Media Release — Well known for both new and original content, as well as a comprehensive archival program, Dark Horse Comics announces the collection of one of the more controversial series in comics history. Published between the years of 1942 and 1955 by Lev Gleason Publications, Crime Does Not Pay proved to be a turning point in the medium. The series was a favorite target of Dr. Fredric Wertham and other censors and is partially responsible for the creation of the Comics Code Authority—yet it was also an inspiration for Harvey Kurtzman’s reality-based EC Comics.
Gangsters, kidnappers, maniacal killers, and thugs of all stripes had their lurid stories recounted in Crime Does Not Pay! Each issue featured thrilling, brutal tales and disturbing, despicable characters. Crime Does Not Pay enthralled a nation and was the most popular comic book of its time, with their Uncle Creepy-esque host, “Mr. Crime,” as well as the sensationalized deeds of real life gangsters. See why this series was both revered and reviled in this unique “best of” primer!
“With ‘CRIME’ ten times larger than companion words in the logo, no one should have been surprised that the gangsters, kidnapers and common thugs seemed to be glorified in the four-color panels,” said co-editor Denis Kitchen. “But when the villain typically fried in the electric chair in the final panel the climax simultaneously provided beady-eyed readers with both an extra thrill and a moral: Crime Does Not Pay! This was cheap pulpy thrills at its finest, and certainly contributed to my own youthful corruption. These tawdry tales are long overdue for renewed scrutiny.”
Dark Horse’s special edition of Crime Does Not Pay features a selection of stories from across the series’ entire run, as well as an all-new cover in true Crime style by Pete Poplaski and an essay by cartoonist, historian and co-editor Denis Kitchen. Look for this essential collection on shelves July 27 for $19.99.