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Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 1 [Hardcover]


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Book Description

March 27 2012 Crime Does Not Pay Archives
Uncut and uncensored, the infamous precode Crime Does Not Pay comics are finally collected into a series of archival collections! With brutal, realistic tales focusing on vile criminals, Crime Does Not Pay was one of the most popular comics of the 1940s. The series was a favorite target of Dr. Fredric Wertham and other censors and is partially responsible for the creation of the stifling Comics Code Authority. Now revered and mythic, this collection of the first four hardtofind Crime Does Not Pay comics features a fine roster of Golden Age creators and a new introduction by Matt Fraction (Iron Man, Casanova)!

Frequently Bought Together

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 1 + Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 2 + Adventures into the Unknown Archives Volume 1
Price For All Three: CDN$ 103.44

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (March 27 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595822895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595822895
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 17.5 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #260,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historically important May 25 2012
By Alt - Published on
In his introduction to the volume, Matt Fraction points out that crime and horror were the bread-and-butter of the early, lurid comic books (the ones that didn't feature funny animals), and were also the medium's downfall, as cranky psychologists and sensationalistic congressmen blamed comics for juvenile delinquency and every other social evil they could imagine. Crime Does Not Pay stands as an example of the sick, warped, twisted, and titillating (in other words, fun!) stories that supposedly influenced the adolescents who devoured comics during the 1940s.

Crime Does Not Pay, vol I reprints the first four issues of the comic, beginning with issue 22 (the numbering followed the demise of Silver Streak, another Lev Gleason comic that was retitled Crime Does Not Pay with issue 22). In the first story -- probably the goriest in the volume -- strike-breaking thugs beat up striking workers, gangsters shoot each other with tommy guns, gangsters splash acid in a merchant's face, gangsters engage in a shootout with cops, and gang wars terrorize the city before Lepke, the "mad dog of the underworld," learns that crime does not pay. That story sets the tone for the series.

Some of the stories focus on "crime kings," supposedly true stories of gangsters like John Dillinger (they even have the flavor of truth, albeit sensationalized, as gangsters have always been). There are westerns and stories about heroic cops who, naturally enough, are preyed upon by the bad guys. There are mysteries that ask the reader to play detective and puzzle out the killer's identity. Most of the stories are about killers -- serial killers, old lady killers, heroic killers like Pancho Villa -- but there are occasional oddities like the story about a boy inventor who wants everyone to buy war bonds and a superhero called War Eagle.

By modern standards, for kids raised on slasher movies and video games that feature exploding torsos, Crime Does Not Pay is actually rather tame. The artwork is about average for the era in which it appeared. The writing ranges from so-so to pretty good. I think the stories probably have more value for their historical interest than entertainment value, although I did find many of them to be entertaining. Each issue also includes a short story and -- to some extent the most interesting part of the comics -- the original advertisements that appeared in each comic. I don't know if many modern readers will get excited by Crime Does Not Pay, but any serious student of comic book history should at least give it a look so they'll know what was making Frederic Wertham so upset.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars golden age crime stories reborn. July 28 2012
By Michael Dobey - Published on
The other reviewer did a great job explaining what this is, and I agree that this has alot of average to good art in it. The reproduction quality is FIRST RATE though, these are NOT scans of old yellowed comic books. Instead this a first rate remastering of these books printed on fine paper. This series is tame by todays standards but the basic crime stories are horrible , just like todays crime would be. If this comic were around today it would feature horrible massacres like the one in aurora colorado 2012, in which a maniac shot 71 people and 12 died , including a kid. These are from 1942 and it's easy to see why kids loved them. Adults loved crime mags and kids got these. years ago I would buy crime mags at the seven-11 and they were lurid and horrible and true. these were only sometimes true but you can bet not a crime in here hasn't been commited somewhere. If you love old comics and want to read some nonsuperhero tales from long ago , that looks great then this book is for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation Reprints for scarce & rare Comics Jan. 23 2013
By voption - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A bit pricey at full-retail, but Amazon is noted for their dynamic pricing, & I purchased this for a bargain.
Production values are good, book is solid, colors are well-defined, looks like they tweaked the originals ever so slightly--just to clean up minor artifacts-- very good reproductions of the originals, which I am fortunate enough to own. For anyone who wants a good sample of this genre--an excellent choice. Full page-count reprints & a pretty good value compared to modern day production costs and the cost of buying the originals.
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection stories from the most famous crime comic ever published April 19 2014
By Hwy61Joe - Published on
This volume collects the first four issues of the most famous (infamous?) crime series of all-time: CRIME DOES NOT PAY. Four issues doesn't seem like much for a hardcover collection but these are dense issues, about 70 pages each! Each comic is an anthology of short stories about mostly true crime events from throughout history. I found it interesting to read the comic book story of the real-life criminals and then research online to see how accurate the portrayal was. The quality of the stories is hit and miss but the book itself is top notch reprint quality. I'm glad I own it and read it but one volume is probably enough for me.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for Dad July 10 2012
By Robinphx - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My father really enjoyed this gift. When he was growing up comic books were a great escape from reality. It arrived in perfect condition and on time, always an important consideration for me if I am to continue shopping at a specific store or website.

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