Ghost Town Blues

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Ghost Town Blues
Start date: September 5th, 2011
End date: January 14th, 2012
# of strips: 114 (19 weeks)
Writer: Fred Fredericks
Artist: Fred Fredericks
Preceded by: "Guest in the House"
Followed by: "Melody of Doom"

"Ghost Town Blues" is the 262nd Mandrake daily story. The story was written and drawn by Fred Fredericks.

Plot Summary

While in Hollywood, Mandrake unexpectedly encounters Mr. Fleming, the former owner of Granite Studios, with whom signed Mandrake to make some movies a few years back. They decide to have lunch together to reminisce about the old days. During the meal, Mandrake finds an urgent note hidden in his coffee, instructing him to meet someone at the corner. He complies and meets a young woman who reveals herself to be Tex Riordan's daughter, seeking Mandrake's help because her father is in trouble.

Tex Riordan, a renowned actor from classic Western films like "Snake River Showdown," "Ghost Town Gun Hawks," "Thunder Over Tombstone," "Thunder Over Boot Hill," "Vigilantes of Sioux City," and "Thunder at Buffalo Gap," was an old friend of Mandrake's in Hollywood. Tex, after retiring from his movie career, built a western town named Cactus City. Unfortunately, the market for such places declined, leaving Tex as the only resident, burdened by unpaid property taxes.

A man named Hugh Topia offers to buy the town for $15,000, but Tex refuses, confident he can earn that amount when Westerns regain popularity. Later, masked horsemen, led by Hugh Topia, capture Mandrake, Tex, and his daughter Iris in an attempt to frighten Tex into selling his town. Topia reveals that the town is built above an old gold mine closed in the 1890s. An earthquake five years ago revealed a new gold vein.

Fortunately for Mandrake, a neighbor's rock concert, complete with a 20-minute guitar solo, causes a stampede among cattle, scaring off the villains. The criminals take refuge in collapsed buildings but are eventually apprehended by local police who had been tracking the runaway cows.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Mr. Fleming, former owner of Granite Studios.
  • Penny, a waitress in Hollywood.
  • Tex Riordan, a retired western star.
  • Iris, Tex Riordan's daughter.
  • Hugh Topia, a mining engineer
  • Marilyn Dawn, mentioned only
  • Nettie, mentioned only
  • Sonny Starr, mentioned only


  • Los Angeles
    • Hollywood
    • Cactus City, about 25 miles from L.A.
  • New York City

Behind the scenes


  • The title for the story is from the strip of September 5th, 2011 (Beginning: Ghost Town Blues).

Easter Eggs


This story has been published in the following publications: