TRASHY TUESDAY: A VERY EARLY CLEVELAND WESTERN
I recently came across some more early Cleveland westerns, including one of their first ones from 1954.
Cleveland Publishing was established in 1953 and continued publishing soft cover digests, primarily westerns, up until December 2018. Cleveland published in a range of different genres, including romance, spy fiction and the Larry Kent crime series, but are probably best known for their westerns, which were a staple in Australian newsagents well into recent years.
Cleveland started publishing digest sized books in 1954 starting at book #500. Cleveland books were initially a mix of crime and western novels, but by #600 they had separated the westerns out into their brand: Cleveland Westerns.
Cheyenne (Cleveland, 1954) by Scott McLure (Anthony Veitch) was number #529 and would have come out in the first couple of months. It is earliest Cleveland western I have come across. Anthony Scott Veitch started out as a script-writer for radio before venturing into westerns and then television. Scott McLure was his main pseudonym for Cleveland. Cheyenne was the fourth western he did for Cleveland. Although he is better known for his television work, Veitch wrote over a hundred westerns for Cleveland before he died in 1983.
Famous Australian artists Stanley Pitt and Walter Stackpool did most of the early covers for Cleveland. The one for Cheyenne, to me, seems to be done by Walter Stackpool. It is a fairly typical early Cleveland cover, which tended to be tame and respectful in their portrayal of violence and women, unlike the later one for All Woman, All Bad below. The woman on the cover reflected the 1950s ‘white picket fence’ view of western women and lacked the grit and dirt and blatant sexuality of the ‘western cover girls’ that were to be found by the late 1960s. Overall, it is a nice 1950s cover, although the rifle is poorly drawn and out of proportion.
Lonesome Colt was the twenty-second entry in Cleveland’s Bighorn Western series, which started in the 1950s at #300. A. A. Glynn was a British pulp writer who also dabbled in science fiction, but his main output was westerns. The majority of Cleveland westerns were written by local Australians, but occasionally they reprinted stories from overseas authors.
Again it is a fairly typical 1950s Cleveland cover with a very clean cut looking hero with smoking guns. The addition of a smaller two-tone illustration was fairly common on Australian digests at the time. There is nothing striking about the cover, other than the obvious conflict between the tagline (“one gun to tame it”) and the two gun drawing.
Shad Denver was one of several pseudonyms used by Des R. Dunn, who wrote over four hundred novels and novellas, mainly in the western and crime genres. The Golby Brand came out under Cleveland’s Chisholm Western series and would seem to come from the mid 1960s, based on the price.
The cover has that slightly tougher 1960s look about it. It could be by Stanley Pitt who tended to focus on faces. Once again a smoking gun, although I am not sure why the smoke is also coming from the cylinder to the left?
Emerson Dodge was one of the pseudonyms used by prolific author Paul Wheelahan who wrote nearly two hundred westerns for Cleveland Publishing. Based on the cover and the sixty cents price, All Woman, All Bad (Cleveland) would seem to date from the early 1970s, although this does not match with the number, Bighorn Western #398.
The cover is certainly from that late 1960s/early 1970s period and it is interesting to note how the portrayal of women had changed from Cheyenne to All Woman, All Bad and the cover on Two Guns To Sourwater below. Certainly clothing mishaps in the old western were considered to much more common by the late 1960s. The cover illustrator is not identified, but I suspect it was from the Spanish syndicated art agency Nova Bossa. Despite the cover, the content was fairly tame, especially by early 1970s standards.
Two Guns To Sourwater was written by Roger Norris-Green under his Cole Shelton pseudonym. The cover was done by Spanish artist Rafael Cortiella. See more information at my earlier post here: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-cleveland-westerns/
I also did a follow-up post on Cleveland Westerns here: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-more-early-australian-pulp-westerns-from-cleveland/