CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES VOL. 3 (Dark Horse, First Printing, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Crime Does Not Pay #30-33 (cover dates November, 1943- April, 1944)
Writers: Dick Wood, Milton Kramer, and Lev Gleason
Artists: Charles Biro, Dick Briefer, Volman, R.W. Hall, Jack Alderman, Carmine Infantino, Alvin Hollingsworth, Jack Cole, A. Kaplan, Rudy Palais, Louis Trakis, Alan Mandel, Lol Silver, Volp, and Bob Montana
As tolerant and accepting as people claim to be, many people seem to enjoy seeing criminals get theirs, at least if the comments section of any news article on Facebook are any indication. This was the most popular comic book of it's day. Name any superhero on the stands and this title outsold them. In a world where organized crime was an ongoing concern, it was cathartic for people to pick up a fat 68 page comic for one thin dime and get lost in a world where bad people have good things happen to them for a while but they all inevitably learn the fateful lesson that CRIME DOES NOT PAY!
Mister Crime is the host of the series, and he whispers in the ear of the various crooks, giving them advice along the way. Mister Crime also routinely breaks the fourth wall, speaking to readers while everyone in the story is oblivious to him. Societal mores and slang of the day are on full display.
Lots of future greats worked on this series during this time. Carmine Infantino is well known to all DC fans, while Jack Cole and Dick Briefer were known in their day and have enjoyed a renewed interest in recent years due to relatively affordable collected editions like this one which reprint their work for the masses.
While the material is stronger here than it was in the first two volumes this series still hasn't reached it's high point yet. As crudely written and drawn as many of these stories are it's the promise of what is coming in future issues that makes some of these turkeys readable. Golden Age comics are crude but they certainly have their charms. It's just that the novelty of reading previously rare, expensive comics has worn off for me and I call them as I see and read them. This might have been the best selling comic at the time but DC was burying this in terms of quality. This was still very enjoyable, but the best is yet to come.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- There is a typo on the Table of Contents page. The cover date for #33 is incorrectly listed as May, 1944, when it is in truth April, 1944.
All original text pieces and advertisements are presented. I dig looking at the old ads.
Linework and Color restoration: Solid “frame up” restoration done off of scans of the original comics.
Paper stock: Thick uncoated stock. It has a creamy off-white color, being close to Mint condition pulp paper in appearance while being of sufficient thickness that it feels like 'Archival' quality paper.
Binding: Sewn binding which is stiff and does not lay flat. This book is light and small enough where it is not an issue.
Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: Nice faux leather casewrap with die foil stamping. Dustjacket has a decent lamination.