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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

West, Billy. Billy West was created by Cleve Endicott and appeared in 449 stories in Wild West Weekly from 1927 to 1940, beginning with “West of Circle J” (Wild West Weekly, Aug 13, 1927).

Billy West is “the courageous young owner of the Circle J Ranch,” which is located in Twin Rivers, Montana, near the Bitterroot Mountains. West is an excellent shot and expert horseman. He rides the stallion Danger and is assisted by the redheaded young cowboy Joe Scott and Buck “Squaredeal” Foster, a retired government scout and West’s right-hand man. Together the trio are “the fightinest bunch in all of Montana.” West’s sweetheart is Ruth Dawe, part owner of the Circle J. At different times West and the men of the Circle J Ranch meet and team up with the Bar U Twins, Kid Wolf, Pete RiceSonny Tabor, and the Whistlin’ Kid.

* I'm including the Billy West stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their historical importance. The West stories themselves are only adequate, mildly entertaining Westerns. But they ran for thirteen years and almost 450 stories, which granted them a certain fame and prominence in the Western genre. And the tendency by Endicott to drag in nearly every other prominent series character from Wild West Weekly for crossovers meant that the Billy West stories functioned as the center of the great web of the Wild West Weekly Universe, a Marvel Universe/DC Universe-like fictional world full of co-existing characters who were created and written by different authors. Given the prominence of the Billy West stories and Wild West Weekly in the Western genre in the 1920s and 1930s, it can be easily argued that they were a strong influence on the creation of shared universes in the comics, many of whose writers and editors had been and were faithful readers of the pulps.

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