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Blackjacked and Pistol-Whipped: A Crime Does Not Pay Primer
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
If you are a fan of pre-code crime comics as I am then you need to add this to your library. There are TONS of superhero reprints and good amount of horror as well , my first love ,but crime comics are pretty rare. So when I saw this offering I jumped all over it and watched the tracking number to my house.These are great stories of True Crime that vary in length from a few pages to 13 pages.Even tho this supposed to be a best of there are a few "ok" stories and there are some that are just over the top violent. Hell the cover is violent but the story about the hammer killer that smashes a crying babies head in with a sledge hammer is a bit disturbing to say the least. No wonder Wertham was all over this title as a must ban.
Anyway getting to the point ,if you like violent crime comics done in a great format without that stupid glossy paper,and it's in color at a great price from Amazon Order NOW!You'll be glad you did. I hope they do a second volume...SOON.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
This is really a great, historic collection! Culled from the Golden Age of Comics, Blackjacked and Pistol-Whipped collects stories originally published from '42-'48 and also includes an informative introduction written by Denis Kitchen. These lurid, violent tales appeared in "Crime Does Not Pay" and became wildly popular until the backlash of the 50s basically neutered them. As far as I know, these comics have never been reprinted before and should be a welcome addition to any comics scholar or fan. Much like EC Comics (which were obviously influenced by "CDNP"), these comics are ghastly and lurid... they feel somewhat dangerous! Although they are relatively tame by today's standards, there is still a subversive element to all the stories within, from "factual" biographies of gangsters to more, um, liberal interpretations of criminals.

Of course, the main star of the book is editor Bob Wood, who, in conjunction with Charles Biro, created and edited the title for publisher Lev Gleason. The editor who, after falling on hard times, acted out what would seem to be the plot of one of his comics stories before meeting his own grisly end. His story (along with the history of publisher Gleason and the comics he published) is detailed in Kitchen's intro. And Pete Poplaski depicted the horrible incident on the new cover containing this collection. Wood's tale is irresistible, and really puts the stories in this collection in an interesting context.

Speaking of the stories, there's 24 assembled together here featuring the work of artists such as Tuska, Barry, Briefer and the aforementioned Bob Wood and Charles Biro (who did most of the covers). Most of these artists were just starting out at the time of original publication, so it's doubtful anyone could call these jobs their best... however, there are instances where what was to come was visible. But there are clumsy instances as well. However, the main draw is the violence, and these artists supply it in spades! The influence these comics apparently had on EC is obvious from the very first story! Although nothing under these covers could technically compare to what the artists at EC did, Wood and Biro were visionary editors and it's good to see their work in print. Apparently, sales on this book were so good, Dark Horse has agreed to reprint "CDNP" in it's entirety, in archive format. Good news for us all!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
The cover was recently made by the great Pete Poplaski but it's in the exact same style as the original one from the 40s. You even see some scattered Crime comics on the floor, near the body. Nice touch!

The introduction by Brian Azzarello grabs you from its opening sentence: "This is a true story." Followed by, "Growing up in Cleveland during the seventies, my favorite store was Kay's Books. It was on Prospect Avenue - the swamping ground of hookers, winos, dealers, mack daddies and dopers! The perfect location to mold a young mind!" Have you ever heard such a great intro, since Hunter Thompson's, "we were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold"? Brian's intro is a one-pager. Cartoonist and Kitchen Sink publisher Denis Kitchen gives us an eleven page introductory essay we can sink our teeth into. This is followed by 24 reprints of Crime Does Not Pay, all in brilliant colors, nothing fudgy or pale, all crystal clear lines on both the text and the drawings.

Denis Kitchen's story is the most fascinating part of this book. He tells the thrilling tale of his meeting with a dodgy character named Robert Farrell. At first he was excited about meeting the man who claimed to be the original owner of Crime Does Not Pay. But as he mentioned his upcoming meeting to his friends Harvey Kurtzman and Will Eisner, both were vocal in warning him to watch out for this shady character. I won't give away any more details and spoil the fun, but how's that for a great start? Especially when it's an intro to a book about thugs, thieves, looters, murderers, pimps, and gangsters. Organized crime played a part in getting these comics published in the 40s, and at the end, the Comics Code Authority won out. Even after an attempt at self-inflicted censorship, this comic folded.

