Saturday, March 5, 2016

Custom TV Western Cheyenne cards

I've kind of painted myself into a corner with the card numbers on my series of custom TV Western cards.

By designating each card as a particular number within a sub-series dedicated to one program, I've used up all the numbers between the end of Topps' original 1958 card set, which stopped at #71, and the logical end point of #100.

That's not to say I've actually created all 29 cards between #72-100, just that I've assigned all the numbers. In fact, with the completion of this pair of Cheyenne cards, I've completed 14 cards: Three Maverick, two Rawhide, one Rifleman, four Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, two Bat Masterson and now two Cheyenne.

I can envision the day will come when I have to stretch beyond #100 to add some TV Western cards I've got on the back burner. There were so many Western TV shows of which I have fond childhood memories.

And I really enjoy the search and research it has taken me to do the cards I have. 

Because most of the television shows on which my cards are based were filmed in black-and-white, there are not a lot of color photos available that are suitable for creating cards, One a few of my cards I have "lifted" the card pictures from the covers of contemporary comic books. Colorizing some of the b/w photos that are available is also an option, but I'm not sure my skills in that area would prove sufficient t maintain the look I'm striving for,

I also enjoy google-searching the shows, the actors and the characters for my card-back write-ups. I learn a lot about the shows I enjoyed 50+ years ago.

For instance, I did not know that Cheyenne, which ran from 1955-1963 was the first hour-long TV Western, and one of the first hour-long dramas on national television. The program was also the first Warner Brothers studio offering made specifically for the small screen, and that it was so successful that it pulled WB out of a fiscal hole.

It also never registered on me as a kid, that ABC televised Cheyenne in a rotation; first with two non-Westerns in a series titled Warner Brothers Presents. Later, after Clint Walker had held out for a period during 1958-1959 over the distribution of proceeds from personal appearances and the right to make records for studios other than WB, Cheyenne was alternated with two other Westerns, Sugarfoot and Bronco (which I remember only dimly).

It certainly didn't enter my consciousness when the show was current that WB never missed an opportunity to showcase Clint Walker's physique by having Cheyenne take any excuse to strip off his shirt. While it may be studio publicity fudging the figures, Walker is said to have been 6'6" with a 48" chest and 32" waist in his prime.

And, while I can't say just why, it gratifies me to learn that Walker is still alive and participating in Western fan events, autograph signings, etc., as he nears the age of 86.

It will probably be next winter before I get to working on any new TV Western customs, so I hope you enjoy these.

1 comment:

  1. I had read that Warner Brothers used scenes from past movies in the TV show ("Cheyenne" and some others it had produced) . . . from what I have read, these scenes gave a movie "feel" to the television series, and helped to distinguish them from other series that were on at that time . . . when watching the shows, it becomes easy to see these scenes (herds of cattle stampeding seems a common "theme") that were "lifted" from the movies . . .


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