Feb 3, 2016

Tangle Wits With a Killer!

Archie Comics isn't known for publishing crime comics, and especially not in conjunction with another company, Close-Up Inc., which may or may not be the same company that makes the toothpaste. But publish crime comics with Close-Up Inc. they did, in the early fifties. Sam Hill was drawn by Harry Lucey and Harry Sahle, and ran seven issues, with each issue having a number of fairly easy-to-follow mysteries. You can download all the issues here at ComicBookPlus.

What strikes me about it, aside from the fact that I read all these stories in the stereotypical 40s movie voices (Sam is Humphrey Bogart), is the relatively high level of visual storytelling for a Golden Age comic. They try to play fair with the clues, so they leave a lot of the clues in the art without calling much attention to them with the words, which wasn't all that common back then, especially since comics had such low production value that it was easy for things to get lost in the art. (Hell, they had to use exclamation points instead of periods most of the time because the periods might get lost in production.)

So I present to you, in the interest of visual storytelling and in the interest of fun, straight of of the first three issues of Sam Hill, Private Eye, two-page features called "Tangle Wits With a Killer!" In each story, you're to look at the panels and see if you can spot the clues that led Sam to his conclusions. The third page features all the solutions (and some bonus crime facts), so it won't leave you hanging.

Click on each image to enlarge, and have fun!

First Mystery:

The Solution:

Second Mystery:

The Solution:

Third Mystery:

The Solution:

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