“Crime Can’t Pay — In Any Way!”
–the Crime Smashers tagline
A short-lived comic book anthology series from Trojan, Crime Smashers reprinted four of the most popular comic stories once found in the pages of parent corporation Culture Publications’ pulp magazines (including Hollywood Detective and Spicy Detective), nestled between the prose short stories and novellas. Some were mere reprints, other were expanded from their original two-or four-page length to a whopping eight pages, and all were colourized, to compete with the other crime comics then flying off the racks. And some were all-new stories.
Those finding new life in the pages of Crime Smashers were the top-billed private eyes Dan Turner and Sally the Sleuth, as well as Ray Hale, “ace newshawk of the Midvale Clarion, and Gail Ford, who worked as “Girl Friday” to Police Inspector Madson. There were also occasional standalone stories.
And just in case the tagline “Crime Can’t Pay — In Any Way!” wasn’t enough for concerned parents, each cover also boasted a slogan reminding easily impressionable readers that “The Law Always Wins!”
The law may have won, but in the fierce battlefield of sales, this feisty little comic only managed to hang on for fifteen issues — less than two years. Two months after its final issue, dated March 1953, it was folded into Ribage’s Crime Mysteries (starting with #7), where the slogan “Combined with Crime Smashers” began appearing above the title.
- CRIME SMASHERS
(October 1950-March 1953, Trojan Magazines)
Writers: Adolphe Barreaux (also as Charles Barr), Robert Leslie Bellem, Ray C. MeClelland, William Grew, Kevin Blake
Artists: Adolphe Barreaux (also as Charles Barr), Joe Kubert, Jerry Altman, Wally Wood, Pierre Charpentier, Keats Petree, Max Plaisted, Newt Alfred, Les Zarkin, Robert McCarty, Anthony Tallarico, H.C. Kiefer, Jerry Altman
Editor: Adolphe Barreaux