You Know They Used To Burn Comic Books, Right?

In a period of America’s history when fear and paranoia spread easily, there was an outcry for an explanation for the rise in “troubled” children. Truancy, gang activity and many other forms of Juvenile Delinquency, were “rampant” and parents were starved and desperate for answers.

Then, in 1954, along came a book called SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT that fanned these flames, finding the fault and blame in the pages of Comic Books. It was written by a psychiatrist, Dr. Fredric Wertham, it had to be true, right?

Congressional hearings were held. Book burnings were held.

Public opinion on the art form dived and comics quickly became the scourge responsible for bad kids everywhere. Eventually, this would give way to the Comics Code Authority, a precursor to the self-censoring that found it’s way into movies, music and video games.

These events, destroyed the lives and careers of many writers, artists, publishers and nearly destroyed an industry and an American art form.

While the findings in the book have been suspect for many years, new evidence has come to show that Wertham consistently LIED, COVERED UP and MISREPRESENTED the truth.

University of Illinois assistant professor Carol L. Tilley has taken a closer look at Wertham’s files and research and has found many inconsistencies. The Illinois News Bureau reports about her findings:

“For example, in “Seduction,” Wertham links “Batman” comic books to the case of a 13-year-old boy on probation and receiving counseling for sexual abuse of another boy: “Like many other homo-erotically inclined children, he was a special devotee of Batman: ‘Sometimes I read them over and over again. … It could be that Batman did something with Robin like I did with the younger boy.’ ”

What Tilley found in Wertham’s notes, however, was that the boy preferred “Superman,” “Crime Does Not Pay” and “war comics” over “Batman,” and that he had previously been sexually assaulted by the other boy – all information that Wertham left out.”

Much more:

Bleedingcool.com has a brief overview here.

READ The Illinois News Bureau full article here.

No comments:

Post a Comment