Monday, October 26, 2009

Number 617

As the twig is Bentz, so grows the tree

Dear Editor, Gangsters Can't Win,

All my life I wanted to be a master criminal. I didn't want to be a chump and work. I wanted to steal jewels and money, live the high life, have expensive cars and fast women...or is that expensive women and fast cars? Anyway, that was the type of life I wanted to lead. No one could dissuade me from my goal to someday steal a million dollars and live the life of a king.

Then a friend gave me a copy of your Gangsters Can't Win number two and told me in no uncertain terms, "This could be you!" I have been forced to see the error of my ways. Reading the story of Eddie Bentz, his capture and punishment, has made me take a hard look at myself and realize that my dream of criminal glory was wrong, so wrong.

I owe it all to Gangsters Can't Win because now I know that...err, well, gangsters can't win! Crime does not pay! (Oops, sorry, am I plugging your competition?) I am a better person today because I read the story of Eddie Bentz, and now I think a life of crime is a dead-end road full of potholes and you fall into one of those potholes and it's so deep you can't get out and you cry and scream for your mommy and she won't come because you're a wicked, wicked boy who's gonna end up in prison, you mark my words, and she's got the whole damn family against you and...whew. Well, I think you get the picture.

I think all boys and girls should have to read Gangsters Can't Win, even if some sexy mean girl wearing knee-high spike-heeled leather boots with spurs has to stand over them with a whip and make them read it because it's for their own good.

Your friend and reader for life,



anthony t w myers said...

wow, that cover with the skull is amazing! :D

Unknown said...

Some very striking individual panels here although the overall artwork isn't up to much (but not a lot was in 1948)
Several historical inaccuracies, of course, but this is a comic book and the story had to be told in six pages. And I suppose I can put up with the stereotype that anyone remotely 'intellectual' who collects books and coins has to look like a nerd with glasses while the real Bentz was a tough-looking six-footer who often posed as a farmer when he was 'casing the joint'.

Tamfos said...

Whatever you think the artist may lack in the sheer draftsmanship dept., I feel he more than makes up for it with some very deft storytelling -- and frankly, I'll forgive almost anything that begins with a splash page like that! Using a skull as a visual metaphor for a bank is brilliant -- not sure how much sense it really makes, but it certainly makes more than enough for me!

Pappy said...

Interesting use of symbolism in this story besides the splash panel. Eyeglasses with dollar signs on page 2; page 5 has the incredible first panel with the devices used by law enforcement to trap Eddie, including a bear trap (!) and a butterfly net (!!) We also have Eddie on an 8-ball. Maybe he should be behind it rather than riding it.


Great post Pappy!
I agree that the first page is a doozy! Who don't love a good yarn about giant skulls, punching out broads, and kicks to the face?! Although the rest of the story doesn't quite match the initial intensity, so what? It just proves that if you are naughty, in the end the Feds will find you sitting passively in your dumb-waiter, and golden beams of heavenly sunlight will bathe you when they snap the cuffs on...

On the guy punching the dame: What he's telling her as he's putting her lights out seems more of a disclaimer than an apology - in fact I'm gonna try this out on the little woman tonight - "You shouldn't have screamed! POW! Normally my policy is to shoot screamers! SOCK! Do you see how nice I am being to you? SMACK!"

Unknown said...

I thought the fed casually revealing his gun as he's putting the picture in his pocket on page 4 was very cinemtic. Whoever drew this obviously watched the movies.