Crime Comics

It began in the early 1930s, when a square-jawed detective named Dick Tracy caused quite a stir in the comics. Soon comic books would be filled with forthright heroes, nasty hoodlums, G-men, and the most infamous criminals. Crime comics were bold, wild, and bloody – and the most popular comic book genre of the mid-forties and fifties. Mike Benton, author of Taylor’s award-winning History of Comics series, explores the colorful history of this genre: its birth in Dick Tracy and the crime pulps . . . the Depression-era battles between public enemies like Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI . . . the years of TV detectives from Peter Gunn to the Mod Squad and more . . . and today’s new breed of detectives. Along the way, you’ll meet the graphic incarnations of such literary favorites as Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, and Perry Mason – but do you remember Sally the Sleuth from Spicy Detective; Jane Arden, Crime Reporter; Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective; or Little Al of the FBI? And the notorious comic books are all here – Crime Doesn’t Pay, Parole Breakers, Crimes by Women, The Killers, Reform School Girl, and Behind Prison Bars – the books that raised the wrath of Fredric Wertham (in Seduction of the Innocent), the U.S. Senate, and the nation’s parents. Crime comics shows you just what all the fuss was about. Here, too, are more than 300 full-color photographs of covers and panel art, profiles of the great detectives and real-life criminals, an exhaustive checklist of every crime comic published – right through to today’s Ms. Tree Quarterly. Thrills, chills, and spills – Crime Comics has ‘em all!

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