Famous Gangsters, Gangsters and Gun Molls, Murderous Gangsters, Guns Against Gangsters and Gangsters Can’t Win.  Comic industry presses were churning out more issues of crime comics than Frankie Uale and Ma Barker (featured in Gangsters Can’t Win v1 #3, Jun-Jul 1948) churned out bullets from their Thompson Sub-machine Guns.

Rise and Fall

Gangsters Can’t Win v1 #3

It is posited crime and gangster popularity in film, novels and comics is born out a contorted representation of The American Dream – at least the “rise” part.  A counter, if you will, to the perfect, Leave it to Beaver suburbia lifestyle. In this world, even a “working class stiff“ could rise to make piles of cash.  But a fast rise from dark nightclubs, lurid pool halls, sleazy bars and seedy streets inhabited by impudent women led to the inevitable “fall.”  Readers longing for success are reminded of the cold reality that in their world, it can never be both achieved and sustained. 

The Lady in Red

The unknown cover artist working for DS Publishing appears to be aware of what Pepsi’s Madison Avenue advertisers understood and leveraged in its “Be Sociable, Have a Pepsi” 1950’s ad campaign; “men are more attracted to women clothed in red” and “women perceive other women who sport red clothing as sexual rivals.