Monday, April 16, 2018
Number 2168: Just a harmful young lady
I don’t know if there was a female criminal named Mara Hite, who earned a death sentence in 1937. In crime comics if they didn’t really exist they made it seem like they did. In this story, illustrated by Syd Shores for Gangsters and Gun Molls #4 (1952), Mara is a murderer, even using the desperado tactics of traveling gangsters like Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde, shooting at cops from the window of a speeding getaway car. It is a timeworn tale, but the drawings by Shore make it worth a look.
Shores was an early comic book artist who worked with Simon and Kirby early on, and worked freelance in comics for many years until his death from a heart attack at age 59 in 1973. Gene Colan described Shores as a “big smoker,” and we know that smoking will kill you more surely than any gangster, male or female.