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Comics Golden Age

Seduction of the Innocent2185

Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
Wanted to share this with everyone. This is an amazing read from Dr. Wertham from 1954. My copy only goes to 397 pages and does not have the bibliography pages. I believe this makes it a first edition but a second printing. If I was to read this book back in 1954, I would not let my kids read comic books. It is pretty convincing. Anyone else have a chance to read it or own a copy? I would love to get a nicer copy with the bibliography pages but they are about $800. I got mine about 4 years ago as part of a bulk comic book purchase. Paid $500 for 8 short boxes of bronze age books and this book.
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user

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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
I've been dying to get my hands on a copy for a very long time. Nice buy!
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
I was looking for a copy for about 5 years before I found this one.
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Collector QuaBrot private msg quote post Address this user
Important part of comic history, and totally debunked as real psychology. Lead to the creation of the Comics Code and the end of the Golden Age of comics, Killed EC comics in particular, and destroyed all those gory pre-code horror books, and let Atlas dominate (if that's the word) what was left of the sci-fi/horror genres which allowed them to developer Kirby and Ditko who eventually helped Stan Lee (or Stan Lee stole from, however you think of the history) the Marvel style of superhero comics . . .
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
@QuaBrot Yes, the book had a huge influence on the Comic Code being created. The pre code horror and crime books had some really creative scary graphics. Now they are very desirable and tough to find out in the wild.
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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuaBrot
Important part of comic history, and totally debunked as real psychology. Lead to the creation of the Comics Code and the end of the Golden Age of comics, Killed EC comics in particular, and destroyed all those gory pre-code horror books, and let Atlas dominate (if that's the word) what was left of the sci-fi/horror genres which allowed them to developer Kirby and Ditko who eventually helped Stan Lee (or Stan Lee stole from, however you think of the history) the Marvel style of superhero comics . . .


DC was the real winner of the Comics Code era. Atlas struggled for quite a bit after.
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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
One of the most frustrating things about the whole era was Bill Gaines' testimony in front of the Senate.

He took the wrong approach (understandable, given that he wasn't a very confrontational guy) towards the blowhards questioning him.

When Kefauver asked him "Do you think this is in good taste?", he should have said "no. Of course it's not in good taste. It's in terrible taste. But the First Amendment allows me to create things that are in terrible taste, and, after all, the United States allows pornography to be sold publicly. Moreover, these comic books aren't for children, and never were intended to be. They are intended for adults, period, and you have no business censoring that which is created under the free expression guaranteed by the First Amendment."

THAT would have solved that.
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Collector Superworld private msg quote post Address this user
Heh, good point there!
I read Frank Jacobs book 'The Mad Mad World of William M Gaines' years ago, and he said that Gaines was taking medicine for the flu, and when it wore off, he got punchy, and fell into the interrogators' trap.

I started to read my copy of SOTI years ago, and disagreed with most of the premises, so put it away.
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#GLOM DarthLego private msg quote post Address this user
Congress being bedazzled by fake science has become a running theme too, but that's neither here nor there.
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Collector QuaBrot private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
DC was the real winner of the Comics Code era. Atlas struggled for quite a bit after.


All the comic companies suffered. DC had already shut down many of their superhero titles (side note that the only characters to have a continuous title from the Golden Age through Copper Age were Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). They did continue Action, Adventure and Detective Comics, and they were the true pioneers when they ventured to reimagine and reintroduce the Flash and then Green Lantern in Showcase Comics from 1956 on. But for most people the comics we know today really have their roots in the Marvel books of the early 1960's.
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Longbox Legend JWKyle private msg quote post Address this user
http://www.lostsoti.org/

https://www.scribd.com/doc/30827576/Seduction-of-the-Innocent-1954-2nd-Printing

The book that almost killed comics. Although without this the sixties on may have never happened the way it did.
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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuaBrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
DC was the real winner of the Comics Code era. Atlas struggled for quite a bit after.


All the comic companies suffered. DC had already shut down many of their superhero titles (side note that the only characters to have a continuous title from the Golden Age through Copper Age were Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). They did continue Action, Adventure and Detective Comics, and they were the true pioneers when they ventured to reimagine and reintroduce the Flash and then Green Lantern in Showcase Comics from 1956 on. But for most people the comics we know today really have their roots in the Marvel books of the early 1960's.


Yes, all the comic companies suffered to a degree...but that had less to do with the hysteria of the events leading to the Comics Code than it had to do with the general change in the taste (and age brackets) of the people buying those comics.

DC had cancelled or transformed most of their long-running titles long before SOTI was published, due to lack of sales. That lack of sales was because of the fundamental shift of comic books being, from WWII and before, a medium that everyone could enjoy, to, by 1950 or so, being a "just for kids" artform. That, more than any other factor, contributed to the decline of the comic publishing business in the late 40's/early 50's. Before and during the war, everyone red comics...afterwards, not so much.

