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Red Ryder was a popular long-running Western comic strip created by Stephen Slesinger and artist Fred Harman. Beginning Sunday, November 6, 1938, Red Ryder was syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association, expanding over the following decade to 750 newspapers, translations into ten languages and a readership in the United States of 14 million. The 26-year run of the strip came to an end in 1964.

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In 1938, when Harman met publisher/comic syndicator Slesinger, he headed toward happier trails. Slesinger brought Harman to New York and worked with him for a year before Red Ryder was ready to be syndicated. Slesinger then embarked on a successful campaign of merchandising and licensing with a seemingly endless parade of comic books, Big Little Books, novels, serial chapters, radio programs, events, rodeos, powwows, commercial tie-ins, and licensed products such as the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun, which remains the longest continuous license in the history of the global licensing industry[citation needed]. The appeal of the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun to youngsters was depicted in the Christmas classic film A Christmas Story, adapted from the autobiographical fiction of Jean Shepherd, by permission of Red Ryder Enterprises, Inc., which owns the Red Ryder trademarks and copyrights.

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Astride his mighty steed Thunder, Red was a tough cowpoke who lived on Painted Valley Ranch in the Blanco Basin of the San Juan Mountain Range with his aunt, the Duchess, and his juvenile sidekick, Little Beaver, who rode his horse, Papoose, when they took off to deal with the bad guys. Little Beaver spoke in the pidgin English now considered an offensive caricature. (Example: “Spinach heap good. Me like’m!”) Other notable characters were ranch hand Buckskin Blodgett, Red’s gal pal Beth, and bad guy Ace Hanlon.

Harman was eventually acclaimed as one of the finest Western pen-and-ink artists, known for his dramatic sense of perspective and authentic action. Contributing artists and writers worked on the strip over the years, including Stephen Slesinger who scripted and approved all of the stories until his death in 1953; Jim Gary, Edmund Good, John Wade (“Johnnie”) Hampton, Robert MacLeod, and Bill Lignanti (of The Palm Restaurant fame). Charlie Dye, Johnnie Hampton, Joe Beeler, and George Phippen were co-founders of the Cowboy Artists of America of which Harman was also a charter member. When Harman left Red Ryder in 1963 to concentrate on his paintings, MacLeod continued writing the story continuity for the strip, with staff artists of Red Ryder Entp., Inc.

Gaylord DuBois, a prolific comic book writer associated with Slesinger, scripted Red Ryder and Little Beaver for a short period in 1938 and again in the early 1940s.

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UPDATE 04-01-2021

Red Ryder 1938 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1939 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1940 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1941 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1942 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1943 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1944 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1945 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1946 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1947 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1948 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1949 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1950 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1951 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1952 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1953 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1954 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1955 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1956 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1957 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1958 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1959 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1960 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1961 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1962 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1963 Sundays

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Red Ryder 1964 Sundays

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UPDATE 03-09-2019

Red Ryder – 1942
Red Ryder – 1943
Red Ryder – 1952
Red Ryder – 1953

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22 strips 1939
18 strips 1940
9 strips 1941
25 strips 1944
13 strips 1945
16 strips 1948
28 strips 1950
43 strips Sundays 1939
23 strips Sundays 1943
11 strips various

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2 responses »

  1. juha k. says:

    Hi!

    When you reorganized red ryder comics to yearly sets, you deleted previous red ryder comics where comic books had of course red ryder strips but also included other comics strips mainly king of the royal mounted and much more.
    Could you bring back red ryder comic – books to your site as an additional source of fun reading.
    Thanking in advance
    juha k.

    Like

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