Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Gangster

No signature or credit line on this Tarantinoesque heist story from the June 1953 issue of Adventure magazine. What a shame... the stark, high-contrast artwork perfectly suits "Public Enemy No.3", Edward Bentz's narrative as he describes in no-nonsense detail how he and his tough-as-nails team of bad guys rob a bank.

Interesting to me is the almost comic book-style grid employed by the artist, giving this piece a graphic narrative quality that seems a little ahead of its time.

I can't say I've ever come across this style before so I haven't a clue who did the art. Perhaps a moon-lighting comic artist picking up a little scratch on the side?

As was the case with crime stories in comic books, a clear message had to be sent to the reader in the end: "Crime does not pay."

... in case you were getting any ideas.

I've pulled out the occassional panel from each page for you here -- but if you want to study all the art in greater detail, go to my new Crime! Flickr set and click the "All Sizes" tab above each image.


  1. Anonymus pulp artwork, It’s very sad don’t know who was the artist...

  2. I love crime pulps, ergo the name of my own review blog, Pulp Fiction Reviews. This work is just beautiful and very indicative of much of the illustrations done starting the late thirties through the 50s in hundreds of these cheaply produced mags.

  3. I was hoping you'd chime in, Ron, knowing you'd have a keen interest in this week's topic. Thanks to both you and Pablo for your comments! ;-)