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Sunday, February 1, 2015

SAM HILL Private Eye #1
(On Newsstands in July 1950)

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Even though Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy had been around since 1931, showing police procedure and the violence as a part of street crime, it wasn’t until Charles Biro’s CRIME DOES NOT PAY in 1942 that the genre took off and everyone started to emulate it. 
Of course Archie Comics was coming into it 8 years late, and considerably less violent, but to make up for it, Harry Lucey would crank up the sensuality and sleaze up just enough to not aggravate his editors.
I mean, right there on the cover it boasts ‘a dame who’s built like a goddess and makes love like a she-devil’. (that’d look right at home in the pages of Men’s Adventure Magazine’s that grow in popularity during the 50’s)
(from SAM HILL PRIVATE EYE #1 - July. 1950, artwork by Harry Lucey)

Harry Lucey went to work for MLJ back in 1941, drawing such features as Fireball and Madam Satan before graduating to doing one of their top characters in Hangman. His early career was cut short when he went into the Army for a few years. After returning he worked in advertising for a while before returning to MLJ who apparently let him design the covers of both Sam Hill and the Adventure of the Dover Boys (the following month), which featured ad like heavy text on the cover to promote the comic. (Dover Boys oonly lasted 2 issues).
(from Pep Comics #12, #17, Hangman #3, and Adventure of the Dover Boys #1 - artwork by Harry Lucey)

Harry’s art had grown in leaps and bounds since his early days, and if he hadn’t ended up as one of the great Archie artists, he might’ve followed the more realistic art abilities he had and be remembered as one of the good girl artists of the era….
(from SAM HILL PRIVATE EYE #1 - July. 1950, artwork by Harry Lucey)

It may seem strange today, but in 1950, ladies were hurling empty milk bottles at each others heads and blacking out with their skirts hiked up and legs wide open. Wertham was looking in all the wrong places!
(from SAM HILL PRIVATE EYE #1 - July. 1950, artwork by Harry Lucey)

(On Newsstands in July 1950)

Ah what it just have been like to go to the newsstand in July of 1950 and see Archie #46, Betty and Veronica #1, Jughead #2, and Pep Comics #81 (along with Sam Hill #1 and Darling Love #6)!
(from Jughead #2 - July. 1950, artwork by probably George Frese)

Most likely the first mention of a Murder Cult in an Archie Comic...
(from Jughead #2 - July. 1950, artwork by George Frese)

George Frese was doing great opening panels, layouts, he had his characters' look the way he wanted, and it fit nicely into a Montana-esqe style. 
(from Jughead #2 - July. 1950, artwork by George Frese)

One of the earliest stories featuring the gang going to the beach (in the comic books... Montana had already explored this in the strip)
(from Jughead #2 - July. 1950, artwork by George Frese)

Books published by Archie Comics and on the stands in June of 1950

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