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Norman Maurer was Really Good

Note: for the next couple of weeks we'll be looking at a classic Crimebuster story written by Charles Biro and drawn by Norman Maurer. If you want to see the Crimebuster story The Case of the Lacrosse Rape Hoax, go on and click! Issue #2 will start up online in February 2017!

So for the next couple of posts, I'll be digging up the earth, pulling out a magnifying glass, and showing you the tiny little hairs on the root structure of the Case of the Lacrosse Rape Hoax.

This story is by Charles Biro, and it appeared originally in Boy Comics, Issue # 30, distributed to newstands in the month of October, 1946. The first page is a splash panel, meant to excite the readers abotu the story they were about to read. The action is from the story's most exciting scene, where Crimebuster and his pet monkey Squeeks are fighting two dudes near a burning gasoline truck.

The story was drawn by Norman Maurer, and as I've written about elsewhere, he's got this gift for drawing creepy, bad-looking people. This kind of realistic dirt works well, in my opinion, with the feeling that Chuck Biro was expressing through his stories towards crime and criminals. Norman Maurer added "'46" next to his signature; what excited him so much about that year? The "O" in Norman busts out from its normal size, encompassing the N and the R.

The feet at the bottom of the panel protrude outward, past the panel boundaries, giving the feeling that the characters are floating in front of the background, on the same z-axis as the captions.

Comic transcript

Crimebuster grimaces as he lays a left cross that starts from ten feet up and lances through the jawbone of an ungly thug, stunning him and making him drop the pipe wrench he was about to belt Crimebuster with.

A second thug is coming out of a burning gasoline truck. He's got a gun in his hands! And it's pointed at Crimebuster's kidney! Crimebuster's pet monkey Squeeks is swinging in on a rope, but will he be close enough?

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! So it is with crime and juvenile delinquency! Eliminate the cause, and you have less need for cure! The boy, who's worth his salt can be surrounded by the worst environment and the most fertile crime-breeding elements, yet, his inherent sense of fair play and good sportsmanship will make him immune! It's no trick to make a touchdown after your opponents have gone off the field, or to bang out a homer by tossing the ball yourself against an empty field! The square-shooting American boy knows the only victories worth having are the ones that are won according to the rules so don't let the bitter, sore-headed, bad loser give you that song about never having gotten a square deal, or to gain one ounce of your pity, because he's not made of the stuff we want on the biggest ball team in the world -- The U.S.A!"

Charles Biro

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