Pat Boyette became much more to me than a comic book artist and writer whose work I had long admired. He grew to be a dear friend of mine, a sage voice for me.

I met Pat Boyette in late 1993. When David Spurlock started his VANGUARD PRODUCTIONS comics/magazine/book line, I often helped him, in those early years, by assisting on production, promotion, copy-editing, and other chores. David was showcasing top-flight magazine illustrators and comic book talents in his TALES FROM THE EDGE comic book title. In this title, David either reprinted underexposed, hard-to-find "gems", or debuted intensely personal (and thus unseen in the staid, traditional illustration markets) projects that the creators were eager to see diplayed for public distribution. The initial concept for the TALES FROM THE EDGE title was to combine the modern cutting-edge illustrators such as Barron Storey, Marshall Arisman, Bill Sienkiewicz, George Pratt, etc., legends in the editorial realm of magazine illustration, with the more traditional and mainstream graphic storytelling by comic book veterans such as Pat Boyette, Wally Wood, and Howard Nostrand (often through reprints). Bridging this mix was to be David Spurlock's own quasi-retro 1950s-styled space-western series, RICK MONTANA, SPACE COWBOY, which he would draw in a genre-appropriate Williamson/"Fleagle" homage art style.


Working with David, it became a habit of ours to drive from Dallas over to Fort Worth (45 miles away) to visit Pat. Pat was lettering the SPACE COWBOY stories for David, and David was also reprinting Pat's STINGER RAYstories which had originally been printed in the prozine ADVENTURE ILLUSTRATED (New Media, 1981). As a longtime Boyette fan, starting with the Charlton action hero THE PEACEMAKER and also his macabre Warren magazine work, I eagerly leapt at these occasions to visit Pat.

               Peacemaker #6, pg.8
                    (unpublished)

I was excited, but also somewhat anxious about meeting him on our first trip. Pat welcomed me as a friend, and soon awed me with his wide-ranging, free-wheeling discussions on comics work, anecdotes of his careers in radio, TV, and film, tales of Texas history, comparative religion, and his life's history.

With all his attributes, the aspects of Pat's personality that were most irresistable were the feelings of generous acceptance, and creative playfulness that flowed from him. He was truly a Renaissance Man of communications and entertainment media, and refreshingly, he remained unjaded, and was the most down to earth, unassuming gentleman you could ever hope to meet. To know him really WAS to love him! A hale fellow well met! Far from retiring, Pat was still vitally interested in the current and future developments in the comics industry and especially in the promising new talents. As a result, he maintained extensive phone contacts with many of his cartooning peers.

As an example, the first time that I ever saw Paul Pope's (then little known) work was as a photocopied work-in-progress segment of his THE BALLAD OF DR. RICHARDSON graphic novel at Pat's apartment. Pat was providing feedback to Paul on his work in progress (as were Robin Snyder, Steve Ditko, and Robert Kanigher!) and he was fired up by the promise, freedom, and uniqueness of Paul's work (which were traits that were shared by Boyette). He saw great things in Paul's work and as a result of his enthusiasm, I followed Paul Pope's work closely thereafter.

At this time, Pat's wife, Betty, was seriously ill with emphysema, and he would periodically excuse himself from conversation in his art room to tend to her in a back bedroom. I never got to meet Betty in person, but I was close by as Pat cared for her, ( with help from their daughter Melissa and her family). His love for Betty is eternal.

Pat himself was, sadly, also in declining health.He too, had serious lung problems. Despite all these burdens, he was more than capable of providing lively friendship and conversation, and had a spellbinding presence as a great storyteller, (aided in this regard by his radio-trained baritone voice).

After Betty passed away, Pat would occasionally host wonderful artist get-togethers with Buddy Saunders, Kerry Gammill, Don Punchatz, Michael H. Price, David Spurlock, Roger Huebner, Steve Erwin, Kenneth Smith, Dave Karlen and myself in attendance. A lot of lively shop talk ensued!

             
             (left to right) SF illustrator Don Ivan Punchatz, Pat Boyette, art              collector Dave Karlen, author Don Mangus, comic book artist              Kerry Gammill, Lone Star Comics owner and Texas fan legend
             Buddy Saunders, and comic book artist Steve Erwin
             Photo by Roger Huebner

As mentioned earlier, Pat also maintained telephone (which Toth termed "the longhorn") and written contact with his other cartooning peers and friends such as Tom Sutton, Robin and Lady Robin Snyder, Jim Amash, Gray Morrow, Alex Toth, Frank Thorne, Jim Steranko and many others.