If you are a collector of comics from the good ol' days, fascinated by good but rare crime stories, or just appreciate older comics in general, you'll want to buy this book. I hope it's followed by a part 2.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2011
This is a great collection of comics of the type that I've been waiting on for years. When I was a kid reading comic way back in the late 60s to mid 70s I really wanted to read the older comics. But the technology for creating acceptible and affordable reprints just didn't exist at the time. This age of computer-corrected scans is a golden one for me. So many high quality reprints of comics I'd read about, but thought I'd never get to read! This one is fantastic. Great, old time sleazy stories, even more "messed up" than EC's crime comics, all lovingly reproduced in a nice volume.
My only complaint is that they created new art for the cover instead of utilizing some of the original artwork. I find the newly created cover art--of a man bludgening a woman to death with an iron-- kind of distasteful. Using this new art cant be justified with the "this is what they thought was acceptible back in the 40s" excuse like reprinting the old art can arguably be. And it should be pointed out the the original comic cover that inspired the book's cover showed the police arriving to nab the murderer--this one just shows a cartoon woman getting her head smashed. The modernity of the cover and its insufficient context kind of makes me uncomfortable.
But that's the one bad move the publishers made. The rest is gold.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2012
I was born too late to appreciate the great crime and horror comics back in their day, and have been buying reprints, both color and black-and-white, for many years. Their quality has ranged from 'OK' to 'Why did they even bother?' But this volume of 'Crime Does Not Pay' puts them all to shame. The printing is perfect and the colors gorgeous. Check out the preview pages. That's what you'll see in this volume. Any fan of The Golden Age will find this a welcome addition to their collection. And don't forget Volume 2 is on it's way. NOTE: The stain splotches and wear marks on the covers are printed on there to make it look more authentic! Way to go!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
Although mostly a reprint of selected stories from the infamous landmark Golden Age comic book Crime Does Not Pay, the most intriguing aspect of this book is advertised on the Biro-style cover (ingeniously contrived by Pete Poplaski) which, apart from depicting a man attacking a woman by smashing her face with an electric iron, trumpets: The True Story of Bob Wood, The Killer Cartoonist. And we learn subsequently by reading Kitchen's profusely illustrated essay at the beginning that the lurid cover actually pictures the murder for which cartoonist Wood was convicted in 1958.
The stories in the book sample the content of Crime Does Not Pay from 1942 (beginning with a story from its second issue drawn by Bob Montana) through 1948; why we get no stories from the book's last years it died as a result of the Comics Code Authority with the June 1955 issue) is a mystery, but it doesn't matter. As a glimpse of the kind of comic book that inspired Fredric Wertham's crusade, what we have here is more than adequate. The early stories were clumsily drawn, but after a year or so, we started getting a few notables on the art--artists who would make names for themselves elsewhere: Carmine Infantino, Dan Barry, George Tuska, and Fred Guardineer, even Montana, as noted, and Dick Briefer. Lots of gruesome firearm violence, which grows gruesomer as the years flick by, but not much sex, surprisingly, given Wertham's preoccupation with how pneumatic portraits of the fairer sex in comic books corrupted American youth.
Reproduction is startlingly uneven: the simple clean linear work of Infantino and Briefer (drawing in a nearly bigfoot manner) reproduces okay, but the more realistic highly feathered and noodled-over efforts of other artists are marred by blotched clusters of fine lines or lines that drop out altogether.
Again, no matter. Informative as the reprinted stories are, the prefatory history of Lev Gleason Publications and of the roles played by Biro and Wood is a solid secondary reason to own this volume. Their stories are available elsewhere in various guises but here, it's all together.
Biro and Wood were co-workers and co-carousers, alcoholics and womanizing free-spenders. Gleason paid them a percentage of the comics' profits, so they were motivated to do good work--which they did in Crime and the other two Gleason titles, Boy and Daredevil. The collaboration was broken up when Gleason Publications collapsed: Biro went on to work as a graphic artist at NBC television until he died in 1972; Wood descended into the dregs of the publishing world, gambling and drinking, until he murdered his lover in 1958. (He was sentenced to only three years in prison because the judge took pity on Wood's alcoholism, which, the judge implied, was the real culprit.) Kitchen illustrates this aspect of the man's career with reproductions of the screaming newspaper headlines: "Gramercy Park Gets the Horrors - Editor of mag called `Crime Does Not Pay' murders ad woman in a hotel tryst."
Among the happier tidbits Kitchen discloses: Biro (like one of his characters, Crimebuster) had a pet monkey that sat on his shoulder as he worked, "and the way the monkey behaved was said to be a clue to Biro's mood that day." And Harvey Kurtzman's acclaimed war stories for EC were influenced by the unemotional realism of Biro's crime stories, which Biro may, or may not, have written all that many of. Kitchen alludes to David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague, in which Hajdu claims the principle writer of Crime was Virginia Hubbell.
Need more reviews of comics-related books and reprints? Visit Rants & Raves, the online magazine of comics news and reviews, cartooning history and lore, at [...].
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I have always been interested in True Crime books my Kindle is filled with them, I love looking into the mind of the criminal,Killer, and how the authorities finally crack the case.

