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Comics Golden Age

Seduction of the Innocent7199

Collector kash private msg quote post Address this user
Frederic Wertham, M.D. certainly made an impact on comics.

Anyone else collect/have books mentioned or shown in SOTI, or have a copy of the book?

I just have a few so far, but I'm always looking (hint, hint), and my wife surprised me with a first edition of the book :-)

I'm showing you mine, so show me yours!














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Forum Crier OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
Here's the 2 I have...



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I had no way of knowing that 9.8 graded copies signed by Adam Hughes weren't what you were looking for. drchaos private msg quote post Address this user

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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
How is she not wearing a bra in real life, but in the mirror she is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drchaos

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Forum Crier OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
I thought the same thing LOL! The title of the story is "The Vanishing Nude". Or maybe Blue Beetle got some of those X-Ray glasses they always used to advertise for
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Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
So, what was Wertham’s gripe with the “Your United States” Book?
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Collector kash private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00slim
So, what was Wertham’s gripe with the “Your United States” Book?


Typical is one called 'Your United States'. It devotes one page to each state and, although on bad paper and as smudgily printed as the others, it really contains some instructive information. But practically every state, although it gets only one page, has a scene of violence; if one doesn't, that is made up for in other states where there are two or three such scenes. For instance, a man hanged from a tree by a "vigilance committee"; Negroes in chains; corpses and dying men; a girl tied to a tree, her bound wrists above her head, her skirt blowing up in the wind and a coy facial expression of fright as in a sadist's dream; a girl about to be raped or massacred. Is that what you want your children to think is the history of "Your United States"?
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Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
Hmmmmm, sounds about right. The guy could twist anything.
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Leftover Sundae Gnus CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
Haunt of Fear #19 is a key SOTI book sporting Jack Davis's classic baseball yarn Foul Play.

Wertham threw a curve ball by using illustrated panels and morbid narration from this story to justify his baseless case against horror comics...




This is one of the Gaines File Copies.
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I had no way of knowing that 9.8 graded copies signed by Adam Hughes weren't what you were looking for. drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedsaid
How is she not wearing a bra in real life, but in the mirror she is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drchaos



Probably the same reason her arm is sticking out of the mirror.
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Collector Darkga private msg quote post Address this user
Here is my "educational" comic book that was featured in SOTI. Shameless plug... it's for sale if you are interested.



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COLLECTOR Foghorn_Sam private msg quote post Address this user
Wow, I'm surprised he didn't go after these, as these surely corrupted the fine experience of reading and trying to understand the novel for yourself. (I don't think Cliff Notes appeared until 1958.)




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COLLECTOR Foghorn_Sam private msg quote post Address this user
Another thing that is mystifying, Archie comics seemed to escape his notice completely even though they almost always featured blatant (sexual) innuendos.




Even after the comics code was instituted, we still got this gem...




Where was the outrage, lol?!!!
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Collector KYoung_1974 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by kash
Is that what you want your children to think is the history of "Your United States"?


Yes, yes I do. I love my country, but it has never been perfect or totally civil and fair. We would be far better off if the actual history was taught than what most of us got in school. Sounds like the comic may have gotten it close to correct.
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by kash
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00slim
So, what was Wertham’s gripe with the “Your United States” Book?

Typical is one called 'Your United States'. It devotes one page to each state and, although on bad paper and as smudgily printed as the others, it really contains some instructive information. But practically every state, although it gets only one page, has a scene of violence; if one doesn't, that is made up for in other states where there are two or three such scenes. For instance, a man hanged from a tree by a "vigilance committee"; Negroes in chains; corpses and dying men; a girl tied to a tree, her bound wrists above her head, her skirt blowing up in the wind and a coy facial expression of fright as in a sadist's dream; a girl about to be raped or massacred. Is that what you want your children to think is the history of "Your United States"?

Wow. I gotta read that one some time. Sounds awesome.

Hey, anyone remember the band Seduction of the Innocent? They were all industry folks and used to play at conventions. I saw them once or twice at HeroesCon. They did a lot of covers, and I loved their version of "Sunshine Superman." I've got their "Best Of" CD around here somewhere.

