Oh shit, what can't you say about this cover? I mean, it speaks for itself. It's the kind of thing NAMBLA members go ape shit over. Granted, I'm sure it was an innocent mistake. The Rifleman is a wholesome comic. It was made to appeal to young boys ... and apparently work as a recruiting tool for aging homosexual cowboys. "You see, son, how that boy is holding that log? Let me show you how I want my wood handled."
Where were the concerned parents over this one? Screw EC. This stuff is scary. The only thing that could make it worse is if the kid had milkshake residue dripping down his chin and the cover blurb said, "Holding this log sure made me thirsty, but I'm satisfied now!"
And just what is this "mysterious bag" that holds a "secret"? Jesus, one guess to that one. "That, son, that's my man bag." The threat isn't the bag, either. It's the log in this kid's hands and the knowing smile from Mr. Connors. I guess if I were into young boys I'd be pretty happy about this, too.
What did kids at the time think when they saw this cover? Did pedophiles see the title and cover and think, "Finally! A comic for me!"? Did any fans of the comic question this? I've got plenty of questions myself, and I've never read the damn thing. My main question is: Whatever happened to that boy?
Yeah, this cover is a failure ... unless it was going for the creepy child molester crowd. If that is the case -- job well done, Dell.