I started an index of Pat Boyette comic book work sometime in
1994, which soon grew very large. I know it is not complete and the size of his ouvre is quite astounding when you realize that Pat did not even BEGIN his comic book career until he was 43 years old! I tried to interview him on many occasions about his life's works, but it was very hard to get him to retell his stories "for the record", as he was ever mindful and cautious not to say anything even remotely negative about his peers and acquaintances. I suppose his years of experience as a newsman himself made him wary of what might be
 misattributed to him in print or possibly misquoted.
Boyette, like his good friend Alex Toth,
loved to doodle layouts and lighting
schemes.


Each time I would visit him, Pat would reveal another astounding facet of his creativity. A movie script or two or three would appear, storyboards for animated cartoons, Hanna-Barbera funny animal pages for the foreign market, recordings of Pat’s eerie “unnatural phenomenon” radio series, “THE STENDEK REPORT” (which were based on “true stories” of such things as UFOs, Pyramids , etc.), a video tape of his horror movie “DUNGEON OF HARROW”, video tapes of TV broadcasts of Texas history with Pat as the narrator host, and on and on, there was always something new and impressive.

Pat was THE multi-media storyteller! He cherished most his unadulterated creative freedom. In comics he could write, draw, ink, paint, and letter, do a “turn-key” job, as he described it to me. But his expertise went beyond even that. He understood printing technology, publicity, and promoting. Pat refined the “blue line” comic book coloring process into the “gray line” process. Matt Wagner at Comico Comics was among those who utilized this Boyette refinement on Comico's then state-of-the-art coloring. He found a color separator in Texas who was able to deliver the separations at such a price that Charlton could begin to use painted covers. He had plans for a production house that were eventually scuttled by an unscrupulous partner. That betrayal hurt him deeply.
                                                                    Pat used his grayline coloring                                                                     process for this Ace Comics' Robin                                                                     Red and the Lutins cover.


Pat was so much more than a comic book artist. As a young lad he got into radio as a local soap opera actor. He learned the ropes of radio production and made the decision to become a broadcast newsman at San Antonio’s WAOI. During World War II he worked as a cryptographer. After the war he returned to radio as newscaster.When TV began as new medium, he jumped headlong into that field. Pat became impassioned while exploring those opportunities and was soon a well known TV news anchorman in San Antonio. He also produced a daytime talk show, a puppet show, and produced TV commercials, all in addition to his anchor work.Somehow in 1954-55 he found the time to produce a syndicate newspaper strip, “CAPTAIN FLAME”, a western adventure strip for Charlie Plumb’s (“ELLA CINDERS”) syndicate.

Pat left broadcasting feeling he didn’t have the drive or desire for it anymore, he had said all he had to say, the medum wasn’t fun any more. Pat had tried his hand at being a low budget film maker in the manner of Roger Corman. He made the “DUNGEON OF HARROW” (1964) and described it as the most fun he had ever had. The films were stymied by “creative acounting” by distributors. Finally Pat was forced to concede that he couldn’t make a financial go of it. A tragic fire in 1962 destroyed much of his archives, including many originals given to him by his close friend Jack Kent (KING AROO).

Pat decided to draw comics. He submitted samples to Charlton and they liked them, but he was told, he would have to wait a year before they could actually give him any work due to a massive inventory of completed stories. Finally, Dick Giordano began sending him scripts. Pat loved the freedom at Charlton and there was plenty of work. Just grab a new story and jump in. He really admired the prolific Joe Gill’s scripts and told me that Steve Skeates scripts were a pleasure to work from, they were like good radio plays. When Giordano went to work for DC, Pat was called in to save a BLACKHAWKS

          Fightin' Marines #110 cover       de
adline. Reed Crandall was slated to draw the story but illness prevented him from complet-ing the assignment. Pat drew and lettered the whole book in ten days. He did a similar quick fix job on an issue of Charlton's PETER CANNON, THUNDERBOLT.

