Crime Does Pay Week: Dope is for dopes
Today is the final day of Pappy's Crime Does Pay Week:
Jack Kirby addressed the crimes of picking pockets and shoplifting in Headline Comics #31, "I Was A Shoplifter In An Organized Pickpocket Gang!" Gee, your honor, my mommy wouldn't buy me have a lolly when I was a little girl, and it turned me into a criminal! Kirby mixes a romance story--a genre he and partner Joe Simon created and perfected--in with a crime story. The power of Kirby's art propels this soap opera, even with ridiculous names for characters like "Mollie-The-Lift" and "Lightfinger Fred". Picking pockets may be an art, but nowadays, even in an age of high-tech security technology, so is shoplifting. I read just the other day that despite increasingly newer technology retail theft is a bigger problem than ever.
Drugs are covered in this optimistic and naïve story from Wanted Comics #13. It supposes if you shut off the supply, the drug problem will dry up. Over sixty years later we're still finding out how hard that is to do. The artwork by Mort Leav on this strip, especially its terrific symbolic splash, is excellent.
With the exception of last Sunday's post from Crime Does Not Pay #22, all of the stories I've presented this week are from comics dated during 1948. That must've been a helluva year. If Dr. Wertham was correct, the crime rates must've gone off the charts with the sudden surge of youngsters being lured into the criminal life by the popular comic books of the era.
"Crime does not pay, but crime comics do." --Fredric Wertham, Seduction Of The Innocent