One Panel #191-194: April 1940's Headlines

From Superman: "Amnesiac Robbers" by Jerry Siegel and Paul Cassidy, Action Comics #25 (June 1940)

This week, we're taking a look an old trope, not unique to comics but certainly prevalent in the Golden Age... that of showing newspaper headlines as a way to give exposition. And of course, in comics, you get the craziest headlines! The Daily Planet is probably the worst (cumulative) offender.

From Scribbly: "At Dude Ranch" by Sheldon Mayer, All-American Comics #15 (June 1940)

Not every item of interest is on the front page, of course. There are also celebrity/human interest pages.

From The Voice: "The Solving of the World's Greatest Counterfeit Case" by Stan Aschmeier, Feature Comics #33 (June 1940)

And while the headline is usually the be-all and end-all, with the article represented by straight or squiggly lines, or perhaps random letters, sometimes it's in a gigantic font you can read from yards away.

From Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Mystery of the Luminous Eyes" by William A. Smith, Smash Comics #11 (June 1940)

Of all the comics I surveyed for this, Smash #11 gets the prize for most newspaper shots. In addition to this one, in the Captain Cook strip, it is used 3 times in Chic Carter Ace Reporter (no surprise, I guess), once in Wings Wendall, and twice in Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man. There's also an instance of someone reading a headline without us seeing it, and the comic cuts to hand-written letters 3 times. That's a lot of over-the-shoulder reading!



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