Pat bristled though, about the numerous “petty” art corrections that DC editors such as Murray Boltinoff demanded, so he returned to Charlton and creative freedom. He also relished his work for Warren and experimented with wash tones and other techniques. Pat broke into Warren by pencilling (uncredited) THE RESCUE OF THE MORNING MAID ( CREEPY # 18, 1/68) for his friend Rocke Mastroserio. Rocke died midway through another job and so Pat phoned Warren who encouraged him to finish that job and submit others.
                                                                            Vampirella #16, pg. 1

The list of comic book companies and projects could go on for a long while but special mention should be made of a few favorites of Pat's: Charlton’s “SPOOKMAN” (CHARLTON PREMIERE # 1, 9/67) , his self-published COSMIC BOOK, ACE Comics' ROBIN RED AND THE LUTINS, TREASURE ISLAND and THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO done for First Comics' CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED revamp, his story for EPIC Magazine, a few stories for Atlas/Seaboard’s WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE and his graphic novel about Texas History, DAYS OF GLORY.
                                                                                                 Storyboard breakdown script of Treasure                                       
 
 Island
for Classics Illustrated.                                            
             

The day before he passed away, Buddy Saunders, Don Maris and I made a heavy-hearted journey to visit Pat in the ICU ward in Ft. Worth. He was unconscious, but nonetheless, we took one last opportunity to tell him how much we loved him, how much joy his work has brought to us, and finally, we said a silent prayer for our friend before leaving.

Fandom Tributes:

I now present these email tributes to Pat Boyette that I received shortly after his passing on January 14, 2000. They were sent out on various internet list-serves by a few of his comic book fans:

This was the email announcement of Pat's passing from Don Mangus: It is with a heavy heart that I report my friend Pat Boyette (1923-2000) passed away today, Friday, January 14th, 2000, at 2:00 PM in Fort Worth after a lengthy struggle with illness. Anyone who ever met Pat knows what a wonderful person we have lost.
Adios Pat, I miss you already.
--Your friend, Don


From THE COMICS publisher Robin Snyder:
Dear, dear Pat Boyette. His rich, golden voice and rugged individualism will resonate for years, continuing to inspire me.        --Robin             

 
 Pat drew this amusing logo for Robin Snyder's UNDER THE GUN letter column.

From well known comics art collector and legendary fan Charlie Roberts:
Hello Don, Really sorry to hear about Pat. As I grow older, the hardest part becomes losing good friends along the way. Some 20 years ago I decided to let my friends know they were friends, to let them know they were appreciated and loved. I've got 5 or 6 REALLY good friends in comic fandom ......yes , you ARE one of them ! Life REALLY is a lot shorter than we think, and memories of good times with friends far outweigh any negatives in life. Look at Charles Schulz.......here's one of the most decent people who ever lived on this planet. He gave away art, money to charity, etc.. etc.. and now he's got SERIOUS health problems. I don't understand this, The Holocaust, racism , or so many other things BUT we can only go forward and maybe treat the next stranger we meet a little kinder. As to artists, my wife and I were great friends of Vin Sullivan's , and it was really tough when he passed away. We're good friends with the Burnley, Flessel, and Moldoff families and they're sure not getting any younger. Nor are we Don. Hang in there, and remember the good times you had with Pat.
--Sincerely, Charlie

From ACE COMICS and FANDOM CONFIDENTIAL publisher Ron Frantz:
Out of all the of people I have known in the comic book business, I had the highest personal regard for Pat Boyette. I have known few people, anywhere, that had his warmth, kindness, and gentle good humor. He was a wonderful man and I was proud to call him friend. I share your grief, Don.
--Ron Frantz


Another note from Ron Frantz:
Dear Friends: Yesterday evening, I was saddened to learn that Pat Boyette had passed away. A funny thing about death is that no matter how many times it happens to people that you know and love, a person never gets used to it. For a matter of minutes, I sat there in a state of stunned silence, unable to believe the news. A few minutes earlier, I had come inside the house with armload of firewood. It gets cold here in the mountains of Arkansas. When hearing the news about Pat, I remember something he wrote in the first issue of THE COSMIC BOOK. He spoke of hearing about the death of death of Wally Wood, and said: "We all felt the cold". I know now, how Pat must have felt. As I write these words, I am still feeling the cold. Pat Boyette was a wonderful man. I had known him for over twenty years. When I was publishing my line of ACE Comics back in the late 80s, I had the         pleasure of working with him on several projects: SPENCER SPOOK, ROBIN RED AND THE LUTINS and THE COSMIC BOOK.

Pat's self-published comic with Wally
Wood's last story and a tribute to his
late friend.