I also love nostalgic art work from True Detective pulp magazines and comic book art. Then one day cruising the Amazon store I came across this interesting book and thought I would give it a try. Wow so glad I did It's like the combinations of both of my favorite things. The art work is a lot of fun looking into the days past when radio shows, and books were our main form of entertainment.

The stories based on true crimes even with the stories originally printed in the 40's all of the cases are from late 1800's up to the 1930's. The stories are about 8 pages long they cover a lot of details and facts through the txt and artwork. The book contains 24 stories from a few years of the publication.

It is nice to see now the series is being released in volumes and number 1 was just released in March Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 1 (True Crime Graphic)and I just received it and it looks like a lot of fun. Very happy with my purchase of both books. This one is a nice introduction without the pricey cost of the new book that just came out.

Listing of the stories:

September 1942 Two-Legged Rat
September 1942 The Fire Fiends Of Missouri
January 1943 So Mean He'd Kill His Own Mother
March 1943 The True Life Of Charles "Lucky" Luciano
November 1943 The Patent Leather Killer
January 1944 The Horror Hobby
March 1944 The Man Who Loved Murder
September 1945 The Monster of Crime
November 1945 Million Dollar Burglar
November 1946 Mutiny On The Rock
March 1947 The Kill-Cazy Fleagle Brothers
March 1947 Danny Iamascia, Dutch Schultz's Triggerman
July 1947 Dr. Holmes, The Master Of Murder Castle
July 1947 The Beast Of Brooklyn
August 1947 Crime's Dumbest Wise Guy, Peter Treadway
September 1947 Leo Lepke Buchalter
November 1947 The Wild Spree Of The Laughing Sadist-Herman Duker
January 1948 Vic Everhart The Kill-Crazy Scoundrel
February 1948 The Crooks Who Couldn't Get Together
March 1948 The Electric Chair and the Murderess
June 1948 A True Crime Story: Robert James
July 1948 A True Crime Story: Machine-Gun Kelly
August 1948 A True Crime Story: The Ferocious
September 1948 A True Crime Story: Once There Were Three Killers From Brooklyn Called Shapiro- Now There Are None!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2012
I had never heard of nor read any of Crime Does Not Pay. I had no idea just how popular this particular comic book line was when it first came out. It seemed that it was the gold standard that all the other books latched onto and tried to emulate. Bob Wood and Charles Biro were certainly a pair of colorful characters and it's too bad how things turrned out for both of them. I appreciated the biography and history that the publisher provided on them. Good historical data and research from a bygone era. The stories themselves were pretty darn good. I had never heard of the home grown psychopathic murder H.H. Holmes before I read the story on him. It was ghastly and done right. I read by comparison a similar story by famed author and artist Simon and Kirby and it was really tame compared to the one in this volume. Wood and Biro really weren't pulling any punches. I've preordered the other volume due out in April. I hope the same storys in this volume aren't in the next one. I'd highly recommend this book if you love comics- especially crime and horror like me! It's got a lot of material and the color is nice. Pricing is a a real value, and the material turned out to be a delightful treat-especially considering the context is all based on true history. Take it from a guy who who knows his comics and a good deal when he sees it, this book is aces with me.
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on December 2, 2014
A great book to give you a taste of the Crime Does Not Pay comics. I bought the first issue of CDNP reprints and I wish I had seen this volume first. I won't buy anymore of the series as most of the stories are about the 1930's, ripped from yesterday's headlines, but the artwork especially the brutality and bloodiness make this a great book for any comic book collector. The story of Bob Wood is incredible and worth the price of the book alone.
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on September 20, 2014
hair raising! Blood and gore by the buckets!
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