Sunday, June 06, 2010

Number 749

Murder and mayhem

Crimebuster was a very popular character in his day; Chuck Chandler was Crimebuster--also called CB--and you could tell he was Crimebuster because he added a cape to a hockey uniform sporting a "C". Had Charles Biro come to me when he was creating CB and told me his plans for the character, I'd have said it was a bad idea, don't do it, it'll flop as a feature. Ha. Ha. I would have been wrong. Crimebuster held his own in the comics for a dozen years or so.

It might have had something to do with the idea that a kid, and the comic was aimed at young boys, obviously, could be a hero and make a difference by taking down crooks. Crimebuster, whose adult mentor was "Loover" of the FBI, looks to be about 14 or 15. The stories, not complicated, were at least dense with dialogue and plot, forcing a kid to read.

When reading this 1944 story from Boy Comics #18, drawn by Norman Maurer, remember during World War II the public needed ration stamps to buy many products: sugar, meat, tires, gasoliine. The poor schnook at the gas pump got killed and his filling station torched because the two criminal cretins at the heart of the story had no ration stamps. That was another secret to the early Biro/Crimebuster success formula: murder and mayhem! Check out the cover of this issue, for instance. Mayhem frozen at the moment it happened.

I showed Crimebuster's origin story in Pappy's #532.


Tamfos said...

Of course it's impossible to be critical of your earlier Spirit post, but honestly, this is what I love about your blog. "CB" is not exactly a forgotten feature of the past, but I don't think the term "under appreciated" would be entirely inaccurate -- though sufficiently appreciated by you, thank God!

Great post, and an especial thanks for including that dynamite cover.

Pappy said...

Well, thanks, Tamfos. Because Crimebuster has never been revived since the last issue in the mid-'50s most modern fans haven't heard of the character. I personally like the issues of Boy Comics during this more uninhibited era, that period during World War II, which included Daredevil and Crime Does Not Pay from the Lev Gleason/Biro/Wood group.