Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Re Visiting a Couple of Old Heroes. Meet and Greet The Lone Ranger & Tonto


The Star of the Texas Rangers




I usually do not re do many of my Hero Dawgs but I have found that some of the drawings I did and posted in  the early days of this Blog were not as good as they could have been.

Below is an example I posted in March 2011. When my Dawgs looked a little more Doggie than they do now.






My early workings of The Lone Ranger & Tonto from March 2011

So I have up dated the Pictures and represent The Lone Ranger & Tonto

Like a lot of the heroes I have covered in my recent blog, The Lone Ranger began as character on the Radio. The True creator of this hero is unclear. It was either George W Trendle The Owner of the US Radio station WXYZ based in Detroit or Fran Striker who was the Radio Shows first writer, but what is known that in January 1933 the WXYZ Radio station broadcasted the first adventure of the Marked Lawman from the Old West.

These are not the original opening words spoken in 1933, but they became the opening lines shortly thereafter.

"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver! The Lone Ranger! .. With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early western United States! Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!"

The show was so popular that soon books and tales of the Lone Ranger were being published all around the world. By the late 1940's he even had his own Television Show in America. This and the Weekly Movie House Series and later full blown Feature Movies meant that The Man in The Mask and his Faithful Indian side kick were here to stay. In Disney tried to bring these characters back for another adventure in the 2000's..... to mixed reviews.


A New 2017 Version of the Heroes




As the Series began on Radio, the identity of the Masked Vigilante was less of a problem than it became once he made it onto the silver screen.

Once on Film and on TV the Lone Ranger would not be seen without his masked or called by any other name. He did have a name his companion and partner Tonto called him by "Kemo-sabe" which has been taken to mean "Trusty Scout"  or  " Trusted Friend" or even " One Who Watches in Secret " .... but what ever the true meaning on the phrase, it is one of deep regard and affection from Tonto to his friend The Lone Ranger.

Who was the Lone Ranger, and what was his origin. Again no exact origin has ever been established. Over the years it has been changed but basically The Masked Gun Man name has never been fully forthcoming, as this was unimportant to the stories. How The Masked Man became The Lone Ranger is a little bit easier to establish.

Unlike today when the Origin of a Character is the first part of most stories, the origin and the meeting between The L R and Tonto was never discussed as a back story as this was seen as unimportant.  Why the LR wore a Mask and why he did what he did was never part of the stories.  The stories were about what injustice the L R was fighting, not why he was doing it or his motivation except he wanted to protect others from evil and wrong doers.

When a back story was established it involved both Tonto and a man that would become The L R.  The Lone Ranger was a Texas Ranger, who had been the sole survivor of an ambush. The L R was one of 6 Texas Rangers who were pursuing an Out Law Gang lead by Butch Cavendish. The Group of Rangers were lead by Captain Daniel Reid who had received a tip off the Cavendish Gang where holed up in a Canyon called Bryant's Gap.

The Rangers rode into the Canyon only to find that they had been duped and the Cavendish Gang were laying in wait for them. It would transpire that the informant  had been paid  to double cross the posse of Texas Rangers.  In the ambush all the Rangers were shot and all believed to have been killed.  Their lifeless bodies were left  as the Cavendish Gang quickly rode off making their escape.

This is where Tonto came onto the scene.  Tonto was a North America Indian who had come across the bodies of the Texas Rangers. He set about burying the bodies when he realised that one of the Rangers was still alive barely.  He tended to the young Rangers Wounds and continued to bury the other bodies. He dug 5 graves for the deceased Texas Rangers and another one for the one that had survived. Thinking that if the killers did return they would believe all had indeed been slaughtered in the ambush. Tonto's Tribe and heritage again is not always clear. He is believed to be the son of a tribal Chief, but his tribe has been stated as both Pottawatomi and or Comanche at different times.

This again is where the origin story differs. In some stories  Tonto recognises both the deceased Captain Daniel Reid and the surviving Ranger as Daniel's younger brother. A Name for the younger brother is  never established. Tonto remembers that the younger Reid boy had as a youngster helped save him and his family from death. Thus the two had become child hood friends.  Blood Brothers you could say. As a parting gift the young Tonto had given the younger Reid Brother a ring inscribed with the words Kemo-sabe. The dying young man had this ring around his neck on a chain, identifying him as Tonto's old childhood friend.

