Has anyone actually read Wertham's "Seduction of the Innocent?"
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I first read it in 1974/5. I imagine I first heard of it in the then bi-weekly Buyers Guide. As a 14 year old, it was strange reading what a supposed authority figure had to say about something I loved. It certainly got me searching for Good Girl art and that led me to Bill Ward so there is that.

I re-read about fifteen years later and had a very different read on it. It's an interesting piece of history, so if that's your thing, I'd go for it.

I have a beat up copy I will lend any forum member with a years presence or an established trading record. I know the spine is missing, not sure about the pictures.

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20 hours ago, speedcake said:

No, but I'm currently reading The Ten-Cent Plague, and it's been a good read.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00139XT6Y/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Yes, The Ten Cent Plague is a thoroughly researched book about the anti-comics hysteria.  Read SOTI if you want to know what parents and legislators were being told about how comic books would rot little kiddies' minds.  Read The Ten Cent Plague for a look at that whole era, and the impact of Wertham's criticism.  Unlike SOTI, Ten Cent Plague has lots of notes citing exact sources for its information.

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16 minutes ago, SOTIcollector said:

Yes, The Ten Cent Plague is a thoroughly researched book about the anti-comics hysteria.  Read SOTI if you want to know what parents and legislators were being told about how comic books would rot little kiddies' minds.  Read The Ten Cent Plague for a look at that whole era, and the impact of Wertham's criticism.  Unlike SOTI, Ten Cent Plague has lots of notes citing exact sources for its information.

I've really enjoyed it so far. I'm considering reading SOTI after.  Are there any decent documentaries on the same subject matter that you guys would recommend? I found one on youtube about EC comics that's decent, but its a low quality upload.

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20 minutes ago, speedcake said:

I've really enjoyed it so far. I'm considering reading SOTI after.  Are there any decent documentaries on the same subject matter that you guys would recommend? I found one on youtube about EC comics that's decent, but its a low quality upload.

I recommend Robert Emmons Jr's Diagram for Delinquents.  http://sequart.org/movies/3/diagram-for-delinquents/

Fast forward past the boring stuff with some guy named Feldstein so you can get to the 0.2 seconds of truly spectacular footage of yours truly. :)

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On 12/18/2019 at 11:15 PM, G G ® said:

I read SOTI and found it very enlightening and uplifting, so much so I burnt all my comic books  and am far more content now I know that Batman and his ilk are to blame for all the world's ills.

Thank goodness for Dr.Wertham and his incisive and well balanced views.

I can't wait for the sequel. 

I know you were kidding but...

There was actually a sequel in the works.  In the 1960's, Wertham tried to work on a sequel that would prove the Comics Code didn't go far enough.  Obviously that was never published, but in Wertham's files at the Library of Congress you can see some of the research he did when he was working on the sequel.

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45 minutes ago, SOTIcollector said:

I know you were kidding but...

There was actually a sequel in the works.  In the 1960's, Wertham tried to work on a sequel that would prove the Comics Code didn't go far enough.  Obviously that was never published, but in Wertham's files at the Library of Congress you can see some of the research he did when he was working on the sequel.

Yep, Wertham had his day in the sun, at least until the 1960s when he turned his attention to racism and the Holocaust and had some TV appearances.

As regards his sequel to SOTI...he was effectively hoisted by his own petard. As he had achieved comic censorship thru' the code, the 'issue' suddenly became a 'non-issue' and publishers weren't interested in a sequel as the point was made and therefore redundant. At least that's my understanding of it.

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I guess in a kind of perverse way we owe something to old Wertham. If the code had not come in, then PCH would have continued to be published ad nauseum and the genre would be far more prolific, diluted and very probably not held in such high regard as PCH is today. He basically created the huge following that belongs to the genre.

Obviously it wouldn't be PCH....just H.

Edited by G G ®
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All this talk about Seduction of the Innocent, made me want to revisit my copy again. There were also other books on censorship as well that are well worth checking out.

Love and Death by Gershon Legman originally published in 1949 (before Wertham)

An attack on sexual censorship. Has an extensive chapter on crime comics with many passages quoted. Alas, no illustrations but has an extensive list of crime titles listed.

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Edited by Robot Man
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Annother standout was Parade of Pleasure by Geoffrey Wagner published in 1954.

It attacked movies, paperback books and comic books as well. Hard to find but well worth seeking out. It, like SOTI had numerous illustrations as well as lots of noted examples all through the text.

Seems like the good Doctor wasn't the first to attack our beloved funny books...

