At Michigan State University Library, found another impossible crime story in
comic book form. MSU has 150, 000 comic books - the largest public collection
in the world! It is the best place to research the history of the comic book.
This story is called "The Whirling Death", and is part of a very short-lived
series featuring "Simon Savant, Doctor of Criminology". This series was
briefly a back-up feature in the comic book Super-Magician; this episode was in
Super-Magician #8, November 1942.
The story opens with a strangled man found on a tennis court, and no
footprints leading to the body but his own. Just like the opening of John Dickson
Carr's "The Problem of the Wire Cage" (1939). My first thought: "oh, look, some
joker has made a ripped-off version of a famous detective novel." Then... the
story comes up with a completely different solution than Carr's novel!
Have not been able yet to track down any other of Simon Savant's cases.
Even the Grand Comics Database (http://www.comics.org/)
does not know who
wrote and drew this story.
I will soon be adding this to the list of impossible crimes in comic books on
my web site:
The same issue contains a one-shot story, "A Model Death". This is a
fair-play detective story with some decent ideas.