After Tonto manages to bring  the young Ranger back to full health he agrees to help Reid bring the Cavendish Gang to book and pay for their crimes and the unlawful killing of the other Rangers.

As Reid the Younger Ranger is believed to be dead killed along side the other Rangers, he decides that he will hide his identity and fashions a mask and adapts his Texas Rangers Uniform and becomes the Lone Ranger.  As a man of Mystery he feels this would strike terror into his prey. As such he leaves behind his previous name and takes on the Masked Lawman as he only identity. In the Radio Shows and the original TV and Film Series, The Lone Ranger is never seen to be without his Mask.

In other versions of the story Reid the younger  again is the sole survivor of the ambush and after he heals from his wounds takes up the Masked Vigilante roll as the Lone Ranger in order to again bring the Cavendish Gang to justice for their crimes. The Lone Ranger would meet Tonto after he has captured the Gang and would invite the Native North American to join him on his crusade to rid the west from all injustices.

Along with the Two Heroes there were two other supporting characters, the Horses used by the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

The Lone Rangers original Horse was called Dusty a Chestnut Mare, but a chance meeting with a  Wild White Stallion who the Lone Range saves from being hurt by a rampaging buffalo brought Silver into the Lone Rangers life as his trusty steed.

On the other Hand Tonto's Horse was originally called White Feather. This was OK on Radio as both heroes having White Horses was not an issue. However once the Lone Ranger made it onto the Silver Screen it was decided that both Horses needed to be different colours to help the viewer identify them more easily.  Tonto soon was given a Horse described as a Painted Horse.  This Pinto was later named Scout. Both horses are of extreme intelligence and would at times help save their masters from harm.






The Radio and the original Television show helped cement The Lone Ranger and Tonto  into American History. With moralistic tales of Good Verses Evil, the Use of a Native American Indian  shown as more than a just a savage or a subject of light hearted comical purpose, the Lone Ranger programmes were very forthright in dealing with social issues of the then present day. Although Tonto did speak in broken English this did not mock either the Character or the Actor portraying Tonto.



Finally, as already mentioned the Phrase  spoken by Tonto "Kemo-Sabe" became a house hold word quickly adopted into every day speak for all fans both young and old. ... But another Catch Phrase also came into being and would usually be spoken  by the LR at the end of most of his shows...... " Hi Yo Silver Away !!!"

This dramatic Line combined with the Clever use of The William Tell Overture by Rossini would mean that The Lone Ranger and Tonto would continue riding into the Sunset and memories of both young and old for ever.


 





Next Time another Hero or should I say Heroes from Yesterday, and these have a unusual  connection to the two western heroes covered today.

Until Next Time ENJOY !

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Yesterdays Heroes...... She was no He-Man but she was all Woman. Meet She-Ra

Debuting in 1985 She -Ra Princess of Power first appeared on TV along side He -Man and the other Masters of the Universe.

This cartoon show was created by the same team that had brought the Mussel Bound He- Man and the Masters of the Universe to the same screen a few years earlier. Which was a clever way for  the Creator Mattel  to have a line of He-Man Toys and Figures that the Cartoon series was basically a half hour long advertisement. Here in the UK rules regarding advertising products or product placement meant that this cartoon could not be shown on the BBC. So Both She-ra and He-Man were shown on the then the only commercial TV channel ITV.

He-Man was a big smash, but one thing the  marketing big wigs at Mattel found was that the target audience was not all boys as they had though, Girls liked the programme too.   So it was decided that a new character needed to be introduced to help fill the gap in the product range. A leading Female Character was designed , and she became known as She-Ra , Princess of Power.

However, She-Na toys were liked to the Barbie range and instead of a Toy depicting a strong woman and connected characters in the range, they ended up with a Doll to dress up and comb her hair. It would be like GI - Joe (or British Action Man) having a female contemporary who was into Combs and Brushes not Guns and Tanks.  She-ra toy sales were never a patch on He-Man's.

Now Back to our Heroine Princess Adora aka She-Na, The Princess of Power

It would soon be known that She-Ra was the sister of He-Man, although bough had been brought up on different planets and knew nothing of each other. The kidnap and her existence had been removed from all memory by

King Randor & Queen Marlena rulers of the Planet Eternia had had twins born to them. A Boy Adam, who would grow up and become He-Man and a Girl Adora who had been kidnapped as a baby by Hordak the leader of the Evil Horde from the inter dimensional planet of Etheria . Raised on that planet Princess Adora, or Adora believed that he Kidnapper Hordak was her father. So she was raised as a warrior.


