In 1942 a new comic book hit the stands, it was titled Crime Does Not Pay. It was created by two comic book legends Charles Biro and Bob Wood. Crime Does Not Pay was the first 'true crime comic book published. Sales slowly rose until at the end of World War II 800,000 copies of each issue were being published. At the same time sales of superhero comics were on the decline, and the time of the costumed avenger fighting the Nazi hordes drew to a close.
With sales of Crime Does Not Pay increasing other publishers sought to gain a piece of the market and soon they were launching their own titles. This competition led to an increase in violence and gore, as they each tried to grab the public's attention.
Eventually, these titles became the target of parents, moral crusaders and other groups and were blamed, in part, for the the rise of juvenile delinquency and illiteracy. Following the publication of Dr. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent and investigations by the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, the industry adopted a strict code administered by the Comics Code Authority. This meant that the comic books were highly sanitized and many soon folded.
To read a comic book, click on one of the covers beneath. Click on the sections on the right to navigate through the site.