Kirby and Lee created a new Rawhide Kid when the title was revived with issue 17, August 1960. Aided greatly by the original Rawhide Kid's artist, Dick Ayers, on inks, the new Kid was a success - a veritable James Cagney tough-guy in the west. Kirby worked on the strip for 16 issues, pulled away once he became more important on the super-heroes. He was followed by Jack Davis, Dick Ayers, Jack Keller and, for the longest run, Larry Lieber, who wrote and drew the strip continuously (with occasional fill-in stories by Dick Ayers, Werner Roth, and Paul Reinman) from # 42, October 1964, until # 115, April 1973 when it went all-reprint. Rawhide Kid finally rode into the sunset with issue # 151, May 1979.
Rawhide Kid # 20, Feb 1961, Kirby pencils; Dick Ayers inks
Issue #20 was Lee and Kirby's fourth Rawhide Kid issue. Kirby's cover image of the Kid became iconic, used often on pin-ups, a tee-shirt and cover symbol. The cover is a bit awkward in its construction, with the caption appearing between the Kid's foot and the badman. The lettering is also odd, clearly not the work of Artie Simek and not a recognizable style. What is interesting is that another cover was rejected, appearing for the first time (I'm guessing) at the Dutch company Classics/Williams, which also featured the unpublished Kid Colt cover, as seen in my last post.
Rawhide Kid # 136, Nov 1976.
As noted, Rawhide Kid had been a reprint title for a number of years, and the covers alternated between new art, usually by Gil Kane, and reprinted covers. Kirby stories and covers were used beginning with # 134, and while there were some alterations and relettering, they were recognizable as reprinted from the original run. When I first saw this cover I thought it might have been an image taken from the interior, but that was not the case. I was never 100% sure the image wasn't a blow-up from an earlier issue, but when I recently discovered that it appeared as early as 1968, complete with the Black-Jack Borden title, it confirmed that the cover was an unpublished version.
Perhaps I'll find other such discoveries. If so, I'll be sure to share them here.