To cut a long story short, Adora comes into contact with He-Man and she ends up touching a sword very like He-Man's and is transformed into She-ra . She like He-Man had a group of helpers, from Flying Horses to a Magical Priestess and a male companion called Bow.


Both she and He-Man come to learn they are not just brother and sister but Twins. He -Man would return to his home, where She-Ra would stay on her realm to help over throw the evil of Hordak. On occasions she would travel to have adventures with her brother and likewise he would come to her aide.

Maybe She-ra is not truly forgotten, but her time may come again one day.




Next Time another Hero from the past makes a re appearance.

Until then ENJOY.


Friday, 30 June 2017

Yesterdays Heroes His name is Viscount Greystoke, but his friends call him TARZAN


Tarzan first appeared in the story " Tarzan of the Apes" written by American  author Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912

The tale was of an orphaned infant who survived after his parents had been killed whilst in Africa. Alone and still only a  Baby he was adopted by a Female Gorilla who raised him as her own. This story over the years has been slightly changed but basically Tarzan is a man raised as an Ape, as one of their own.

Later Tarzan would come to learn that he was not like his Ape family and would come to know that he was a Man, but would go on to  use the skills learnt as a creature of the Jungle to help maintain peace within the Jungle. The Perfect Athlete with his senses honed to the peak of possibilities, a Man but much much more.

Burroughs wrote around 25 novel and stories featuring Tarzan most of which involved him and his adventures in Jungles of Africa.  In his early 20's Tarzan would meet a woman called Jane Porter who would eventually became his mate (Wife). Sometimes she is portrayed as an Daughter of a British explorer, and other times she is an American Heiress. The only constant being she loves Tarzan and Tarzan Loves Jane.

When Hollywood decided that The Ape Man was idea for Movies  it was in  1918 that Elmo Lincoln played the Ape Man in the silent film " Tarzan of the Apes"  but the Person most associated with playing Tarzan on the Big Screen was former Olympic Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller who played Tarzan in many films during the 1930's 1940's.

This Tarzan was portrayed as a noble savage with a moral compass. He did the right thing and only killed in order to prevent others being hurt, The Weissmuller Tarzan gave the character his trade mark Yell.  Although the Film Studio told the press Weissmuller had made up the call himself  using his own vocal talents,...... The Studio issued a press release to say  that Johnny Weissmuller  he had been a champion Yodeller as a child in Austria- Germany, so the call was of his own making ........  it was later made public that the call the work of the sound department at the film studio.  A Mix of  animal sounds and maybe a bit of Johnny thrown in too. This may just be a fantasy, but the Trade mark Yell would be adopted by many other films featuring the Ape Man Tarzan.

Many films of Tarzan have been made over the years, some better than others. He even had a TV show in the 1960's  with Ron Ely in the tile Roll, and a cartoon series.

In 1999 Disney took on the roll of making a feature film with a music sound track provided by Rocker Phil Collins.  Which with its effects breaking animation and well received  sound track proved that Tarzan really Rocked !!!!

Tarzan looks like one of those characters that will run and run. With the original back story always open to be expanded or amended to fit the circumstance and now that the Burroughs Estate has little if any control over how the Ape Man is now, we can look forward to seeing Tarzan of the Apes appearing in the media or on screen in the foreseeable future.

So if you are a Fan of the Original Silent Tarzan Elmo Lincoln, or 1930's and 1940's Family Friendly Ape man  Hollywood Hero Johnny Weissmuller, or the 1950's more clean cut Lex Baker and Gordon Scott's portrayal  of Tarzan, or the 1960's Ron Ely modern approach of The Great White Ape, or Miles O'Keeffe and Bo Derek 1981 Soft Porn adventure , and the Artistic and Brooding  Christopher Lambert's Lord Greystoke version of the timeless Hero of the Jungle or  any other of the good and the Great that have swung from a Vine wearing a loin cloth..... you know they owe it all to a simple tale first penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs over a Hundred Years Ago.


Here is my version of Tarzan of the Apes.




Me TARZAN






Tarzan's may have felling Love with his Jane, but before her there was Cheeta the Chimpanzee . Maybe he-she was never originally created by Mt Burroughs but became part of the legend in the 1930's. The original Cheeta lived a long full life and was one of Hollywoods longest living Movie Stars.



