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Presenting the first graphic novel from 1950 with 128pgs of Matt Baker art!

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Yoc: banner34-Rhymes-Lust---Animated.gif
NOTE: To navigate between the pics you can click on the thumbnails at the bottom or use the arrows on either side of the main picture. message pictures/Rhyme/Matt Baker1.jpg message pictures/Rhyme/Osrin-Baker from Alter Ego 47.jpg message pictures/Rhyme/Drake2.jpg message pictures/Rhyme/Leslie_Waller.jpg             1                          2                           3                         4

1. Matt Baker
2. Roy Osrin and Baker from Alter Ego 47 ( TwoMorrows)
3. Arnold Drake
4. Leslie Waller

PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK HERE TO READ 'It Rhymes With Lust' - An Introduction by Michael T. Gilbert - USED WITH HIS GENEROUS PERMISSION.

Hi Gang,
Over the last few years there's been a lot of talk about the history of 'graphic novels'.  Depending on your definition of a GN it can vary.  But if you consider it a long form single story then the first one was published by St. John back in 1950 and called a 'Picture Novel.'  'Rhymes with Lust' was digest sized, printed in black and white, and is now up on the site here and we're are thrilled to present it for you all.

We can't say we shared it first but we are making sure people notice this wonderful gem packed with 128 pages of Matt Baker art at his peak! (above left)  Abelling assisting Baker is his long time friend and inker Roy Osrin (see above, second from right).  Anyone who is a golden age comics fan very likely knows of Baker, considered by most as the ultimate 'Good Girl' artist.  He is notorious for his cover for Phantom Lady #17 and can be found in many Fiction House and St. John comics here on the DCM.  You will note that only the Lust cover is in colour.  But Baker makes great use of grey mechanical tones to make the art pop on each page.  This book has been reprinted twice in the last 20 years but this scan is from the real deal.

The story is very much in the pot-boiler/noir genre with 'Rust' playing the devious femme fatale.  The idea for a picture novel came from the co-writers of this book, both of whom went on to some renown.  First was Arnold Drake (above second from right) who writes about his time working on Lust in the 2007 reprint and in the The Comics Journal #277 (July 2006) reprint as part of their 30th anniversary issue.  Mr Drake talks about how he came up with the idea of a picture novel on this link which also shares a nice overview of the book.  From "Borderland Speakeasy" (column) #8,, April 26, 2010.  He would later co-create Deadman and The Doom Patrol for DC Comics. 
Drake's Lust co-writer was novelist Leslie Waller.  (above far right)  Waller went on to write best-sellers and novelizations of movies such as Dog Day Afternoon and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

St. John released on one more Picture Novel after this one - the mystery novel 'The Case of the Winking Buddha', by pulp novelist Manning Lee Stokes and illustrator Charles Raab.  If anyone out there has a copy PLEASE consider scanning it for sharing.  If you can't manage it we have a trusted scanner on staff that can do if for you and get it back to you in very quick time.  We've recently learned "The Case of the Winking Buddha" was adapted to standard comics page format and published as a 32-page color comic tale in St John's "Authentic Police Cases" #25, so you can read a modified version of it AT THIS LINK.

Many thanks to Kracalactaka for finding and sharing this scan with us and the the unknown scanner who risked his book on a scanner to preserve the original for posterity.


how bout some love for Roy Osrin the Inker? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??????????????

oh, and There is something about the Rust-Yoc mashup that is deeply disturbing

Hehe, yeah, Yoc-Rust wasn't pretty was it?  I decided against using it as a full time avatar.

Roy Osrin was one of Baker's best friends as well as top inker.  He had very nice things to say about him in the Baker focused Alter-Ego #47.  I'll add a picture of the two to the intro above.


If only Baker had lived. Can you freaking imagine the 1960-70's Marvel breakout with Baker doing Spidey, X-Men, Thor, Hulk, Avengers & FF? Ditko & Kirby: sit down.  Imagine if you will Baker's takes on Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, Black Widow, Wasp, Sue Storm, Sif, Enchantress, Scarlet Witch, Jean Grey, Valkyrie, Ms Marvel, Spider-Woman, Night Nurse(might have lasted more than 4 issues) & Mockingbird and into the 80's on She-Hulk & Dazzler.

Or if DC is your flavor, how about Baker's take on: Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Catwoman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Starfire, Donna Troy, etc

 :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

One can only wonder what he might have done.  I'd hope he'd find a smaller publisher and a very good writer and work on more non-hero stuff like this graphic novel.  He really did excel at drawing women.  I'm sure he'd have been fine doing any DC female title.  Look how well Irv Novik adapted to the 70s DC book.



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