Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Lone Ranger - The Gallows Tree - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1 - Wide two-shot in a grassy patch in the hot, flat savannah.  On the left side of the panel, a gallows tree, somewhat like this:
 .  Silhouetted against the rosy dawn sky, we see that a man stands underneath it's lowest branch, his wrists bound above his head and lashed to the branch with thick rope.  A noose hangs on a nearby limb.  On the right side of the panel, the LONE RANGER stands next to his horse, one hand on his hip, the other hand holds a Bowie knife.


Panels 2 to 5 are staged the same:  foreground is the stubbled and sweaty profile of the HORSE THIEF, background is the LONE RANGER standing close by.

Panel 2 - The LONE RANGER adjusts his hat with the knife as he addresses the THIEF.

LONE RANGER:  You know, out here in the Great Plains of Texas, stealing a horse is a hanging offense.

Panel 3 - The LONE RANGER examines the knife as the THIEF watches nervously.

LONE RANGER:  A man out here, on the frontier, can lose his livelihood, a man could his LIFE, without his horse.  

Panel 4 - The LONE RANGER points the knife at the THIEF's nose.

LONE RANGER:  So I don't reckon you as a thief.  I see you as just another killer.

Panel 5 - The LONE RANGER puts the knife between the THIEF's clenched teeth.

LONE RANGER:  You try and steal MY horse, though...well, things go a bit differently.

Panel 6 - Same two-shot as Panel 1.  The LONE RANGER mounts his horse.  The horse thief still stands bound with the knife between his teeth.

LONE RANGER:  El Paso is a ten-mile hike from here.  If you have the guts to cut yourself down.

Panel 7 - Same as Panel 6, but the sun rises and the LONE RANGER rides into it.

LONE RANGER:  And if you make it, tell them all - 

LONE RANGER:  God gave us firewood, but you still have to gather your own and light it yourself.


  1. I like the call back to the 'code' at the end of the strip.

    The Ranger had a bit of a viciousness to him that you don't normally see. I guess that's what happens if you steal his horse? (or try to)

  2. It's a powerful page for a classic western comic, but it feels a little too sinister for the Lone Ranger to me. But you do manage to make his Code seem slightly badass.

  3. Harrowing page. A classic creeping dread crawls across your scene, capturing the true nature of the old west/new frontier period, where law was a very flexible thing.

    J.D points out that it's a little sinister for the lone Ranger, and whilst I do agree, I couldn't help but be so compelled by your set up and use of the code that it still totally worked for me.


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