Frank Humphris

Jeff Arnold in Riders of the RangeA portrait of Jeff Arnold from Riders of the Range, 13th May 1955, as drawn by Frank Humphris:

Frank HumphrisFrank took over the strip "Jeff Arnold in Riders of the Range". Eagle had always had some form of Western, and Riders of the Range had been running for a year or two before Frank took it over. The story was written by Charles Chilton, who also wrote for the BBC. Frank quickly established his own style and continued for several years, before the big upheavals that went with the change of publisher. Riders of the Range was stopped, and for a while Frank was not used by Eagle, but he was brought back to draw 'Blackbow the Cheyenne'. This was a much weaker strip, tho, and for a time went thru the supernatural fads that had gripped the then editor of Eagle.

His style became darker and more elaborate as time went by, as shown in this excerpt from The Last of the Fighting Cheyenne, which was based on true events. This particular half page was published on 12th August 1961.

Frank HumphrisJeff Arnold was axed by the new management not long after this. Humphris was not used by Eagle for a while, and then was brought back for Blackbow the Cheyenne. The plot centred round a doctor who had been reared by Indians as a boy, and whenever mysterious events occurred, he would disappear into his alter ego, Blackbow, and set out to right wrongs. Quite a few of the stories suffered from the supernatural element introduced by Eagle's last editor.

Blackbow - 24th August 1963. Frank had lost heart by this stage though - as had too many other Eagle contributors. However, Blackbow remained through to the end as one of the more 'traditional' strips.