None of that had anything to do with the Comics Code, which came about later.

"House of Mystery", launched in 1952, was an attempt to cash in on the sci-fi/horror craze going on, not just in comics, but pop-culture in general.

As far as most comics today having their roots in Marvel of the 60's...well, that's certainly true to a certain extent, but the comics of today also have their roots in National of the 30's and 40's, as well as DC of the 80's.

And Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman weren't the only characters to have titles published without interruption from the 40's through the 80's. They were the only superheroes who maintained their titles, but Donald Duck and other Disney characters managed to do the same thing.

And, it can be fairly said that, of all comics publishers, Dell, with their Disney license, flourished during this period, with Overstreet reporting that, in 1952-1954, WDC&S had sales of 3 to 4 million copies a month.

Not suffering that much, I don't think.
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Collector martymann private msg quote post Address this user
As I picked my comics from the newsstands during the 40's
and early 50's I never realized what harm it was doing to
me...?

Marty Mann
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Collector Superworld private msg quote post Address this user
Yep, Marty, You've been warped from an early age. Ha Ha!

Doc, I think the advent of TV in the late 40's and into the '50's changed reading habits too.

Not so sure that comics from the '30's and '40's weren't mostly just for kids too though. I think that from the end of WW2 and the resultant fervor and enthusiasm that accompanied the war, into the '50's, interest in comics waned somewhat.
Publishers didn't know what to do with the superheroes, and hadn't yet figured out that the colorful villain makes the hero.
Then they ventured into any genre they could think of to capture a share of the reader market.
Turned out that horror was the overall favorite by the early '50's, and sold better than anything else, including superheroes.
So, when Wertham and others attacked those books, and by proxy, all comics(kid sidekicks, et al), it really did put a dent in the industry. Parents became skittish about letting their kids be moulded into juvenile delinquents, and were resistant about comics being around the house.
And, as you know, the CCA was concieved by the other publishers as an arrow right to the heart of EC Comics, who they were resentful of.
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Moderator Jesse_O private msg quote post Address this user
And just to add a bit of historical content, remember what time frame and general mindset was prevalent in America during the late 40's through the early 60's. The Cold War, McCarthyism, Rock and Roll was the Devils music, returning vets forming motorcycle gangs, etc. It was an era of suspicion and it was a ripe time for a book like this to be accepted.
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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superworld


Doc, I think the advent of TV in the late 40's and into the '50's changed reading habits too.


I tend to think it contributed, but remember, most households didn't have TVs until the early 50's, and then only 1. Multiple TVs in the house didn't develop until the popularization of VCRs in the very late 70's/early 80's, so kids had to watch whatever dad and/or mom watched.

The far more important factor was just the shift culturally taking place at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SW
Not so sure that comics from the '30's and '40's weren't mostly just for kids too though. I think that from the end of WW2 and the resultant fervor and enthusiasm that accompanied the war, into the '50's, interest in comics waned somewhat.


Comics, prior to and during WWII, were red and enjoyed by every age group. I have a photo somewhere from Burbank high school, here in CA, from 1941 showing high school kids reading Batman #6.

That changed after the end of the war, dramatically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SW
Publishers didn't know what to do with the superheroes, and hadn't yet figured out that the colorful villain makes the hero.
Then they ventured into any genre they could think of to capture a share of the reader market.
Turned out that horror was the overall favorite by the early '50's, and sold better than anything else, including superheroes.
So, when Wertham and others attacked those books, and by proxy, all comics(kid sidekicks, et al), it really did put a dent in the industry. Parents became skittish about letting their kids be moulded into juvenile delinquents, and were resistant about comics being around the house.
And, as you know, the CCA was concieved by the other publishers as an arrow right to the heart of EC Comics, who they were resentful of.


Absolutely. There was certainly a nationwide backlash against comics...with the resultant burnings that took place...during the time period. But, the downfall of the superhero wasn't caused by Wertham and SOTI, which was the point I was making to QuaBrot.

And, publishers published what would sell. There were romance comics, western comics, horror comics, sci-fi comics...whatever would sell, they commissioned, printed, and sold.

And yes, the CCA was certainly a "let's screw Gaines" measure...and it worked.
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Collector ZosoRocks private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superworld
Heh, good point there!
I read Frank Jacobs book 'The Mad Mad World of William M Gaines' years ago, and he said that Gaines was taking medicine for the flu, and when it wore off, he got punchy, and fell into the interrogators' trap.

I started to read my copy of SOTI years ago, and disagreed with most of the premises, so put it away.


If this book is such a "rock"....why even read it?

IMO - comics have changed the world we live in....for the better. People are much more imaginative now. We are adventurous and no longer lining up to get into pews.

More importantly, they don't cause me to go out and be a vigilante, nor do they cause me to dominate the world with a megalomaniac approach.

This book reminds me of an even older false assertion - when the "establishment".....tried and succeeded with their "Reefer Madness" BS.

