Head Games


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You’d think the comic-book adventures of a boy who lives on a ranch would be wholesome enough, but few magazines published in the early 1950s were entirely free of the influence exerted by the incredibly lucrative horror and true-crime genres.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see a surfeit of shrunken heads, a woman in bondage, and a grossly misshapen villain wielding a sharp knife featured prominently on the cover of Bobby Benson’s B-Bar-B Riders #14.

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(The presence of the original Ghost Rider on the upper left-hand corner of the comic is another hint that Bobby Benson isn’t your run-of-the-mill Western mag.)

The corresponding story isn’t quite as lurid, but is close enough to the mark that it’s a wonder Fredric Wertham never set his gaze upon its unwholesome contents.

If nothing else, the not-so-good doctor might have enjoyed the stellar art of Dick Ayers.

“The Head-Hunter Of Pirate’s Peak” originally appeared in Bobby Benson’s B-Bar-B Riders #14 (Magazine Enterprises, 1952). The art is by Ayers.

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