Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"Jeepers! A dame--!"
This story had a panel reproduced in Fredric Wertham's Seduction Of the Innocent, from 1954. The panel lacked attribution in SOTI, but had appeared in Crime Smashers #1, 1950, from Trojan Magazines.
Dr. Fredric Wertham's infamous screed is a good example of the Law of Unintended Consequences: although it succeeded in its original intention, focusing public attention on the contents of comic books, it's now a cult classic. Comics containing panels referenced or shown in Seduction Of the Innocent are collectors' items for comic book fans.
The girl in the panel also owes something to 1948's Pay-Off #1.
In Straight Arrow #13, 1951, she showed up here:
For being dead, this gal gets around!
"Sally the Sleuth" is a character brought forward from the 1930s, where she appeared in two-page snippets in the pulp, Spicy Detective, drawn by Adolphe Barreaux, later the editor of Crime Smashers. Sadly, in this story she doesn't find her way out of her clothes (her main talent in the pulps), otherwise Dr. W. would have really had something to squawk about.
The fascinating story of how DC Comics plays into Trojan Magazines is told here. DC Comics came out of the comic book controversy fairly well, but not completely untouched (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman and Robin came in for criticism), some comics with financial ties to DC helped bring about censorship. There were wheels within wheels in the comic book industry of that era.