December 1, 2009
Unusual Tales - Storm's Warning
"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.
I mentioned recently, one of the first recurring features that Ditko drew more than one story for was for the BLACK FURY series from Charlton. Right around the same time he also did several stories for a very similar series, ROCKY LANE'S BLACK JACK. Allan "Rocky" Lane was a prolific western actor of the era, including a long series of films where he actually played a character named Rocky Lane. That must have been a stretch... The films also launched a long-running comic book, first from Fawcett and then picked up by Charlton. It must have done well for them, as Charlton launched a spin-off featuring Rocky Lane's horse, Black Jack, in his solo adventures, and Ditko drew several stories for that series, some featuring Black Jack and some generic horse-focused westerns.
ROCKY LANE'S BLACK JACK #25  includes the 5-page Black Jack story "Storm's Warning", which shows that the horse has some very useful weather forecasting abilities, and keeps quite busy with a young friend when not working with Rocky. A cute little story, I especially like the lightning storm on the first page.
But before you get to the story, some links to check out:Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Many great comics, catch up now
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
#76 now available
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Creeper creeping closer
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies
Click images to cowboy size