Golden Age Crime Goodness: Lawbreakers
From 1951 to 1953, Derby Connecticut comic book publisher, Charlton Comics, released a series called Lawbreakers. Crime comics were extraordinarily popular after World War Two, and most publishers jumped on the gangster band wagon with both brass knuckled hands.
Lawbreakers featured hard-fisted and gun-toting gangsters who come up against even tougher lawmen. These are the stories of the worst of the worst against the best of the best with no holds barred! Featuring great stories, exceptional illustration and no concern about being proper, Lawbreakers showcased crime comics in the pre-code glory days.
Lawbreakers lasted a total of nine issues. Beginning with Issue #10, the title was changed to Lawbreakers Suspense Stories and the stories themselves morphed into the suspense/horror genre. Readers still had their share of murder and mayhem but in less of a cops and robbers’ scenario and more of a gore & death setting. The later issues featured some of the most graphic depictions in comics.
After issue 15, Lawbreakers Suspense Stories was canceled. In order to circumvent postal regulations, the numbering liniage was continued with issue #16 of Strange Suspense Stories in 1954.
Warning: Both Lawbreakers and Lawbreakers Suspense Stories contain some intense drug stories. Many of the original issues were destroyed in the comic book purges of the early 1950’s or bundles of the new issues were returned unopened by the distributor, and eventually pulped.
For those of us who prefer paper over pixels, Lawbreakers and Lawbreakers Suspense Stories have been reprinted by Gwandanaland books into a series of trade paperbacks, in full blood strewn color. All of these books, plus other Gwandanaland titles, are available to order at both Createspace and Amazon.
The Gwandanaland Lawbreakers trilogy are:
Lawbreakers Volume , which is 182 pages and contains issues #1-5
Lawbreakers Volume 2 reprints Issues #6 through 10 and is also 182 pages long
The third volume of the series, Lawbreakers Suspense Stories; presents issues #11-15 and has 180 pages of spine-tingling tales.
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