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There were several other attacks on funny books in the media and magazines. A good one is "For the Kiddies to Read" in Reader's Digest and others. Sorry, under doctors orders, I am not allowed to lift boxes for a while so I am unable to dig out any more...

Here is another one "Awake" from 1983 by a religious group also attacking comics so it didn't end with Wertham...

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20 hours ago, SOTIcollector said:

I know you were kidding but...

There was actually a sequel in the works.  In the 1960's, Wertham tried to work on a sequel that would prove the Comics Code didn't go far enough.  Obviously that was never published, but in Wertham's files at the Library of Congress you can see some of the research he did when he was working on the sequel.

He wrote a column in 1955 called "It's Still Murder" in which he continues to attack the comics after the code was implemented.

I have it online here: http://www.thecomicbooks.com/1955itsstillmurder.html

 

 

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On 12/5/2019 at 6:52 AM, tv horror said:

Me no read cus am de-link-quint head hurts now made me fink too hard!:bigsmile:

 

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On 12/21/2019 at 6:57 PM, Robot Man said:

Sorry, under doctors orders, I am not allowed to lift boxes for a while so I am unable to dig out any more...

As long as his name is not Wertham...  :insane:

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 12:21 AM, Electricmastro said:

I read the parts about Wertham talking about race prejudice in comics, which are probably his most valid criticisms if nothing else.

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Wertham missed the mark on a lot of things.  Yes, he tried to "cure" people who were gay.  And we're quite familiar with the anti-comics work he did.  Some things he did were terrible at the time, some society has come to recognize as terrible with the benefit of hindsight.  But he wasn't all bad. 

Wertham founded a clinic that provided free and low-cost ($0.25) psychiatric services to youths in Harlem at a time when these services would have been otherwise available. And he testified in the Delaware court case that ended segregation in that state.  That decision was, in turn, quoted in the US Supreme Court's Brown vs. the Board of Education decision that overturned school segregation nationally in 1954. 

From a letter in the New York Times, December 11, 1981:

[Wertham's] testimony was based upon his examination of Delaware children whom I brought to the LaFargue Clinic, which he directed in St. Philip's Episcopal Church in New York City.

The results of these examinations led the Delaware Chancellor to write: ''One of America's foremost psychiatrists testified that state imposed school segregation produces in Negro children an unsolvable conflict which seriously interferes with the mental health of such children.

''He conceded that the form or combination of forms of hardship vary in different cases and he further conceded that the results are not caused by school segregation alone. However, he pointed out that state-enforced segregation is important, because it is clear-cut and gives legal sanction to the differences, and is of continuous duration.''

The Supreme Court of the United States, in support of its decision holding racial segregation unconstitutional, quoted the Delaware Chancellor's words:

''I conclude from the testimony that in our Delaware society state-imposed segregation in education itself results in the Negro children, as a class, receiving educational opportunities which are substantially inferior to those available to white children otherwise similarly situated.''

JACK GREENBERG, Director and Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York, Dec. 1, 1981

 

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On 6/29/2020 at 7:50 AM, SOTIcollector said:

Wertham missed the mark on a lot of things.  Yes, he tried to "cure" people who were gay.  And we're quite familiar with the anti-comics work he did.  Some things he did were terrible at the time, some society has come to recognize as terrible with the benefit of hindsight.  But he wasn't all bad. 

Wertham founded a clinic that provided free and low-cost ($0.25) psychiatric services to youths in Harlem at a time when these services would have been otherwise available. And he testified in the Delaware court case that ended segregation in that state.  That decision was, in turn, quoted in the US Supreme Court's Brown vs. the Board of Education decision that overturned school segregation nationally in 1954.

 

And Jason Murphy’s lunatic response and publishers featuring less black people until Gabe Jones and Black Panther came along aside, in the end, while some of Wertham’s actions are very much a product of (if not, behind) his time, such as seemingly going along with the hysteria of pedophilia being a result of homosexuality (and citing Batman and Robin, a recognized kid and adult duo, sleeping in the same bed), I do feel he did genuinely care about helping children. Again, he was misunderstood quite a number of things and somewhat misguided in his attempts to care for children, but he still did care for children nonetheless, at least with black children who were purposely given less chances to live happy lives compared to other children. It’s a situation that one likely can’t overreact to considering the terror black people received especially in the Jim Crow era, and how there were parents dressing kids up in KKK outfits and teaching them to be racially hostile to all the “bad” black people, almost as if they were part of another Hitler Youth group. I suppose Wertham could also be compared to Sigmund Freud in that he seems behind the times in some views, but ahead of the times in others.

Edited by Electricmastro
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