Friday, July 10, 2020

Guilt-Edged Gold

Some comics in Golden Age prime
Were loaded with violence and crime
On cheapest pulp printed
Quite vulgarly tinted
And BEST OF ALL, only a dime!

Donald B. Benson

Fight Against Crime #20 (1954). Maybe the tail end of the Golden Age, but it sure is violent!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Whip Replacement

At work this guy likes it on top 
But at home he does not wield a crop 
To relax he submits 
To whipcracks and hits 
And pleads with his mistress, "Don't stop!"

Mystic Comics #6 (1941). Artist: Alex Schomburg.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Red Skullduggery

His favorite thing is a bomb
He throws 'em with joyful aplomb
His personal goal
Is total control
In sexual terms, he's a "dom".

The Red Skull began his fictional life as an adversary of Captain America during WW2. "The Return of the Red Skull" from Captain America #3, by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Gulp Fiction

Unfortunate hack, this poor chap
A tortured and lachrymose sap
Sunk in gloom, wrote suspense
Full of doom, short on sense
Some scorchers, some lackluster crap.

David Cairns

By all accounts (well, the exhaustive biography First You Dream, Then You Die) noir and suspense pulp writer Cornell Woolrich had a miserable personal life.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Cornell Liquor

He knows a quite a lot about drinking
His prose comes while blotto and stinking
But while bobbing afloat
Somehow novels get wrote
Writing flows as the bottles keep clinking.

David Cairns

Alcohol figured into both the life an fiction of Cornell Woorich.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Heaven Can Grate

Her porcelain beauty's quite smashing
But warning! Red lights should be flashing
Her love, unrestrained
With blood is soon stained
Ignore her and--wait--what's that splashing?

Cornel Wilde and Gene Tierney in John M. Stahl's masterpiece, Leave Her to Heaven (1945).

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Twin, Lose or Drawers

Identical girls, one is bad.
But how can an ID be had?
The vamp's negligee
Gives her badness away
While the good girl's more modestly clad.

David Cairns

Bonita Granville plays twins in the low budget Cornell Woolrich adaption, The Guilty (John Reinhardt; 1947).

Monday, June 29, 2020

Wouldn't It Be Rubbery?

With eyelids glued onto their faces
These wily savants work their cases
Peter, Boris and Warner
Each perform as a foreigner
And as Moto, Wong, Chan change their races.

David Cairns

Long before concerns about yellowface casting, Warner Oland played Charlie Chan, Peter Lorre starred as Mr. Moto, and Boris Karloff became Mr. Wong.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Drew, Tarry More!

Nancy Drew, quite the lady in print
Didn't do well in Hollywood stint.
Who knew that they'd type her
A screwball so hyper
That she flew through each film at a sprint?

Donald B. Benson

In Warner's quartet of programmers, the composed young sleuth became a frantic, comedic Bonita Granville. Amusing films...if you're not one Nancy's devoted readers. Pictured: Bonita Granville, Frankie Thomas, and John Litel in Nancy Drew… Detective (William Clemens; 1938)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Moose and Girl

"Where's Velma?" asks scary Malloy 
The fella's a very big boy
To this con on the loose,
(His friends call him "Moose")
Your delicate neck's but a toy.

Ward Bond was Hollywood's first Moose Malloy in The Falcon Takes Over (Irving Reis; 1942). After the success of The Maltese Falcon, studios searched for tougher detective stories. In this case, Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely was lightened, and Los Angeles and Philip Marlowe were jettisoned in order to fit into the Falcon series at RKO.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Killing on a Killing

The B-movie dick, Michael Shayne:
Less noble than slick -- I'm just sayne.
Before he's begun
To figure who dun,
He's eager to pick out who's payne.

Donald B. Benson

In Dressed to Kill (Eugene J. Forde; 1941), detective Michael Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) stumbles across a murder and immediately sets about collecting multiple clients to pay him to solve it.

Monday, June 15, 2020

The Case of the Burr-ly Barrister

A victim of murder they'll bury
In court with the DA he'll parry
He'll mount the defense
But don't count on suspense
The plots in this show seldom vary.

Raymond Burr starred in and as Perry Mason from 1957 to 1966.

Friday, June 12, 2020


He's staring himself in the eye
Two characters played by one guy
A tough-talking crook
The other a schnook
Apparently one has to die.

Two Edward G. Robinsons get The Whole Town's Talking (John Ford; 1935).