Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Comics VAULT OF HORROR "...and All Though the House..."

Crime doesn't take a holiday...even on Christmas...
...as this sordid story from EC Comics' Vault of Horror #35 (1954) demonstrates!
This horror-day classic (sorry, couldn't resist) written and illustrated by Johnny Craig had been reprinted numerous times and been adapted twice, once as part of the 1970s anthology movie Tales from the Crypt...
and as the second episode of the1990s Tales from the Crypt TV series...

We'll be back after the New Year with more proof that Crime Does NOT Pay!
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MR DISTRICT ATTORNEY "Case of the Secret Six"

Last week we presented the Public Defender...
...this week, it's his counterpart, the two-fisted prosecutor, Mr District Attorney!
It's nearly Christmas.
What do we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ think of?
Peace on Earth!
Good Will towards Men!
25-to-Life at Sing-Sing!
Yep, you heard right!
For a subject-specific gift for the lawyer, or other legal professional in your life, the crew at Atomic Kommie Comics™ suggests you have a look at the Daring District Attorneys and Public Defenders section of our Crime & Punishment™ collection, featuring the long-running radio/tv character Mr. District Attorney!
Inspired by the racket-busting exploits of New York City DA Thomas E. Dewey (who later became New York's Governor), law student-turned radio writer Ed Byron created a nameless "everyman" DA who maintained law and order in an unnamed Big City (implied to be NYC).
The stories, while rarely based on actual cases (like rival show GangBusters) followed actual legal procedures to the letter, even introducing CSI-style "lab boys" to analyze evidence and present testimony during courtroom sequences!
A couple of kool trivia items:
The narrator was known as "The Voice of the Law" who defined both the DA's case at the beginning of the episode and pronounced the criminal's sentence at the end of the show. (A conceit picked up by rival radio / tv show Dragnet!)
Though several actors played Mr. District Attorney, the DA's secretary, Edith Miller, was played by the same actress, Vicki Vola, for the entire run of the show both on radio and tv (1939-1953)!

There were also several b-movies, which took the name, but little else, from the radio series.
The comic book series, from which we draw our imagery, was packaged by the Bob Kane comic book studio. Bob Kane was the co-creator (with Bill Finger) of the most famous fictional detective of the 20th and 21st Centuries--The Batman!
We offer five different classic comic book crime-busting covers as well as his distinctive logo on items ranging from mugs to mousepads to t-shirts, as well as a kool 2012 12-Month Calendar!

Use them responsibly this Yuletide season, citizens!

BONUS: A FREE Christmas present, to you, our faithful readers: mp3s of the Mr District Attorney radio show!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


There have been several attempts to depict lawyers in comic books...
...such as this short-lived series about Legal Aid lawyers!
Defending the accused in comics isn't as glamorous as prosecuting them.
Even the great Perry Mason only lasted two issues in the 1960s!
And, while prosecutor Mr District Attorney had a long run on radio and tv, his across-the-aisle counterpart, Roger Kilgore: Public Defender had only one season of radio episodes in 1948.
Nonetheless, Charlton Comics, seeing the success of a Mr District Attorney comic book, decided in 1956 to try their own version of the Legal Aid lawyer concept.
However, they didn't want to pay for a new 2nd-Class postage license required for a new magazine, so they took existing comic book Police Trap and changed it to Public Defender in Action as of #7, so PDiA's first issue is #7!
The series details the work of pipe-smoking Richard Manning as he defends those who cannot afford a lawyer, and who, most probably, are innocent!
In a couple of weeks, we'll present a story from his counterpart, Mr District Attorney!
Boy, what a team-up comic book that'd be... 
Legal Eagles 
featuring Mr District Attorney vs Public Defender in Action!

Until the royalties start coming in, let me suggest you check out our line of kool komic kollectibles featuring both these classic characters on everything from throw blankets and mugs to hoodies, t-shirts, and iPhone cases!
Support Small Business this Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RADIO PATROL "KIller on the Loose"

From the 1950s, when "prowl cars" were still a novel concept...
...here's a violent pre-Comics Code tale by Steve (Spider-Man) Ditko!
Radio Patrol was an ongoing feature in Charlton's Crime & Justice, though this story from #18 in 1954 was Ditko's only contribution to the series.
It was also the final chapter in the short-lived existence of this version of Radio Patrol.
This series bore no relation to an earlier long-running newspaper comic strip which was adapted into both a short-lived radio show and a movie serial.
That strip, which featured totally different characters, had been canceled in 1950.

Support Small Business

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Even in the 1950s, women served on the front lines of the war against crime...
...as seen in this tale from Police Trap #1.
This tale of female empowerment from 1954 is from the short-lived Police Trap #1, illustrated (and probably written) by Bill Draut, who also did a lot of comics work in the 1950s-1970s, primarily for Harvey, Toby, and DC in literally every genre from crime to superhero to romance.
He continued working until the mid-1980s, ending up (like many other comic artists) working on tv animation, where he was one of the primary designers for the original GI Joe cartoon series.
And, please remember to be observant and careful when you ride public transportation!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

THE BATMAN & THE SHADOW "Who Knows What Evil--?" Conclusion

Art by Mike Kaluta
While tracking a group of counterfeiters in Gotham City, The Batman is saved by an expert marksman who shoots a criminal (who was about to kill the Darknight Detective) in the hand!
The wounded criminal runs into a dead-end alley...and disappears...with only a mocking laugh to indicate anyone had been there!
The crook is later found tied to a lamppost near a police station, dazed and confused, as if...hypnotized.
A clue from the crime scene leads the Caped Crusader (as Bruce Wayne) to Tumbleweed Crossing, where he meets another visitor...Lamont Cranston, a scientist investigating the water supply, which is loaded with minerals and would be perfect for matching the government's formula for the ink used in printing...money!
Believing nearby long-abandoned native cliff-dwellings would be an ideal base of operations for the counterfeiters, The Batman is ambushed as he heads there, but an antique autogyro swoops down and distracts the gunmen long enough for the Cowled Crimebuster to capture them.
As he nears the ruins, The Batman speculates about the identity of the mysterious laughing marksman in the antique aircraft.
Could he be...?
Let's not tell The Shadow that The Batman thought his secret identity (Lamont Cranston) was the counterfeiter!  ;-)
This appearance in Batman #253 came between the first and second issues of The Shadow's bi-monthly Bronze Age run at DC, back when comics actually came out on schedule.
It was a nice tip-of-the-fedora to the long-believed idea that the pulp character was a primary influence on the creation of the Caped Crusader. (A fact confirmed by Shadow historian Anthony Tollin HERE.)
Denny O'Neil was also writing The Shadow comic, and this issue's cover artist Mike Kaluta, who had already done a number of wonderfully-moody Detective Comics and Batman covers, would come to be the definitive Shadow artist for all versions of He Who Knows What Evil Lurks... since. (much as James Bama's version of Doc Savage is the iconic one all others have been based upon.)

We'll be presenting the other Batman story featuring The Shadow in the near future!

for goodies featuring other Silver Age heroes, besides The Batman and The Shadow!