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[personal profile] strannik01
Earlier this year, I posted a story about Toni Gay and her boyfriend, Butch Dykeman. I mentioned that Toni Gay was originally known as Toni Gayle. She started out as a model who decided to become a detective after her police detective father was injured on the job. Her father, Gregory Gayle, didn't like seeing his daughter be put in harm's way, so he insisted that she stick to modeling - but somehow, she usually wound up solving crimes anyway. She was usually accompanied by Biff, a reformed criminal whom her father hired to be her bodyguard. The two were strictly friends, though if the letters pages were any indications, some fans shipped them anyway.

Back then, I didn't read many of her stories, but I've since read more, and, I have to say, they were actually pretty decent. After World War II, many female protagonists wound up getting dumbed down and subjected to inane romantic plots. But not Toni. In spite of being created in 1947, she was smart, legitimately clever and capable of taking care of herself. Not that her stories were entirely free of sexism and some other tropes that would now seem quaint at best. And there were some stories which were quite facepalm-worthy. But, nonetheless, I do think there is enough substance to Toni Gayle to make her worth remembering.

The following story originally appeared in Young King Cole Volume 3, Issue 4. Writer unknown, art by Janice Valleau.
Crocodiles and quicksands and shirtless men - oh my (11 pages under the cut) )

And, as a special bonus:
A letters page from the same issue (which, as Dr Hermes once said, proves that fans never change) )


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