Monday, April 25, 2011
Looking through some old crime comics I noticed that stories of Parisian criminals looked back at me from three of the five comics I leafed through. What was it about Paris that incited writers of crime comic books? France had been liberated from the Nazis just a couple of years before, yet there is no mention of war in any of the stories. Crime in any country is much the same as any other country, and god knows the USA has enough crime of its own. But Paris, to those comic book scripters of 60+ years ago, must've been a very exotic place, full of people who wore neckerchiefs, and exclaimed "Parbleu!" or "Sacre bleu!" They had the bleus in Paree in those days...
From Crime and Punishment #2, 1948 comes "The Plague Of Paris," illustrated by Fred Guardineer, he of the fastidious ink line. It is a reprint from its older sister magazine, Crime Does Not Pay #48, from 1946. And speaking of Crime Does Not Pay, Rudi Palais, his usual over-reliance on flying sweat drops missing from "The Blonde Queen of Crime," does the illustrative honors, picturing the blonde queen in fishnet stockings and her man in a beret, thus apprising us via such visualizations that yes, they are Frenchies! The story is from issue #39, 1945.
Our last story was drawn by Bob Butts, who signed his name R. Butts in the penultimate panel of page 7. I have featured the splash panel before in Pappy's #727, in my continuing quest to find all the swiped figures of what I call "Jeepers Girls."* The story, "Murders On The Rue Brevet," set in Paris in 1925 is from Pay-Off #1, a crime comic from 1948.
*More Jeepers Girls here.