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ISSUE NO. 829
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Of all the western comic book stories ever produced, RIO stands alone. Why? What's so great about Rio? Well, that's an easy question. The answer is simple: Doug Wildey. That's the name of Rio's sole creator.

Wildey invented the character, wrote all the stories by himself, then pencilled, inked and colored (sometimes painted) every single Rio story -- and sadly, there aren't many. In fact, there are only five! Each one a precious gem.

And of course, we're going to be looking at every one of them in this multi-issue series. Just because I want to. We'll start with the moody portrait of our hero playing poker seen below.
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I realize that not every comic fan is familiar with Doug Wildey and his contributions to our favorite hobby, so we're going to kick off the series by talking about Wildey. The man himself is seen in the photograph below. As you can see, he bears a certain resemblence to his creation, Rio.
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Wildey broke into the field of comic book illustration in the Fifties. Pictured beelow is Willdey's cover of The Outlaw Kid #1, published by Atlas, which would one day become Marvel Comics. To me, it looks like a mixture of Bill Everett and Gil Kane, while showing traces of the refined western look that would become Wildey's trademark. The cross-hatching on the bady guy's shirt is not zip-a-tone -- each and every line was drawn by Wildey.
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Of course, you're familiar with Dave Stevens character, The Rocketeer, but did you know that Stevens and Wildey were great friends? So great that Stevens decided to pay tribute to Wildey with the Rocketeer supporting character Peevy, pictured below, as depicted by Stevens. Look at that face! Basically, Peevy is Doug Wildey!
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Of course, Wildey did plenty of great work outside the western genre, such as the story below, "Within The Torture Chamber," from Nightmare #5...
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OK, so Wildey did early Marvel westerns, and there was a comic character based on him. So what, you may say. Still don't know him, or his work? Well...

Perhaps you've heard of Wildey's most famous creation. He was the star of perhaps the greatest action-adventure cartoon ever made. His name is Johnny Quest! In case you don't know, or forgot, there's Johnny and his cast pictured below, in a model sheet drawn by Wildey. Can you name them? Of course you can! There's Race Bannon, Johnny himself, with his dog, Bandit, his pal Haji, and his father, Dr. Benton Quest.

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Wildey's work on Quest wasn't limited to animation. He also drew the character in his own comic title, published by Comico. Pictured below is a great Johhny Quest comic book cover by Wildey.
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and here's a screen grab from the cartoon...
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If you've never seen Johnny and crew in action, you may not be aware of the extremly high standard this cartoon set for the genre -- making most others look crude by comparison. To see the cartoon's famous opening, click PLAY below. Take a look, look-takers!
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VIDEO CLIP: Johnny Quest opening sequence (2 minutes, 44 seconds).
So that's Doug Wildey and Johnny Quest.

Now -- let's take a look at Rio!

In our next issue, that is...

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Rio in "Satan's Doorstep"
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