I picked this old dime novel up at a second-hand store years ago for the comics connection and excellent cover and back cover:
At the time, I didn't even look inside, but the book includes about two dozen strips near the end that help solve the book's mystery:
The book is written by Jack Iams, whom I know nothing about, and is from Dell Publishing in 1948. Iams acknowledges a few comics-related folk in his 'Author's Notes':
'Acknowledgments' sounds unduly pompous in front of a murder mystery, but I would like to give credit for several assists, as follows:
First and foremost, to Bill O'Brian, whose cartoons have enlivened any number of magazines and newspapers, for the series of comic strips that wind up the book;
To Roy Crane, creator of 'Buz Sawyer,' for his help in the basic concoction of the story;
To Ward Greene, of King Features Syndicate, slave-driver-in-waiting to the aforementioned Roy Crane, for checking the manuscript and technical assistance"
I'm not familiar with O'Brian or Greene, either, so if anyone has any info on them, post a comment! O'Brian's not a bad cartoonist, I can see a bit of a Gene Deitch influence in the Harold Gray-meets-Chester Gould storyline:
UPDATE, courtesy my pal Paul Slade: Turns out Jack Iams was a pretty prominent journalist on both sides of the Atlantic, wrote for Newsweek, the New York Herald Tribune, the London Daily Mail and was, for his work as a novelist, once compared to Evelyn Waugh (!). He produced not only Death Draws the Line, but also The Countess to Boot (1941), Prematurely Gay (1948) and (my favourite) Do Not Murder Before Christmas (1949). You'll find more details of his life and work here and here.
Thanks, Paul! Paul asked if I would post an example of Iams' prose, so here's a scan of page 1:
This story by Luc Sante, "The Book Collection that Devoured My Life," was something all too familiar to me and probably others reading this blog. If, like me, you've actually worried that your book collection could pose a physical threat to your children, you should read this.
He was last seen headed down for the Book Expo in Los Angeles from Seattle. He never showed up at the con. Instead, the guy pictured above was working our booth all weekend. We don't know who he is. If you know Jason and have any information on his whereabouts, please contact Fantagraphics. Here is a recent photo of him from our Christmas party last Dec. (with Jacob Covey on the right):
UPDATE: Gary was kind enough to send me a few stills from the piece, and also tells me that this animation is the first of four created for the Times. Each piece is about a minute long, and is a very personal take on different parts of NY. The original score is by NY based jazz genius Michael Hashim. So stay tuned to the NYTimes.com for more!
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!