Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Dedication, Copyright

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I would like to thank all those who helped with this project in large and small ways. In general, I’ll state that you know who you are (thereby covering myself in case I forget any of the major players). In particular, I thank those who enabled my research, especially...

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Foreword

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pp. xi-xiv

As popular storytelling evolved during the nineteenth-century in the popular press, the cities in Europe and America became frequently used settings in stories featuring crime and its detection. From the earliest decades following the Industrial Revolution in the...

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Introduction: Crime Comics and Other Black Masks

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pp. xv-xxiv

Case No. 1: Suspected of his partner’s murder, a tough, shady, and acerbic detective begins an investigation that implicates double-dealing police as well as outlaws; he discovers only some of the answers to his questions, learns the ancient object of everyone’s...

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1. Classic Crime Comics and the Big Sleep

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pp. 1-29

Classic crime comics of the 1940s and ’50s find their most discrete point of origin in the hardboiled detective stories published in pulp fiction magazines. However, it is difficult to discuss the hardboiled detective story without mentioning its origin and, in some...

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2. The Dark Mirror Reappears in the Future: Dean Motter and Howard Chaykin

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pp. 30-63

With our initial focus on the rise of crime comics in the 1940s, it is important to not forget about the general diversity in comics before and after the 1954 Senate hearings. In addition to horror (another genre on the rise before the implementation of the Comics...

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3. The Dark Night Returns to the Mainstream: Frank Miller

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pp. 64-99

For many reasons, the superhero story dominated the comics industry in the Comics Code era and continued to be the dominant genre in the direct market and mainstream comic book business. This continued dominance had much to do with the genre’s flexibility...

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4. After Dark (Another Generation of Comic Noir): Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Azzarello, and Ed Brubaker

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pp. 100-143

As the direct market became more important to both the independent publishers and the big two, new opportunities became a standard expectation among new talent in the early 1990s. With independent successes as wide ranging as Love and...

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Conclusion: Crime Comics and America’s Memento Mori

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pp. 144-151

Even though Fredric Wertham’s ideas received too much credit from the general public during the congressional hearings of 1954, they received criticism almost immediately from people inside and outside the comic book industry. One of these more notable...

Bibliography

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pp. 152-164

Index

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pp. 165-181

Colophon

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p. 182