CRIME DOES NOT PAY #42 (1945)
[artist unknown]

Earliest in the salvo of crime comics which eventually exploded after the war, Crime Does Not Pay sported a series of hard bitten, graphic covers during the war years (a woman whose face is shoved into a red hot stove, a man falling down an elevator shaft), but none richer in imagery than this symbolic shot against the American Outlaw. The story is told in an instant, and graphically reiterates the no-nonsense logo: CRIME DOES NOT PAY. From the moon-shaped frame behind the doomed felon, to the stark yellow thrown behind the image of "civilized" justice, this cover carries a powerful message. Even the blurb at the lower left seems appropriate. It announces a jam-packed magazine: "No Skimping!" it says. Indeed.

 P.S. As an ironic aside, Lev Gleason's Managing Editor Bob Wood, whose name is emblazoned on this and scores of other Gleason covers, was later convicted of murder. Following an argument with his fiance in a New York hotel, he bashed her head in with an iron. While Wood did not receive the ultimate punishment for his crime, he did spend three years in Sing Sing Prison as a guest of the state.

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