The Lone Ranger rides again thanks to the efforts of a Red Deer fan and author.
Tim Lasiuta turned a longtime enthusiasm for the exploits of the masked do-gooder into a literary salute.
Along with co-editor Matthew Baugh, who lives in Chicago, Lasiuta recruited 15 authors to contribute new Lone Ranger tales for the recently published The Lone Ranger Chronicles.
The pair also each penned their own stories with Lasiuta’s called simply “The Hero.”
Lasiuta said he’s been thinking about the project for a long time, ever since he found out that the rights for Lone Ranger fiction were available.
Although in the planning for a long time, it actually only took about a year to line up the authors and pull the book together. Many of the authors are award winners in the Western genre and others have been recognized for their work in comic books and mystery novels.
“Most of those guys are really, really well-known guys. No one in the bunch is a slouch.
“We contacted all these people and they all jumped at it because they all wanted to do a Lone Ranger story,” he said.
Lasiuta and Baugh approved the plots and then the authors wrote up their submissions.
The work they turned in is top notch, he said.
“They really are highly professional stories. They are not simple stories.
“You learn a lot more about the character. He wasn’t just a simple guy that did this, but there were a lot of things behind him and Tonto.”
The foreward for the book was written by Dawn Moore, daughter of Clayton Moore, the most famous of the actors who have played the Lone Ranger. Moore starred in 169 episodes of the TV show between 1949 and 1957. Moore died in 1999.
Lasiuta traces his passion for the Lone Ranger back to his teens when he discovered his father’s comic collection in the attic.
Amid the Batman and Jughead comics, there was a stack of Lone Ranger tales.
“So I started reading them and I got hooked on the Lone Ranger as a teenager. As a result, I collected most of the comics, most of the books and I’ve got original artwork.”
He would later write a book on the Long Ranger comic book artist Tom Gill called The Misadventures of a Roving Cartoonist.
Over the years, he’s interviewed artists who drew the comic books or wrote the stories. Among his treasures, he has the original scripts that belonged to John Hart, who took over the role on TV from Clayton Moore when that actor was in a contract dispute.
His collection now includes hundreds of comic books and dozens of books on the Lone Ranger.
Lasiuta said he hopes the project hits the mark with fans and gets them thinking about the Lone Ranger in different ways.
Lasiuta, who works in the Red Deer Advocate’s circulation department, has a long writing history. Since 2004, he’s written for the Comic Buyer’s Guide and has contributed to True West Magazine, Wildest Westerns and Mad Magazine. Another book called Brush Strokes with Greatness about comic book artist Joe Sinnott was released by TwoMorrows in June 2007 and he’s also written for websites including Suite 101, Penguin Comics and the Crimson Collector.
The Lone Ranger Chronicles is published by Moonstone Entertainment Inc., of Lockport Illinois. It’s priced at $19.95 and is available through the company at www.moonstonebooks.com or through Amazon.com. Digital copies are not yet available.