Pat was absolutely delightful to work with. I remember one time
when Pat was working on the second or third issue of SPENCER SPOOK. He had called to tell me that one of the animation studios had offered him a rush job doing storyboards for an episode of "The Real Ghostbusters." It was a job that paid VERY well. The problem, as Pat saw it, is that if he took the job, he wouldn't be able to meet his deadline on SPENCER SPOOK. The way Pat put it was this: "If being late on SPENCER SPOOK. creates a problem for you, I will turn down the animation job." Hardly anyone would have done such a gracious thing. My instant reaction was, "Good Lord, NO!" I told Pat to call those animation people instantly before they had a chance to change their mind. The world would not come to an end if SPENCER SPOOK. was a week or two late showing up at the comic book shops. The thing that stands out most in my memory was Pat's professionalism and his sense of integrity. Pat Boyette was the kind of man who everyone seemed to like. I think the reason for this is that Pat genuinely cared about other people and their problems. He was a friend to everyone. But above all, anyone who ever worked with Pat admired his talent and abilities. I am now going to share something that Steve Ditko had written to me, following the publication of SPENCER SPOOK. #1 (Ace, 10/86) which, of course, Pat had penciled, inked, and lettered: "That SPENCER SPOOK.was great! Pat has a nice humor touch. It had a crowded content material, a convention, but he kept nicely to the essentials, the main ideas. It made everything clear and smooth flowing. I thought Wally Wood was the master of this kind of presentation in comics. I'm ready to make Pat the new king." It was high praise, indeed. And Pat deserved every bit of it. I am hopeful that comic fans will remember Pat. He deserves to be remembered. --Ron Frantz

From super-sophisticated fan Steve Cohen:
Hi, Don! You know I am a big fan of the late Mr. Boyette. Pat's art entertained me in the Charlton comics from CHILDREN OF DOOM and THE SPOOKMAN in CHARLTON PREMIERE to THE PEACEMAKER and the ghost stories and THE PHANTOM and then BLACKHAWK at DC. I loved THE COSMIC BOOK when Ron Frantz put that out as well, and oh yeah, KORG 70,000 B.C. from Charlton too. I never met Pat, but I will miss him.
--Steve Cohen


From old- time fan/dealer and comics historian bob beerbohm: One of my top 10 comic book stories of all time was the CHILDREN OF DOOM Charlton story that Pat did. I always enjoyed his work when I read it.
--bob beerbohm

From super-indexer and writer Lou Mougin:
Amen, bubba...that { CHARLTON PREMIERE # 2 (11/67): CHILDREN OF DOOM ] was one of the best SF stories in comics. Denny O'Neil, who wrote it, seemed to do better work on such stuff for Charlton...I remember his flying saucer two-parter for SPACE ADVENTURES, which Pat also worked on. Prime stuff. --Lou

From CHARLTON SPOTLIGHT publisher Michael E. Ambrose:
Ron Frantz called me last night to tell me the sad news of Pat Boyette's passing. I loved Boyette's Charlton work in the late 60s and throughout the 70s, all the wonderfully strange, baroque spook stories and his unique take on The Phantom. His Warren stories in the early 70s were truly inspired. I know he hadn't done much comics work in the last decade, and that's a damned shame. If anyone hasn't yet ordered his NIGHTSTAND CHILLERS collection that came out from Vanguard Productions a couple years ago [ TALES FROM THE EDGE# 13 (11/98): Pat Boyette Special: Nightstand Chillers], I urge you do so without delay.                                                                   Ghost Manor #30, pg. 5                 

From apa-I central mailer Ray Bottorff Jr:
As a kid Pat Boyette's art was some of the best I had ever seen. It had great mood and beautiful verse in its language. I cannot recall reading anything that I did not enjoy. I want to mention one little item that sticks out to me. When the Hamilton folks lost the Disney license a decade ago, they made their attempt at doing other comics, amongst those were their two magazine-sized horror titles, GRAVE TALES and DREAD OF NIGHT. They made a fine attempt at the genre, I thought. And they also made a fine selection in having Pat do some of the stories. I always thought the books were underrated and regretfully short lived. But it did remind me how much I loved Pat's work over the years. And, as I look over Jerry Bail's WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN COMIC BOOKS list of the work he did over the years, I am reminded of how much his art was part of my youth. All of it beautiful. I am glad to hear that an artist I loved as a kid, was also a good man. That is really nice to know. My best to Pat, his memory & to those whom loved him.
--Ray Bottorff Jr

