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Friday, May 23, 2014

Number 1581: Joe the Boob: Bullets, Booze and Blood

Blood. Lots of blood. Killings on nearly every page of this lurid 11-page story from Crime Must Pay the Penalty #1 (#33 on cover; 1948). Not only killings, but killings with bloody head shots. Even a couple of knifings. If you like your crime comics fast and violent this fits that description.

Page 7 has two head shots, including a panel of a crook still talking after being shot in the forehead. Crooks were tough in those days!

Jim Vadeboncoeur gives Ken Battefield credit for pencils, and hedges with a question mark on an artist named Wilcox for the inks.












13 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

They missed a golden opportunity with the title, instead of "bullets, booze, and blood" it should have been "bullets, booze, cigarette girl boobs, broads, and blood."

One interesting thing about flipping through the thumbnails is it gives you an insight into the paneling process. Notice the first couple pages always feature a circular panel, but then it seems the artist got sick of making it and it never reappears!

Couple funs things: Head shot on page 4 makes the victim look like he's begging for dog treats! The guy on page 7 has 3 -- 3!! -- distinct bullet holes in his head but his hat only flies off when he's hit in the chest!

Unless I missed it, we're never given the last name of our criminal, so it's a bit hard to find any information. Also, if there were never any witnesses, isn't this comic doing us a disservice claiming that Joe did these crimes? He seemed like such a lovable lunk :)

rnigma said...

This is so over-the-top violent it borders on parody. With a few tweaks it could have fit in "Mad."

Pappy said...

rnigma, I agree! If published by Mad it could have had those little round CENSORED stickers to cover up the violence, as used in "Book! Movie!" in Mad #13.

Pappy said...

Brian, I know I've seen at least one other crime comic with a story about Joe the Boob, so I assume he was a real guy...just not someone who has gone down in history as a famous criminal, despite his engaging nickname.

Following up also what I said to rnigma about Mad, if this was a Fearless Fosdick continuity in Li'l Abner there would be big round bullet holes in the characters, making them look like Swiss cheese.

Pappy said...

Brian, I found another Joe the Boob story in Fox's Famous Crimes #7 (1949), where they give his name as Joe the Boob Santori. Whether that was the Boob's real name I dunno.

THE APOCOLYTE said...

Pappy,

It's interesting to note that both stories (this one and the one in Famous Crimes #7) are essentially the same story...with the names essentially the same (Joe "the Boob" Santore/Santori, Rocco, Liggy Abbocado/Abboccado, etc...) A cursory search unearths virtually no historical info on any of this, even wikipedia's Philadelphia gangster page doesn't list any similar persons or events for that era, yet, at least in the pages of Famous Crimes the story is touted as real (which doesn't necessarily denote authenticity, but it is odd that both publications retell virtually the same story). Perhaps the actual historical events are lurking somewhere under layers of web fodder...

Most of the pre-code crime stories are bloody, but this one does seem to be in a class by itself.

Pappy said...

Apocolyte, I haven't read the Famous Crimes version, but if it's that close then both were probably based on a real person.

Over the years the famous get more famous, and the lesser lights seem to fade away. Maybe Joe the Boob was a real guy whose notoriety made it as far as the pages of a couple of crime comics, then went into the limbo of the forgotten.

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

In The [Harrisburg] Evening News, 21 September 1942: ‘Duel Fatal to Two Hoodlums By United Press PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21. Police today closed their investigation into the double slaying on a down town Philadelphia street in which Joseph Santore, 43, also known as “Joe the Boob,” shot and killed 17-year-old Joseph Accobacco shortly before he fell mortally wounded by stab wounds inflicted by the youth. The duel, which occurred late Saturday, was said by police to have been the outgrowth of a quarrel the night before in which Accobacco stabbed Santore's brother, Charles. Police believed that Santore, who recently was indicted by a Federal grand jury as the head of a “cheap liquor” bootleg ring, had lain in wait for the younger man. According to witnesses, Santore opened fire on Accobacco, who although fatally hurt, closed in and stabbed the older man before he fell to the street.’

Pappy said...

Daniel, you are The Man, man! You have gone above and beyond the call. Thanks for that research. Now we know for sure there really was a Joe the Boob.

THE APOCOLYTE said...

Yeah!
Leave it to Daniel O'Conomist! That hat he wears is a detective's fedora, for sure! Daniel, you ought to be a P.I.!

Old Time Yegg said...

Believe it or not, the Harrisburg Evening News didn't quite have the story right. I know this because my name is Charlie Santore, and I'm the grandnephew of Joe The Boob. This is how it really went down.

After stabbing Joe's brother Charlie the day before, Abboccado knew there would be repercussions. He also knew that Joe was recovering from a hernia surgery and that he was walking with a cane. Joe always took the same route to get to his brother's store. He would take the Bainbridge St. trolley, and would get off at 7th.
Abboccado was lying in wait in a doorway across from the store, and as soon as Joe stepped off the trolley, Abboccado attacked him. As the assailant turned to flee south on 7th St., he was shot by Joe The Boob, who was dying on the pavement. For historical accuracy, it should be noted that Abboccado died on his own front stoop on Pemberton St.

Dfez91 said...

Yelp Santore

Dfez91 said...

Interesting. I am Joe the boobs niece. My mother is her sister