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Slim and Tex

Slim and Tex are cowboys on the Triple X Ranch, vying for the attention of Miss Helen, the daughter of the ranch owner.  They may just be young, but they certainly behave like teenagers, pulling pranks on each other, and constantly hitting each other, though they are clearly the best of friends (or more, they walk off arm in arm at the end of one instalment, and in another we see that they share a bed).  The first five stories are all self-contained little situation comedies, though the art style is clearly in the “serious western” genre

In issue 9 the ranch falls into financial trouble, and Miss Helen takes charge, cleaning it up with the intent of turning it into a “dude ranch,”, though the cowboys are not keen on the idea.  In issue 10 their first two guests arrive, a British tourist, Algernon T. Entwhistle, and a shy American girl, Grace Fowler. In 11 we discover that Algernon is in reality a private detective hired to protect Grace, and see gangsters plotting to kidnap her.  There is no longer any trace of the light-hearted comedy of the early part of the run.

The series is basically dropped at this point.  There is only one final chapter, appearing in issue 15, which aims for high drama as the kidnappers show up and grab Grace.  Slim tries to defend her but gets shot (and sure looks dead), and an enraged Tex follows the trail of their car back to their hide-out.

As it ends, Tex is about to burst in on them, but is making so much noise that the bad guys are ready for him.  My guess is that Tex gets killed as he comes through the door, and that’s why there are no further adventures of Slim and Tex, cowboys, friends and closeted gay lovers.

Slim and Tex:  New Comics 4 – 11 (Apr – Dec 36)

New Adventure Comics  15  (May 37)

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