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Friday, October 09, 2009


Number 607


"Try this on your piano!"


In this story from Crime and Punishment #2, 1948, the story is short, but the dialogue is long. That was a trademark of the Lev Gleason/Charles Biro and Bob Wood comics. If the characters weren't shooting each other they were talking each other to death.

I love Francis' line when shooting it out with the policeman: "Try this on your piano!" I haven't ever heard that expression. I cogitated on that line, and promise if I'm ever under fire from the cops I'd like to have fun with it, use variations on that smart-ass remark: "Try this on your tuba!" "Try this on your Hofner bass guitar!" "Try this on your contrabassoon!" I don't know about you, but bullets whistling past my ears bring out my sarcastic side.

Fred Guardineer is the artist. We've seen a few crime stories by him on this blog. We've also seen some other work by him. He's someone who was there in comics from the very beginning. I love him because his line is so precise, and I'm sure that's just how his brain worked. Fred did Western comics, also, and his line never varied.

I also love that splash panel and specifically David's hair. Are all those little folks reacting to David's hairdo?







10 comments:

Booksteve said...

Jeez! Uglier than normal art from Guardineer! Ugh!

Tamfos said...

Alex Toth was a HUGE Guardineer fan, and he couldn't understand why so few other people shared his ardor for that sharp line work. He shoulda called Pappy, I guess.

Karswell said...

Haha, great ending... and yeah, David's hairdo is like something right outta Dick Tracy.

Mark said...

I like both the art and the script.

Pappy said...

Tamfos, I can understand Booksteve's dig at my artistic choice, but I'm not sure if you're criticizing it or not. If you are then come back in a couple of days and see if there's something more to your liking. You too, Booksteve.

Toth not only liked Fred Guardineer, he liked Jesse Marsh, who did the Dell Tarzan comic for many years. I had some correspondence with Toth when I was a bookstore employee in 1979 and sold him a bunch of Marsh Tarzan comics. (Unfortunately, my boss "borrowed" Toth's letters and they "disappeared.")

Marsh and Guardineer both had individual styles that you couldn't mistake for anyone else's. Maybe that's one of the things Toth liked about them.

Mykal said...

Pappy: I love Guardineer's expressions; like the flat, dead stare of Boyd in the splash panel; or something as simple as the panel on page 3 when Carolyn Reagan calls the cops on her own brother (her guilt and worry is so evident). Guardineer had a blunt, dramatic style that was very unique. It might not have been pretty, but much like Chester Gould, he had a style that worked well for a crime story in that his characters had a primal, brutal force. Also, he kept the eye moving easily across the page; and he kept you interested in the characters.

And, not for nothing, you have to love that marksman cop at the end of the story. Right between the peepers! Particularly sweet after Boyd’s smart-ass comment: “you coppers sure need target practice” on page 5! - Mykal

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

I got a letter from Toth--one of those nice hand-lettered jobs. He said he liked Dave Stevens' work better than mine (although I don't think I mentioned Dave Stevens, so I don't know why he brought Stevens up), and gave me some cartooning tips. I think one was to make clay sculptures of characters to draw from, if I remember correctly.

Tamfos said...

I am most certainly NOT criticizing your choice. Just trying to point out (to those less politic) that you are in good company in your tastes.

Oh, and Jesse Marsh is an incredible artist, but I don't think Toth liked Guardineer and Marsh for being individualistic so much as he appreciated their sheer mastery of the craft -- in different ways, of course.

ilovecomix said...

I like this story