jimmy Hawkins on “Annie Oakley”, Darby Hinton on “Daniel Boone”—but two that are too often overlooked are Tommy Nolan on “Buckskin” (‘58-‘59 ABC) and Mickey Braddock (later Mickey Dolenz) on “Circus Boy” (‘56-‘57 NBC)…and both starred in their own Dell comic books…and both starred in their own Dell comic books. We covered “Buckskin” last month.
A very different setting for a western, “Circus Boy” came to TV in September ‘56 and ran for 49 episodes through December ‘57. Dell’s first CIRCUS BOY, Four Color #759, was released in time for Christmas ‘56. FC #785 came out a few months later in the spring of ‘57 with a third and final issue, FC #813, issued for June-August ‘57.
FC #759 sported a nice four-photo-montage of Circus Boy Corky (Mickey Braddock [nee Dolenz]) with inside front cover b/w pics of Braddock as Corky, Robert Lowery as Big Tim Champion, Noah Beery Jr. as Joey the clown, and Corky’s elephant Bimbo. FC #785 featured Braddock and Noah Beery Jr. (in Joey clown makeup) on the cover. Braddock was alone (with two colts) on the cover of FC #813.
All three issues had excellent art by Dan Spiegle. One of the more intriguing aspects of CIRCUS BOY was that four of the six stories in the three issues were adaptations of TV scripts. Episode #4, “The Amazing Mr. Sinbad” was adapted in FC #759. Episode #3, “The Great Gambino”, and episode #25, “Counterfeit Clown”, both saw adaptation in FC #785. “The Fabulous Colonel Jack”, episode #2, was adapted to comic form in FC #813.
Due to Braddock’s later fame as Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, copies of CIRCUS BOY cost a bit higher, bringing $30-$33 in Fine from most dealers.
CIRCUS BOY Cover Gallery