Bullseye #4

Bullseye #4 (February 1955), pencils and inks by Jack Kirby

The cover prominently includes the target in its design, as do all the Bullseye covers. The original art for this cover still exists. However apparently the top of the original art had been cut off (probably by Simon and Kirby to be recycled for another cover). In cases like that it is common that the art would be restored by adding a stat of the missing piece but in this case the entire top section was inked by hand. The restorer did a good job with the lettering but pretty much botched up the small figure of Bullseye throwing a tomahawk.

Like the last issue, this one has two Kirby penciled and inked Bullseye stories. As I mentioned before this was much more Kirby than any other Mainline title.

Bullseye #4 (February 1955) “The Pinto People”, pencils and inks by Jack Kirby

A wounded man seriously in need of medical attention, an Indian warrior desperately seeking a rifle, an Indian tribe that runs with their horses not on them, and two villains out for what they thought would be an easy score. This is a very imaginative but rather meandering tale. It would seem to me that this story has more of Kirby and less of Simon than usual. Some readers may like that others may not.

Bullseye #4 (February 1955) “The Pinto People” page 3, pencils and inks by Jack Kirby

Not only faster than their horses, the Pinto braves never stop running. You even have to lasso one down in order to have a discussion. I am not sure why they have the horses to begin with or where they are running to. For that matter where are the rest of the tribe? But the story moves so fast and the art is so terrific that chances are the reader does not even get around to be bothered with all of that.

Bullseye #4 (February 1955) “Doom Town”, pencils and inks by Jack Kirby

“Doom Town” is a more classic Simon and Kirby story. Here our hero is accompanied by an unusual creation, Major Calamity. A magnet to bad luck so disastrous that people either want to kill him or flee. But Major Calamity is not the villain of the story that dishonor goes to Big Red Devlin. Only Major Calamity can save the town, with of course Bullseye’s help. What follows is pure Simon and Kirby. Plenty of action, a great fight and a touch of humor. Fortunately this story has been reprinted in “The Best of Simon and Kirby”.

Bullseye #4 (February 1955) “Ghost Town Ambush”, art by unidentified artist

No sooner that the Sheriff Shorty feature gets introduced than its place is taken by another story. (Do not worry Sherriff Shorty will be back.) Frankly “Ghost Town Ambush” is a pretty poor replacement. I do not know who the artist is but he really is not all that good. If anything the writing is even worse. It tries to use all the cliches but nothing seems to work. A one point a villain on a horse sneaks up behind a sentry all the time saying out loud what he is doing. Boy some sentry. All in all this is surely the most forgettable story in the entire Bullseye title.

Bullseye #4 (February 1955) “Ghost Town Ambush” page 7, art by unidentified artist

Why such a clinker? Well the lettering provides a clue. That first letter in the captions is often enlarged and colored. While Howard Ferguson often used that device when working for Simon and Kirby it was not used by his replacement Ben Oda. Its appearance in “Ghost Town Ambush” suggests that this story was not actually produced by Simon and Kirby. This was the time that the comic book industry was starting to crash. Simon and Kirby picked up some

5 thoughts on “Bullseye #4

  1. Marty Erhart

    Is it just me or do the Pinto People, Major Calamity and Big Red Devlin remind you too of Fighting American’s off-the-wall characters/villains? Though there has been humor in previous issues these really go over the top! Wish S&K had done more westerns. They sure seemed to enjoy them! Will all of the Bullseye stories be reprinted in a future “Best of Simon & Kirby” volume? And what about Boys’ Ranch? Any chance of that being included? (I have a copy of the Boys’ Ranch reprint volume from years ago but the reproduction and coloring leave a lot to be desired.)

  2. Harry Post author


    Humor always played a part in Simon and Kirby productions, but in the Fighting American it seem to go to a new level. Where else would you see the hero get a swift kick in the pants? But you are right that some of the this extra humor does seem to get into Bullseye as well.

    So far Titan have announced crime, horror and romance volumes for the Simon and Kirby library but you got to think that if these books are successful enough other books might be considered. And the theme of my series is how desperately a reprint of Bullseye is needed. Including it with Boys’ Ranch would, in my opinion, be desireable.

  3. nick caputo

    I can’t positively identify the artist of “Ghost Town Ambush” but the work does remind me of Charles Nicholas, whose style was very stiff. Nicholas did a lot of work for Charlton over the years, coupled with Vince Alascia.

  4. Harry Post author

    While it is true that Charles Nicholas was an alias initially it was used by those drawing Blue Beetle. As you said that included Kirby. But in latter years two artists that worked on the Blue Beetle continued to use the alias, or at least claim credit for creating the Blue Beetle. One of them worked for the Simon and Kirby studio and that is the gentleman that Nick is referring to.

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