Maybe the line "Me Tarzan, You Jane" may have been miss quoted a number of times during the years, but we all know what it really means !

Jungle Love



and a Finally look at the Tarzan Family Unit




Setting up home Jungle Style





Next time another hero from a forgotten time.

Until then   ENJOY !

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

YESTERDAYS HEROES The Spainish call him the FOX..... we know him as ZORRO

Created in 1919 by America Writer John McCulley , his tales of Don Diego De La Vega during the mid 1800's became a hit with the readers old and young.

Setting his stories during the Mexican Rule of California, by day Don Diego was a Californian Nobleman  who showed little regard to the ill treatment of the Spanish overlords and military that controlled the lands, but at night Don Diego donned his disguise and became Zorro or the Fox to fight for the rights of the poor and weak and badly treated people of the land.


Although over the years the character has been updated and changed, he is basically a dashing Masked outlaw who defends those who are oppressed.

He is called Zorro (Spanish for Fox) as he shows cunning and fox like characteristics in his war against the authorities and evil doers.

ZORRO the Hero of the People


His main weapon is his sword which he uses to both defend himself and leave his trade mark Z as this calling card. Also he is a master of the Bull Whip and an expert horseman.

By 1920 he made his debuted on the silver screen in the silent movie "The Mask of Zorro" played by who was at the time the most famous actor Douglas Fairbanks.



Over the years Zorro has stared in many films, had a long running TV series made by Disney in the 1950's, had his own Radio Show and cartoon series.


He may be a no more than a reworking of  Robin Hood, but you could say that BAT-MAN who was publishes nearly 20 years later  was a reworking of Zorro.

But at the end of the day, Young Boys and their Fathers loved the Swash Buckling antics and excitement of Zorro, and the ladies too loved the Dashing Romantic looking Hero in the Black Mask and Hat.

A ROMANTIC STRANGER DRESSED IN BLACK

Next time another some what forgotten hero.

Until then ENJOY "

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Yesterdays Heroes, The Ghost who Walks.... meet The Phantom

The fictional  hero called the Phantom is also known as "The Ghost Who Walks" due to the belief he is a person who has lived for over 400 years.



This is a myth as although the Jungle legend has existed for a long time, it is a title and roll that has been passed down from Father to son over a long period.  When the Father retires is  unable to continue as the Ghost Who Walks, his son or sometimes daughter takes up the mantle. Usually retirement means the death of the former Phantom. The hero is a man of great wealth, most of which has been gathered over the years by his forefathers, being it from Pirate Treasure, to mined Gold and  gem stones found in the location of his home.

All the old Phantoms are buried in the catacombs of his home and base of operations  in Skull Cave, thus helping the legend continue.

As the new Phantom dresses and acts like his predecessor, people  believe he is the same person.

First appearing in 1936 as a Newspaper Comic strip he became very popular with young and old alike at the time. Over the years he has appeared in his own comic, Radio Show, Movie Serial, Major Motion Picture and even TV Cartoon. Although this character was never as big as the Big Bad Bat from Gotham City, both heroes have similarities.

The original Phantom of the 1930's was Christopher Walker who was the 21st person to have taken up the mantle as the adventurer. Later his son Kit would inherit the roll as the 22nd Phantom.

Although the Phantom operates out of his Skull Cave in Bangalla  a fictional place in Central Africa, his dentures at times took him all over the Globe.

With no Super Powers accept his two fists and athletic abilities, this mystery man or should I say MEN, only relays on two hand guns. Evil doers usually get marked after being defected by The Phantom by being branded by the hero's Skull Ring.



Next Time another forgotten Hero


Until then     ENJOY !

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

THANKS 37000 Still going Stong after so many years thanks to you guys !

I have doing my strange Dawg Blog since 14th December 2010  and it always amazed me that so many of you come back and enjoy my work.
 What I produce now compared to then is worlds apart. Less Puns and a more uniformed look these days, I still get a lot of enjoyment doing what I do.

Over the last few months finding time to post has been hard, and some of the subjects and their stories have taken a VERY LONG TIME to tell and relate in my "Unique" way.

My Tales of the New Teen Titans began back in August 2015 and although I never plan for the stories to go on and on, by the time you have covered the basic characters and their back grounds that can run into a lot of pictures and new drawing..... and the time just flies by.

Anyway, that's my problem..... so please bare with me.