Here is a 20-year old article by Peter David, talking about the band. They were great.
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Collector 00slim private msg quote post Address this user
Werthem’s biased and sensationalism is worse than I’d imagined.

With some of the more grisly art in the crime & horror books, I at least understand where the objection is coming from.

But saying a comic book adaptation of a classic story can’t do any good because the damage is already done? Ridiculous.
We know the whole book is B.S., but still.

Was he ever put on trial? I mean, his false claims and phony case studies put a lot of people out of work & nearly yank the industry.
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Collector steveinthecity private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foghorn_Sam
Another thing that is mystifying, Archie comics seemed to escape his notice completely even though they almost always featured blatant (sexual) innuendos.


Even after the comics code...

Where was the outrage, lol?!!!
Likely John Goldwater's advocacy of the CCA and his role as administrator of such allowed Archie to play dumb as to what their artists were up to.
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Leftover Sundae Gnus CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
Another GFC from my collection. I was blissfully unaware it was also a SOTI book, but Wood's cover is pretty intense...



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PEDIGREED... Again! martymann private msg quote post Address this user
"One of the scarcest of the SOTI books".



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www.lostsoti.org

mm
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00slim
Werthem’s biased and sensationalism is worse than I’d imagined.

With some of the more grisly art in the crime & horror books, I at least understand where the objection is coming from.

But saying a comic book adaptation of a classic story can’t do any good because the damage is already done? Ridiculous.
We know the whole book is B.S., but still.

Was he ever put on trial? I mean, his false claims and phony case studies put a lot of people out of work & nearly yank the industry.
No, he was never put on trial. He wrote a couple more books after SOI with none of them getting the acclaim of SOI. I strongly feel that this book had a big impact on the production of comic books and the creation of the Comic Code Authority. The book has flamatory examples througout. I do not agree with a lot of what he wrote but I feel that it plays an important part in comic book history. I will be posting my copy here when I get home.
The thing that puzzled me was a few members that were giving me sh@t over posting about it a year ago. Like it was this big bad taboo topic. If you don't like it, you don't have to own one, but to disregard it is wrong. Nuff Said!!
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user



Here are a couple of the inside pages. There are not many pictures in the book though.
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
Here is what he thought of Wonder Women. I did a presentation about the history of comic books at our college library last year. This was one of the excerpts that I read to the audience as their jaws drooped open so slightly in dis-belief.
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Collector SOTICollector private msg quote post Address this user
Now here's a thread that's right up my alley. My primary focus has been SOTI books. I bought my first SOTI book in about 1978, and started really collecting them in earnest about 20 years later. Twenty years after that, I have what I believe is the only complete collection of every known comic mentioned in Seduction of the Innocent. I've long been fascinated by the idea of comic books that were so dangerous they nearly killed the entire comic book industry.

Here are some of my copies of SOTI, and a few of my favorites from Box 1 of the collection.







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Collector kash private msg quote post Address this user
Impressive!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SOTICollector
Now here's a thread that's right up my alley. My primary focus has been SOTI books. I bought my first SOTI book in about 1978, and started really collecting them in earnest about 20 years later. Twenty years after that, I have what I believe is the only complete collection of every known comic mentioned in Seduction of the Innocent. I've long been fascinated by the idea of comic books that were so dangerous they nearly killed the entire comic book industry.

Here are some of my copies of SOTI, and a few of my favorites from Box 1 of the collection.







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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
@SOTICollector You have some really nice pieces of history there. How did you find so many SOTI books? It took me awhile to find mine and have not run into another one since.
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Collector SOTICollector private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
@SOTICollector You have some really nice pieces of history there. How did you find so many SOTI books? It took me awhile to find mine and have not run into another one since.


Well, I guess it helps that SOTI has been my primary collecting focus for quite some time. Over the years, I've connected with a good number of collectors and dealers who know that I'm always looking for SOTI-related items, so that has helped. I'm also ridiculously fortunate to have a job that allows me to afford to buy stuff like this, and an amazing and supportive wife.

The books that were toughest to find were the earliest ones. 1) First print with bibliography.(1954) 2) First print without bibliography (1954 or '55) 3)First (and only) UK edition (1955) and 4) Kennikat Press edition (1972). Of those, I've actually found the Kennikat Press one the hardest to locate, even though it's much newer than the ones that date back to the actual anti-comics hysteria days. I've been lucky enough to upgrade my first print a few times, till I ended up with one I really like.

