At a recent rummage sale, I bought four Cowpoke jokebooks and 25 cents each. If you’re not familiar with the cartoon, it was created in the mid-50’s by Ace Reid. Born in 1925, Reid grew up on a ranch near the northwest texas town of Electra. His cartoon reflects much of his personal experience of seeing the effects of the Great Depression on Texas ranchers. I first encountered Cowpokes in the early 60’s on my grandparents’ bookshelf. In later years (when I was in my ‘teens and twenties, I came to associate it as a un-hip and a hick cartoon. ( What did I know? I was a punk!) Now that I’m older I can appreciate things for what they are. Reid found his nitch and entertained thousands who could relate to the down-on-their-luck cowpokes, Jake and Zeb. Though Reid has passed on, Cowpokes has an official site which you can visit here.

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