Saturday, May 03, 2008

Number 304

The Gunmaster

Gregory Gayle is Toni Gayle's dad. Who's Toni Gayle? She's the sexy chick with Bettie Pageboy hair who is the main character of Guns Against Gangsters. I showed her story from this issue, #6, July-August 1949, in Pappy's #22. Guns Against Gangsters, or GAG for short, is a crime comic book, but not like the type that we usually think of, the Charles Biro-edited books like Crime Does Not Pay, or Crime and Punishment. GAG had regular characters, and attempted to deflect the flood of criticism of crime comics that was following in the tidal wave of their success.

Gregory Gayle was kind of an early NRA spokesperson. He liked guns and was an expert as he shows in this story, taking out the crooks with an antique Kentucky long rifle. L. B. Cole, who drew the story, and maybe wrote it too, was reputedly an outdoor type of guy who liked fishing and hunting. There was probably some of L. B. in Gregory.

When you read the bottom of page 8, you see the line, "All comics are not alike. First read and compare them, then criticise." Some of the readers took them up on that. They could earn a buck for getting their letter published. This letter by a soldier shows both that GAG published critiques of itself, and also how the language and meanings have changed: "[The cover] should be more gay, with more action," read a lot differently 59 years ago than it does today.


Karswell said...

"Packin' a blunderbuss" is just priceless dialog... plus I guess I learned a little something new about guns from the old days.

If only this story didn't take law enforcement so serious though, I prefer my comic book cops to be portrayed as stupid and ineffective, and / or resorting to drastic action weither it's called for or not.

darkmark90 said...

Very cool. I like the old Gunmaster and Toni Gayle stories, so if you have any more, you have an audience in me.

The Vicar of VHS said...

The story here didn't do as much for me as the running commentary on the bottom. Great stuff.

And after going back and reading Pappy #22, it's clear I was born in the wrong era. More Tony Gayle, please! She really puts the rifling in my barrel...