Robert Leslie Bellem did the words. Adolphe Barreaux did the art. Decades before Harvey Pekar wrote stories for others to illustrate, Bellem did the same, but his were goofy crime tales told in the Hollywood hills. Bellem was the auteur of the pulps...this one issue of Hollywood Detective is edited by Bellem, contains four articles by Bellem AND a "Dan Turner in Pictures" cartoon done by the two. It's nuts...but it works if you care to immerse yourself in one man's odd vision of fictional crime (supported by another man's vision of the scene.)
During his time, Bellem became something of a joke for his writing. 300 of his estimated 3,000 stories were about Dan Turner. S.J. Perelman satirized his work in a hilarious essay "Somewhere a Roscoe..." for the gumshoe slang he created...and he didn't have to work too hard to make it funny.
I can't put it any better than Kevin Burton Smith does on the outstanding Thrilling Detective website HERE "...it was the high-octane use of every slang word known to man (and more than a few Bellem must have coined himself) that fueled the tales. Women were wrens or frills, and their breasts were pretty-pretties or tiddlywinks, something that Dan, "as human as the next gazabo," always took the time to notice. Cars were chariots, money was geetus and no one ever got killed in the stories, they were croaked, cooled, iced, de-lifed or had an act of killery performed upon them. Guns didn't go bang – they were roscoes and they spat, coughed and belched. Or sometimes they just sneezed, though the end result was the same -- people ended up dead."
I guess when you write 3,000 stories, you reach a bit. I'm glad he did! I could spout the slang all day long and feel tough as nails, even if I am not. It is certainly no coincidence Bellem later wrote the story lines for the stilted Superman television series.
And seldom does an illustrator merge so well with a writer. Barreaux did more than draw, and was actually editor of Trojan Publications later...the company which put out Hollywood Detective. When the comics code came in and artists of his ilk were S.O.Luck and S.O. Work..he turned to producing "art" books with naked photographs of the dames he portrayed in his drawings. He even produced Bunny Yeager's Nudes!
Dan Turner Hollywood Detective (illustrated by Adolphe Barreaux, Story by Robert Leslie Bellem) from Hollywood Detective December 1944 Collection Jim Linderman
Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE