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New Year, New Post

Note: for the next couple of weeks we'll be looking at a classic Crimebuster story written by Charles Biro and drawn by Norman Maurer. If you want to see the Crimebuster story The Case of the Lacrosse Rape Hoax, go on and click! Issue #2 will start up online in February 2017!

Happy 2017, everyone! I hope Santa was good to you and brought you useful gifts.

I have never, in my lifetime, seen someone who was qualified to be President who was elected to the office of President, but, depending on how Donald Trump operates, this may be a first. There is much to be excited about this year.

But I think artists shouldn't put politics in their work. It dates the work, first of all, and makes the work meaningless to anyone who is trying to enjoy it 100 years from now. When you write, you're speaking to audiences not only of today, but also you're talking to audiences of the future. Audiences, I'll add, who are not interested in the names of political parties that no longer exist, or the different things that temporary leaders of these factions did or didn't do. Audiences want a story. They don't want to hear your whining.

Good point, though, you in the back. Yes, you. The one who said "Why are you giving advice on writing? You're not successful, or famous."

That may only be a temporary thing, but that's a good point. I'm just some shmoe. I could be living in your city, working in the cubicle alongside of you. You don't have to listen to me. It's up to me to spread my name through great deeds, and build fame through effort.

Comic transcript

Crimebuster's face appears in the top of the panel and says "Meanwhile, Tommy's brother, Joe, was adopted by a couple living in a nearby town!

We see Joe wearing long plaid pants now, somewhat like the ones he was wearing two pages previously, but not as ridiculously short. His room is filthy, with rotting food and broken toys scattered all over.

Joe's father wears a white "wife-beater" undershirt around the house. Joe's mother has white hair and wears a blue dress with an apron. Joe's mother says "Joe! Pick up your things! This room is a mess!"

Joe, reading a comic book, nonchalantly replies "Aw, what's the difference? Pop throws his things around an' you don't make him pick stuff up!"

Joe's dad, angered, yells "Shut up, you little brat! Do as you're told, an' don't criticize me!"

Later, Joe catches his dad looking guilty in the kitchen, his father's hand withdrawing from a leather purse, clutching crumpled bills. Joe says "Hey, pop, whatcha takin' money outta mom's purse for?" Joe's dad, angered, replies "Shuddup, you nosey little brat! You say one word about this, an' I'll beat your hide off!"

Later, Joe is on the street, throwing dice in a crapshoot with other young men, crumpled dollar bills in his fist. A young man with the initials "J" and G" on his shirt asks "Gee, Joe, where do you get all the dough from? Wish I had as much!" Joe smiles and says "It ain't none of your business, but it's such a big joke that I'll tell ya! Mom knows my old man snitches dough from her but she's afraid to say anything to him, so I swipe it, too and she thinks he's doing it!"

The years pass by like colored pieces of paper. It's 1939, and ten years have passed since Tommy and Joe were split up at the orphanage. We see an older Tommy, reading a book about police, sitting at a desk. His adoptive father, a policeman himself, asks Tommy "Why aren't you out having a good time with the young people? What's this you're studying? The Police Manual? I'll not have it! I want you to go to college so you can really amount to something! You don't want to become an old flatfoot like me!"

Tommy looks up at his father and says "What do you mean old flatfoot? You're a wonderful guy and I want to be like you! All I hope is that I can be as good!"

Crimebuster's head appears again at the top of the panel; his expression is different, like he's wincing in pain. Crimebuster says "Then back in 1944, I happened to be in the office of Loover of the FBI when he was having a meeting with the heads of several big oil companies!"

Loover is addressing three men, and Crimebuster watches, silently. Loover says "I've been flooded with complaints from local gas dealers who claim your truck drivers are short-servicing them on deliveries and selling the balance of the gas on the black market!" A man in a green suit jacket and oily hair replies "But that's impossible, Loover!"

A man in a blue suit takes over from Greenie, saying "We've checked and double-checked their complaints! We've put on inspectors, switched routes, done everything, and we know our drivers put the full amount in the dealers' tanks! Whoever is stealing the gas is doing it after it's been delivered!" Greenie enthusiastically agrees, saying "That's right!" in an excited, high-pitched voice.

Greenie and Bluie put their hats on and leave, preceded by a white-haired older man with no dialog. Crimebuster is still watching, silently. Loover says "Well, gentlemen, keep on with your checkups, and I'll do all I can to see if we can locate the source of this trouble! We've got to prevent that gas from going to the blackmarket!"

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