Whilst I was going my Titans Tales, I missed a few Thank You Posts..... so here is the last one featuring "more" Teen Titans. Sorry I did promise, but its a chance to use some of the pictures I did not get around to posting.

Hopefully I have captured all of the best Bits from the first few years of the Teen Aged Heroes. Most of these characters again I had to tweak and clean up as when I did the originals I made little errors and the lines were not as crisp as I do them now. This a basically a Pre - Crisis (the first DC Crisis I mean ) set of Heroes.  When Bat Girl was Bette Kane and Cyborg was a Titan and not in the "Big" League, When Wonder Woman's Mum was Blond and when Donna Troy just an adopted orphan with no mystical past, when Dick Grayson finally Grew up and got quickly replaced TWICE by two other Robin's, and when Superman still  wore his Knickers over his Tights and Lois Lane hadn't a Scooby Doo he was Clark Kent.  .....and when Heroes that Died STAYED DEAD and didn't get better after a re boot........ The Good Old Days !!!!


All of the Key Characters and some of the now forgotten ones too.

Plus the original Bodies of my "Dawg" Buddy have changed over time.... have a look at my early posts.  I am still proud of them but they do look a bit basic and rough around the edges.

Finding new subjects is difficult. Especially these days where most Super Heroes seem to change their look all them time. Sometime it is good, but I think its more about the artist wanting to "own" the characters and therefore they want to up date them and their look in their unique ways too.

I am more of a classic comic book boy, so I tend to go for the Classic Heroes and the look they are mostly associated with.. If it ain't broke......  as they say!

Remember if you have any ideas of subjects that I could cover, let me know. I am very much enjoying my Yesterdays Heroes theme, and hopefully you will see one of two new faces that you had forgotten all about.

Anyway enjoy this post.




Until Next Time


ENJOY !

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

YESTERDAYS HEROES REMEMBERING FLASH GORDON the Savour of the Universe.

Flash Gordon was first Published as a news paper comic strip adventure in January 1934. His creator Alex Raymond had been asked to produce a space inspired hero that could rival the already established Buck Rogers Adventure strip that had first hit the newsstands in the  August of 1928.

Although many would think that Flash Gordon was the first space adventurer, he owes much to Buck Rogers.  Many other writers at this time were penning fanatical tales of time travel and adventure in what we now call science fiction.

The set up of the character was simple, Alex Gordon better known as Flash to his friends was a Yale University Graduate based in the 1930's. A football hero and all round athlete.  Unlike his "competitor" Buck Rogers who had ended up in the 24th Century, Flash's stories were based in the modern time, but due to most of his adventures being on the Planet Mongo, allowed a mix of Sci Fi with a bit of Medieval Adventure and Aliens thrown in for good cause.
Flash in the style of the comic strip and the Movie Serials

The stories were all basically the same, Flash and his companions Dr Hans Zarkov the brilliant if sometimes mad earth scientist , and Dale Arden the society girl from a rich back ground would end up fighting and rebelling against Ming the Merciless from the wandering  planet Mongo . It would later be claimed Dale was a news reporter by trade. BUT unlike some female characters in books and comics of the time, she was not just used as to help spice up the plot by being kidnapped or needing saving from the bad guys........ However, she did tend to get kidnapped a lot and she was always saved by Flash...... plus she did usually end up wearing some very sexy outfits as a result.

The Ruler of Mongo, Ming would spend most of his time tying to kill Flash and marry Dale.

Flash Gordon stories had it all. Space Battles, Evil Dictators, Beautiful Princess's, Rocket Ships, Robots, Aliens, Ray Guns, Heroes and Villains....... everything that we now expect in a good SciFi story. Sounds a lot like STAR WARS, which used some of the "ideas" of the film serials in its creation. Remember the opening credits and the way one scene fades into the next..... Flash Gordon and crew did it first.
My version of a 1930's inspired Rocket Ship

By 1936 Flash Gordon was now appearing in a weekly cinema serial featuring Buster Crabbe, and these stories cemented the look that we all associate with the Flash Gordon myth.

Although Flash Gordon did feature in a BIG BUDGET cinema film in the 1980's and in various cartoon series in the 1990's, and a short lived live action series in the 2000's... BUT Flash  he will always be remembered for the 1930's Black & Whites film serials by most.
Flash and Dale exploring an Alien planet.


Next Time another hero of Yesterday


Until then     ENJOY !