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...
Here are some of my all-time favorite Boyette comics works:

Blackhawk: 242 & 243 (One of the all time great “art saves” in comics history) [DC]

Black Hood: 2 [Red Circle/Archie]

Charlton Premiere: 1 (“Spookman”!), 2 (“Children of Doom"!) & 4 [Charlton]

Classics Illustrated : 17 (“Treasure Island”!) & 23 (“Robinson Crusoe”!) [First]

Cosmic Book: 1 ( a beauty!) [Ace]

Creepy (magazine): 18, 22, 33 (includes a Boyette biography), 35, 37 & 39 [Warren]

Eerie (magazine): 15, 28, 30, & 33 [Warren]

Epic Illustrated
(magazine): 19 (“Survivor”, fantastic painted SF art) [Epic/Marvel}

Fightin’ Five: 40 & 41 (first “Peacemaker” as back-ups) [Charlton]

Flash Gordon: 14-18 [Charlton]

Ghost Manor: 12, 19, 24, 25, 26, 29(!), 30, 31, 43, 51, 60, 61, & 77 [Charlton]

Ghostly Tales: 59, 62, 68, 70, 72, 73, 75 & 114 [Charlton]

Grave Tales (magazine): 1 [Gladstone]

Haunted: 9, & 47 [Charlton]

Jungle Jim: 23-26 & 28 [Charlton]

Korg 70,000 B.C.: (A personal favorite series of Pat’s) 1-9 [Charlton]

Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves: 1 (rare Boyette inks on Ditko!), 2, 4-8, 10 20, 52 [Charlton]


                                                                          Ghostly Tales
#114, pg. 3

Mediascene
(newspaper magazine) : 40 (“Sinbad and Genie pin-up”) [Supergraphics]

Monsters Attack (magazine): 1 & 3 [Globe Communications]

Nightmare (magazine): 6 (“The Geek”, a PB classic!) [Skywald]

Outer Space: 1 [Charlton]

Peacemaker: 1-5 [Charlton]

Phantom: 39-59 [Charlton]

Psycho (magazine): Fall Special 1974 [Skywald]

Robin Red and the Lutins: 1 & 2 (a whimsical S &S tale, fun!) [Ace]

Shadows From Beyond: 50 (Boyette’s first comic book work, 10/66) [Charlton]

Sorcery: 9 & 11 [RedCircle/Archie]

Space Adventure: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, & 13 [Charlton]
                                                                                    Peacemaker #3
                                                                            (my first Boyette comic!)

Tales From the Edge: 2, 3. 4, & 13 (# 13--“Nightstand Chillers”--all Boyette!) [Vanguard]

Thunderbolt: 57, 59, & 60 (by PAM’s request, another great “art save”!) [Charlton]

Unexpected: 112, 113, & 116 (Boyette fled DC after too many art correction requests!) [DC]

Vampirella (magazine): 16 [Warren]

Weird Suspense: 1, 2 & 3 (“The Tarantula") [Atlas/Seaboard]

Weird Tales of the Macabre (magazine): 1 & 2 [Atlas/Seaboard]

Witching Hour: 1, 4 & 5 [DC]


Comic Book Pennames:

Sam Swell, Patrick, Bruce Lovelace, and Alexander Barnes


Winner of the San Diego Con Inkpot Award 1980


© 2003
by Don Mangus
MangoPress@aol.com

Film Credits:

Dungeon of Harrow (1964)- Director, Screenwriter (credited to Henry Garcia), Narration

 
The leprous, cackling mad Countess de Sade (Eunice Grey), resplendent in her white wedding gown, hungerly embraces her shipwrecked captive lover, Aaron Fallon (Russ Harvey). He is cursed to a nuptial night steeped in horror. Boyette's Poe-like narration bespeaks of lurid, taboo passions that consume the family de Sade's flesh.

                                         
               The Weird Ones (1962)                     The Girls from Thunder Strip (1966)
 Director, Producer & Screenwriter                               Screenwriter                

                    also: No Man's Land (1964)- Associate Producer                         

  

About the author:

Don Mangus had the great fortune to know the legendary Pat Boyette not just as a talented artist, but as a close friend. Don's heartfelt tribute provides a great overview of an amazing career and is a touching memorial from one of Boyette's most knowledgeable fans.

for more information on Pat Boyette, please visit:

Mark Evanier's

 

Marty Baumann's

 

and...