Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Number 1620: “Face of an angel, soul of a devil”

In one of the many crime comics versions of the life and criminal career of Charles Arthur Floyd, aka “Pretty Boy,” much is made of the fact that such a good-looking boy shouldn’t be out committing crimes. Good looking? How good looking was Pretty Boy, and what do looks have to do with being a criminal? Artist Fred Guardineer used this mug shot of Floyd, and prettied him up.
From Public Enemies, America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI 1933-34 by Bryan Burrough. Pretty Boy’s picture is right below Machine Gun Kelly and his wife Katherine. Kelly looks more like a young Rodney Dangerfield to me, but even so, at least in this picture out-pretties Pretty Boy.

According to Burrough’s book, no one but the newspapers called Charley Floyd “Pretty Boy.” If any of his associates called him Pretty Boy they didn’t say it to his face, but it struck the public imagination, and that is how we know him now.

From Crime Does Not Pay #51 (1947).


Brian Barnes said...

I'm always the one to point these out, but I like how lovingly rendered the breasts on on page 2, panel 1, and you don't see that kind of work anywhere else on the story. It's almost as if the artist demanded at least one panel like that, and then just did a workman like job on the rest of the story.

I see "Pappy's Crime Wave" banner got ditched, I'll miss it.

This story has a problem that a lot of crime comic end up having, in which you throw a lot of gangsters at us and they aren't really distinct enough in look, and it makes the story a bit confusing. Still, always fun in an blood & guts sort of way.

Pappy said...

I left out the Crime Wave banner because I inserted the photo page. It just looked a little too much design-wise, ya know?

Lovingly rendered breasts were something the Comics Code had an eye on, too.

Mykal said...

I am absolutely crazy about this artwork! I have never heard of Fred Guardineer, and have never seen his work before. Wow. An incredible sense of authority and command of the panel - and he draws with such blunt confidence.

Mykal said...

Oh, and like Brian, I noticed those breasts were nicely drawn.

Pappy said...

Mykal, never heard of Fred Guardineer? I just showed another story by him in Pappy's #1616, Space Ace! Plug his name into the search box up top...I've featured him 18 times in this blog! Here is one of my favorite posts from March, 2013: Bad Batman and a crud named Krud".

Mykal said...

Dang - i better pay closer attention!

Pappy said...

Not to worry, won't be tested.