I found this really really tattered book in a junk store, or maybe it was in the trash, a long time ago and always loved it. B-movie Western indeed. As I took it off the shelf to scan, it fell apart. This cowpoke is on his last legs. His repeater ain't goin' to be repeatin' for long.

Click on the dude to see him blazin' his guns even bigger.

The author, Lee Floren, was a slightly prolific writer in the Western genre, though apparently not a good one. He also had a penchant for writing bad soft-porn under the name Matt Harding. To see an example of his writing, if you aren't convinced that such a cheesy cover wasn't for a bad two-bit novelist, click here to see a complete story in the June 29, 1952 The Deseret News Magazine out of Salt Lake City, Utah (and yes, that's the correct spelling). Happy reading!

As to the company that published this gem:
Hillman Periodicals

Hillman Periodicals was an American magazine and comic book publishing company founded in 1938 by Alex L. Hillman, a former New York City book publisher. It is best known for its true confession and true crime magazines; for the long-running general-interest magazine Pageant; and for comic books including Air Fighters Comics and its successor Airboy Comics, which launched the popular characters Airboy and The Heap.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Hillman competed with Bernarr Macfadden and Fawcett Publications by publishing comics, true confessions magazines (Real Story, Real Confessions, Real Romances) and crime magazines (Crime Detective, Real Detective, Crime Confessions).

In 1948 Hillman began publishing paperback books. There were several series of abridged mystery and western novels published in the larger 'digest' size. The long running Hillman paperbacks first appeared in 1948 and lasted until 1961.

Pageant and Airboy
In 1944, Hillman launched a digest-sized, general-interest, "slick" (glossy paper) magazine, Pageant, with an initial print run of 500,000 copies. To obtain the paper during World War II wartime rationing, Hillman ended his detective magazines and comics, which together brought in a $250,000 annual profit. He returned to comics in 1946, resuming some titles from the earlier series.

Like most comic book publishers during the period fans and historians called the Golden Age of comic books, Hillman's titles included costumed superheroes. As trends in the comic book market changed, the focus shifted more to crime fiction/detective stories (Crime Detective Comics, Real Clue Crime Stories), and Westerns (Dead-Eye Western Comics and Western Fighters). Hillman's most notable character, continuing in new stories by another publisher, Eclipse Comics, in the 1980s, was the aviator-adventurer Airboy in Air Fighters Comics and its successor, Airboy Comics.

Later years
Hillman ceased publishing comic books in 1953, while continuing to launch such new magazines as Homeland and People Today, while also distributing Freeman, a journal of right-wing opinion. Amid a 1953 battle for control of directors and editors, Hillman announced his resignation as the Freeman treasurer because "it has been almost impossible for the past six months to run the magazine".

The following year, Hillman said he was thinking about launching a "conservative Republican" morning newspaper in Washington, D.C., but nothing came of it.

Hillman sold Pageant to Bernarr Macfadden Macfadden in April 1961, and the magazine continued until 1977.

Alex L. Hillman
Publisher Alex L. Hillman was a noted art collector who initially developed an interest in the field when he was a book publisher, commissioning artists to illustrate new editions of classic literature. He was married to Rita Hillman. He began his collection with such American painters as Raphael Soyer and Preston Dickenson, and expanded it to included impressionist and other painters. He eventually established the Alex Hillman Family Foundation, a private foundation in Manhattan, to oversee the collection. Gary A. Reynolds, curator of the Alex Hillman Family Foundation, died July 23, 1990 at the age of 40. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
I've always hoped I'd find other books in the series because it's just so hokey, type and all. So far, nada.


  1. Seriously? A soft-porn writer named Matt Hardon, I mean Harding! Hoo boy! Shoot-em-up is right! LOL

    Uh, feel free to delete this if I'm a little too porny for you! ;)

  2. Probably the best thing this guy ever wrote...his pseudonym.

  3. The cover boy is quite cute though!