Sep 10, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 563: The Ringo Kid #11, September 1971 (Western Week, Day 6)

http://www.comics.org/issue/24503/

In stark contrast to yesterday's comic, this one is almost exclusively about a hyper masculine man wandering around a desert shooting at people. But I wouldn't go so far as to say it's stereotyped. The Ringo Kid seems never to shoot to kill. He instead uses his weapons to disarm, to deter deadly violence with a less final brand. Which, really, is kind of cool. It would be easy, given the very traditional set up of a rogue with a heart of gold dispensing justice in the "Old West," to simply have Ringo kill everyone he came across. It worked for Clint Eastwood, right? Instead, we have a conflicted character, one who recognizes the savagery of his situation, but refuses to become savage himself.

One of the stories is even about Ringo and his problematic Native American sidekick befriending a young boy and helping him to not be picked on by all the other children at school. To accomplish this, they show up at the school and take him camping and hunting with Dull Knife's brothers. There's no outlaws, no horse chases - just two people helping out a troubled little boy.

The Ringo Kid offers another nice glimpse into the different kinds of stories one can tell in the Western genre. Onward!

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