The Old Story Begins
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!
Like I said, this is from Boy Comics #30, published in 1946. The war just ended and the mood is jubilant. Crimebuster spent most of the war fighting National Socialists in America, as well as the Japanese, and even Americans who sought to disrupt the war effort. Crimebuster stayed in the States, I don't remember him taking on any missions overseas.
So Crimebuster's still working with Loover, who started out as a police chief and now seems to be some kind of law-related figure with whom Crimebuster works. Loover's job and position were never really well defined, though I have some ideas.
Crimebuster's work ethic is what propels a lot of his stories. He always wants to get at the criminals, you see. Squeeks the monkey hands Crimebuster the mail and Crimebuster's hoping it's a new case. He's disappointed.
And it's off to the orphanage, because heroes help out orphans. The director meets him immediately, and one panel later Crimebuster's on stage and the magician a) knows who Crimebuster is and b)knows what his monkey is named. The magician's also swinging around a rabbit by its ears, which they hate so much that they will often kick so hard as to break their own necks. Norman Maurer sure drew a creepy magician.
As the story opens, Squeeks the monkey of indeterminate species is handing Crimebuster the mail. Crimebuster's in costume and he's in the middle of breakfast, enjoying his favorite gosh darn cereal, "Beaties". Crimebuster says "A letter for me? What did you do, go down and meet the mailman?"
Crimebuster opens the letter. "Hmm. A letter from Loover," he says, "Wonder what he's got on his mind? Hope it's an interesting case."
The letter's tiny, cursive writing says "Dear Crimebuster. Wondering if you can do me a little favor? I promised to speak at the Bright Hills Orphanage this Saturday afternoon, but I've been called out of town on a case. Will you take over for me? I've already told the director that I'd ask you. Thanks for the help, LOOVER". Crimebuster says "Darn Loover anyhow! He knows I hate to give speeches!"
At the orphanage, the Director is meeting Crimebuster on the front steps, he's so excited. The director, who is in the distance and who we can't clearly make out, says "So glad you could come, Crimebuster! Loover said I could depend on you to talk to the boys!" Crimebuster answers "I'll do my best! I'm hoping Squeeks will do most of the entertaining!"
Now we're inside the orphanage, and on a stage. A Creepy looking magician with hair parted down the middle and a thin, pencil mustache grins as he looks at Crimebuster and his monkey. A crowd watches expectantly, as the magician is in the middle of a trick. "Well, well! If it isn't Crimebuster's little friend, Squeeks!" says the magician. "Come on out and help me! I need an assistant!" In the magician's hand is a white rabbit he is holding by its EARS for crying out loud. The rabbit is not kicking and clawing at the magician's hand in a terrified, panicked frenzy.
The magician is pulling rope out of Squeek's red single-button overalls. A series of handkerchiefs is tied to the rope. Squeek's hat is flying off his head in surprise.