I'm surprised some of you folks are speaking "highly" of the book.

Use it as firewood.....it isn't worth your time.
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Collector Comicdey private msg quote post Address this user
The book is a footnote in comics history and needs to be read to understand the context of the times. Although I disagree with most if not all of the book, it's a great vignet into the mind of wertham and what a kook he was 🤓
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Collector ZosoRocks private msg quote post Address this user
Still @Comicdey.....why spoil the mind with such garbage?

Okay, you wanted to know. Okay....now burn it.

:o)

Why even give a guy like this patronage? He sure doesn't deserve any of mine.

This guys is like how the Psychology "specialists" in 1964 caused "Where the Wild Things Are" children's book to be pulled and boycotted from libraries.

But yet the book earns the coveted 1964 Caldecott Medal.

Moral of the story....don't always believe what somebody states.
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
@Comicdey Has it right. It is an important piece of comic book history and the influence it had on America at the time. It is a very inflammatory book and very one sided ,but it still needs to be recognized.
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COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse_O
And just to add a bit of historical content, remember what time frame and general mindset was prevalent in America during the late 40's through the early 60's. The Cold War, McCarthyism, Rock and Roll was the Devils music, returning vets forming motorcycle gangs, etc. It was an era of suspicion and it was a ripe time for a book like this to be accepted.


It was a time when you did not question authority. A perfect time for this book.
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Collector Jerkfro private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towmater
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse_O
And just to add a bit of historical content, remember what time frame and general mindset was prevalent in America during the late 40's through the early 60's. The Cold War, McCarthyism, Rock and Roll was the Devils music, returning vets forming motorcycle gangs, etc. It was an era of suspicion and it was a ripe time for a book like this to be accepted.


It was a time when you did not question authority. A perfect time for this book.


The Beat Generation began during this time so there were people questioning authority. Unfortunately, too many people let themselves be swayed by this book and its flawed ideas
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Collector Logan510 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
One of the most frustrating things about the whole era was Bill Gaines' testimony in front of the Senate.

He took the wrong approach (understandable, given that he wasn't a very confrontational guy) towards the blowhards questioning him.

When Kefauver asked him "Do you think this is in good taste?", he should have said "no. Of course it's not in good taste. It's in terrible taste. But the First Amendment allows me to create things that are in terrible taste, and, after all, the United States allows pornography to be sold publicly. Moreover, these comic books aren't for children, and never were intended to be. They are intended for adults, period, and you have no business censoring that which is created under the free expression guaranteed by the First Amendment."

THAT would have solved that.


But they were intended for children at that time.

We'll never really know what the US govt would've done, considering the companies did it to themselves with the CCA.
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Collector ZosoRocks private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
@Comicdey Has it right. It is an important piece of comic book history and the influence it had on America at the time. It is a very inflammatory book and very one sided ,but it still needs to be recognized.


For what?

The book that said how comics are not good and distasteful?

All I can recognize it for - as an obstacle for people to enjoy comics.

We'll have to agree to disagree. It is senseless for me to discuss something that was so derogatory I'm actually surprised it was brought up as a signifying part of "comic history".

No, it wasn't.
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COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerkfro
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towmater
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse_O
And just to add a bit of historical content, remember what time frame and general mindset was prevalent in America during the late 40's through the early 60's. The Cold War, McCarthyism, Rock and Roll was the Devils music, returning vets forming motorcycle gangs, etc. It was an era of suspicion and it was a ripe time for a book like this to be accepted.


It was a time when you did not question authority. A perfect time for this book.


The Beat Generation began during this time so there were people questioning authority. Unfortunately, too many people let themselves be swayed by this book and its flawed ideas


If those people had been a part of a large movement then maybe they might have influenced society as a whole. That larger movement doesn't start until a decade plus later. They did not effect the Leave it to Beaver types who dominated society in the 1950's.
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
@ZosoRocks I am sorry that I struck a nerve. It was not my intent.
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Collector MR_SigS private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZosoRocks
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
@Comicdey Has it right. It is an important piece of comic book history and the influence it had on America at the time. It is a very inflammatory book and very one sided ,but it still needs to be recognized.


For what?

The book that said how comics are not good and distasteful?

All I can recognize it for - as an obstacle for people to enjoy comics.

We'll have to agree to disagree. It is senseless for me to discuss something that was so derogatory I'm actually surprised it was brought up as a signifying part of "comic history".

No, it wasn't.


No offense (I mean that), but your wording suggests you speak for me, the first member to join here, the next member to post, and the next to join, as well as everyone in the hobby.

Was that your intent?
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Collector MR_SigS private msg quote post Address this user
And trust me, I don't plan to try to change your mind. You've clearly thought this over I'm just wondering if you believe everyone is supposed to feel the same way.
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Collector Comicdey private msg quote post Address this user
I feel differently and am good with that.
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148973 53 30
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