Posts tagged: crime
Eli Wallach, his enormous ties and Christopher Walken in The Sentinel (1977)
Screen captures from The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), directed by Fritz Lang, adapted from Norbert Jacques’ novels by Thea von Harbou.
This week Comics Editor Carol watches The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and thinks about Fredric Wertham and William Moulton Marston.
I had a strange flash of insight while watching The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). I had intended to use the film with my article about comics’ new crime wave, but I was haunted by resonances, so many that once I started writing I had almost two articles worth of material. So his month I offer a strange mix of mad scientists imagined and real—a fictional psychoanalyst and real mental health professionals seeking to perfect or protect society: Dr. Mabuse on one side, Dr. William Moulton Marston on the other and Dr. Fredric Wertham right in the middle. All with manifestos they believe will change–or destroy–the world.
Comics Editor Carol investigates a crime wave in comics:
It seems like when people think of comics, they think of superheroes, but there was a long time when crime and comics were synonymous. And now it seems like some of the best comics around are crime books. There’s a new golden age, a new crime wave in comics.
This post is also part of Furious Cinema’s Scenes of the Crime Blog-a-thon. See other entries and find out how to participate, here.
Cover art by Sean Philips.
Encyclopedia Brown belongs to a special category of children’s books: books—the kind starring characters like Harry Potter and Nancy Drew—that treat curiosity as one of the best assets a kid can have. Books that make it seem not just acceptable, but actually kind of wonderful, to be a nerd. Donald J. Sobol’s “boy detective”—enjoyer of puzzles, observer of oddities, lover of facts—derives much of his charm from his earnest appreciation of the world’s details. He finds his fun in the mundane: in the revealing little banalities that make life interesting and weird and, if you’re lucky, mysterious.
Sobol, whose death at 87 was announced this week, leaves a rich legacy. It includes not only the Encyclopedia Brown book series, and not only the comic strip of the same name, but also multiple generations of people—girls and boys—who were inspired by Encyclopedia to go off and solve their own mysteries. In an age that increasingly needs and values its engineers and its makers and its problem-solvers, that is something to be celebrated.
But Sobol’s legacy includes something else, too: a TV show. An incredibly cheesy, ridiculous, wondrous TV show.