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Comic Strip / Rick O'Shay

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Rick O'Shay is a newspaper comic strip in The Western genre, which ran from 1958 to 1981. It tells the adventures of Sheriff Rick O'Shay and the other punnily-named residents of his corner of the Wild West, including the gunslinger Hipshot Percussion and the dance-hall owner Gaye Abandon.

Created by Stan Lynde; later taken over by Marian Dern (wife of Chuck Jones) as writer and Alfredo Alcala and Mel Keefer as artists.

This comic strip provides examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: Hipshot is substantially more cynical than Rick, or for that matter any other regular character.
  • Exty Years from Publication: When the Retool pushed the setting back a century, it pushed it back exactly a century, from 1969 to 1869.
  • Fastest Gun in the West: Deconstructed with a man rumored to be the fastest shot in the west, whom everyone fears. He really is lighting fast, but did you really think you can shoot that fast and have good aim at the same time?
  • The Gunslinger: Hipshot Percussion.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: One strip has Hipshot, hungover after a rousing New Year's Eve celebration, complaining that his cat is stomping around too loudly.
  • Miss Kitty: Gaye Abandon is the family-friendly version.
  • Punny Name: Most of the cast.
  • Retool: In 1969. Before, it was an outright humor comic with cartoony art set in the present day. Afterward, it was set in the 19th century and, while still having comedic elements, turned into more of a western adventure/drama strip with more realistic art.
  • Scenery Porn: Some Sundays, Lynde would take advantage of the larger page and color to have the characters admire gorgeous Western mountain landscapes.
  • The Sheriff: Rick is officially only a deputy sheriff (the town isn't large enough to qualify for an actual sheriff, supposedly), but otherwise he fits the trope.
  • Tagalong Kid: Quyat Burp.
  • Tipis and Totem Poles: The supporting cast includes an Indian tribe, led by Chief Horse's Neck, who dress in Braids, Beads and Buckskins and have an ambivalent relationship with the encroachment of white man's civilization.
  • The Trap Parents: Done with Quyat, who was found wandering in the forest as a small child. A man shows up claiming to be the kid's father, but is actually an outlaw who killed Quyat's father over a treasure map, only to find that Quyat and the map had both disappeared; having now tracked Quyat down, he wants to get Quyat to remember where the map was hidden.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Played for laughs in one strip where a foreman reports to his boss that all the men have walked off work to go listen to Moonglow sing. The boss chews him out for not stopping them, demanding to know what sort of foreman he is. The foreman protests that he's a very good foreman for coming back to report it - why, he wanted to go listen to Moonglow too!
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The strip's second writer, Marian Dern, was the wife of Chuck Jones. One strip has a tiny, realistically drawn road runner zip past in front of Rick, followed by a coyote. Rick muses the coyote's never going catch that ol' road runner.