A story from a crime comic book got my attention with a bare-knuckled, nose-busting fistfight. In this corner, prison guard Frank Brandon, and in the other corner, Henry “Mad Dog” Kelt. Kelt is a prison bully, extorting money and food from other prisoners. Frank is a prison guard who cares.
The action artwork is by artist Robert Q. Sale. “Tension!” is from Atlas’s Crime Fighters
#12 (1954), a few months before the Comics Code went into business, and would probably have given a first-round knockout to a story like this.
As a person whose weightlifting and muscle building regimen means lifting a pencil, or getting my butt out of bed in the morning, this is another good example (of many) of why I would not want to go to prison.
In 1945 the Department of Corrections for the State of California issued a 12 page pamphlet for new prison inmates. It shows prison to be a place where training for improvements in one's life can be made. Which depiction do I believe? That is a rhetorical question. Since my personal belief is I would not last a day in prison, I have to go with prison being an unpleasant and rough place, and not believe the relatively placid look at captivity in the latter.
The artist, who signed his name “Peek,” was described only as “a talented inmate.” Peek showed the skills of a commercial artist from that era. The display lettering, which was important to an artist in those days, is impeccable. The illustrations, probably done from photographs, are also good. I hope when Peek’s time was up he got out, got a job as an artist, and never went back to prison.