Friday, March 01, 2013
Number 1324: “Go West, young bad man!”
It was only natural that crime comics would use the Wild West as a source of stories. Comics followed trends. Western movies were very popular at the time. A lot of Western comics were published, with some thinly disguised crime comics set 100 years ago. It wasn't uncommon for different comics to draw upon the same bad men, and multiple stories were done on the most famous outlaws. All “true,” of course (see Monday's post).
Compare these two stories. “Will Quantrill, General of an Army of Murderers” is drawn by Bob Fujitani, from Crime Does Not Pay #64 (1948), and “Quantrill, the Killer’s Killer” is from Fox Publications’ Western True Crime #4 (1949), drawn by Johnny Craig. The latter story goes into some heavy moralizing: Quantrill is so evil the devil is afraid of him, so he wanders as a ghost! It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but that kind of preachiness is over the top and didn’t fool the anti-comics people.