Hank McCoy

pseudonym of Reginald Alec Martin

Author of Western fiction for adults 1949-1953.

We know that Hank McCoy was a pseudonym of Reginald Martin from the records of the auction sale of a collection of the author's books in 2002 (Source 4).

As Hank McCoy he wrote a series of Western adventures for Werner Laurie. The first of the series, Killers of Red Canyon published in 1949, is stated on its wrapper as being the first book written by Martin.

The back of the dustwrapper introduces the author:

Hank McCoy was born in England, but at an early age emigrated to the United States. He became fascinated by the colourful "Rodeos" of the far West, and ended up as a wandering "cow-boy", hiring himself to any Ranch engaged upon a big cattle drive to the distant railroad stations.

He first started writing"trail lyrics", and the sound of his words, sung by his fellow cowboys, rang so sweetly across the darkening trails that he became obsessed with the idea of writing books on the simple pleasures and dangerous hardships of the ranchmen's life.

Ads a man, McCoy has experienced the rigours of driving "beef", and has seen the dark canyons where six-guns spat hot lead and men fell from the saddle choking in their own blood. This is his first book, and of his earlier notes, written in preparation on the trails, he says, "Me, I never had none of my works crticised. Why ? Guess maybe on account that I never had no pardners who could read."

On the dustwrapper of Riders of Reckless Gold appears this description:

Hank McCoy was himself a cow-hand, driving herds through scorched territory once used as battlegrounds for the outlaws who sought to make money the easy way. From McCoy's own adventurous life emerge these gripping and authentic stories of the days when border towns sprang up overnight and a swift gun-arm was the key to survival.

By the time the fifth book of the series appeared, in 1951, the dustwrapper could quote from the Birmingham Weekly News:

"In less than two years this author has come to the front as a writer of these full-blooded yarns.".

Hank McCoy was the author of eight books (as far as we know). These are:

The Killers of Red Canyon in 1949
followed by
Guns across the Sholto 1950
and
Riders of Reckless Gold 1950
In 1951:
Savage City
and Sonora Trail
Wild Horse Range in 1952
and Hides of Texas also in 1952
and, finally we think,
Blood on the Pecos in 1953

The books were all published by Werner Laurie and form a series all featuring Larry "Hunch" Hoyden.

Book Club c.1951:
Riders of Reckless Gold was also published in the Western Book Club.

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First edition 1949
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Western Book Club c.1951
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First edition 1952
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First edition 1952

Western Monthly 1951-53
All but one of the Hank McCoy books were chosen by the Australian publishers Shakespeare Head to feature as the main story in their cheap 'pulp' magazine Western Monthly in the early 1950s.
The only exception being Riders of Reckless Gold, which might have been published but of which we've found no evidence yet as the known lists of publications are incomplete.
More information is on the magazine's page.


This page is part of the Reginald Alec Martin Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup and Mike McGarry
created 23rd February 2012
Last updated 4th June 2013