The modern printings are not at all tough to come by. Each one claims to be a "limited edition" of 220 copies, but every time the publisher sells out of one of those "limited editions", they just print more. Where I come from, they call that "unlimited".
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I bought a meat grinder on amazon for $60 and it's changed my life. kaptainmyke private msg quote post Address this user
I have a few. They are getting harder to find and track down in a decent grade, too.





















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Leftover Sundae Gnus CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
I have one mildly humorous anecdote that folks here might find interesting about Wertham and how he tried reaching out to comic fans in the late stxties & early seventies. It's worth noting that in an odd contrast to his crusade against comics, he actually approved of the concept of fandom, fanzines and the community it engendered. In fact, he wrote an optimistic book on fan culture.

In spite of his effort to reach out, most fans never bought into Fredric Wertham's contorted realignment on their behalf. He remained a villain in the eyes of most fans, an evangelist who'd condemned their favorite entertainment based on dicey evidence, almost destroying comic publishing as a business.

From my perspective, then as now, I couldn't forgive Wertham's pillorying of the comic industry for personal profit/fame and the damage done to some of the best publishers in the business. So, as a new member of the Oklahoma Alliance of Fans I decided to contribute a satirical comic to their monthly members only OAF fanzine titled "Frederick Worthnone, MD, PHD, DOC, etc., etc."

Reflecting back on it, my comic strip suffered from being too busy given the nature of ditto processing which involves diminishing returns from single carbon copies. That said, irrespective of the art, it was loaded with EC style puns similar to those Bill Elder frequently used in early Mad.

Alas, the one thing I didn't know at the time was that Fredric Wertham actually joined OAF in 1970 and may have seen my satirical comic in the OAF zine!

Had I known prior to submitting my critique that the subject of it might read it, I'm not sure whether I'd have been quite as condescending of his research and credentials. To this day, it's unknown to me whether Wertham ever saw my youthful satire and if he did, what he thought of it, but I've always wondered.
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COLLECTOR Foghorn_Sam private msg quote post Address this user
We all seem to agree that "The Seduction of the Innocent" was a major turning point for comics, but I'd like to know how the comic book industry would have turned out if Wertham's crusade had never happened and things were allowed to continue as they were. With no backlash and no Comic's Code Authority, would we have ever had the Silver Age, would superheroes have made a comeback, would Lee and Kirby have ever created the Marvel Universe?

I wonder if there is an alternate time-line out there where we could find out. I'd go ask Dr. Strange, but he's been Infinity Stoned.
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Leftover Sundae Gnus CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foghorn_Sam
We all seem to agree that "The Seduction of the Innocent" was a major turning point for comics, but I'd like to know how the comic book industry would have turned out if Wertham's crusade had never happened and things were allowed to continue as they were. With no backlash and no Comic's Code Authority, would we have ever had the Silver Age, would superheroes have made a comeback, would Lee and Kirby have ever created the Marvel Universe?

I wonder if there is an alternate time-line out there where we could find out. I'd go ask Dr. Strange, but he's been Infinity Stoned.


Without invoking Niven's Law ..."any fool can predict the past"... I think things would've evolved much differently, ...but not for the worse. Superhero comics are cyclical. Before the CCA publishers like Atlas (Timely/Marvel) were already trying to reintroduce them. It was just too early as horror was still the more popular genre.

If Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and other Marvel titles had been introduced without the CCA imposed restrictions, I'm sure that they'd have been edgier characters in more adult situations, much like the comics created after 1970 when the CCA was losing influence. Stylistically though, art styles would've been much the same, reflecting popular culture and politics of the day.

Also worth noting, D.C. didn't change much after the CCA imposed restrictions. They never published outright horror or crime comics and stories with those elements were mild by comparison with those of other publishers. Where the CCA had the greatest impact was in driving some publishers out of business and reducing the number of comics on the newsstands. However, this was not so much the fault of the CCA imposed restrictions as the paranoia that resulted from media fueled public outrage against violence in comics by reformers like Fredric Wertham.


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