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Of Comics and MenA Cultural History of American Comic Books$
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Jean-Paul Gabilliet

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732672

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732672.001.0001

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date: 15 January 2019

Calls for Censorship

Calls for Censorship

(p.215) Chapter 14 Calls for Censorship
Of Comics and Men

Jean-Paul Gabilliet

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the censorship of comic books in America. It begins by looking at the hysteria of 1948–1950, which focused on crime comics and the ordinances aimed at curbing their dissemination. It then turns to the campaign of the period 1952–1954, this time against war comics and horror comics, and the hearings conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on juvenile delinquency chaired by Senator Robert Hendrickson. It also considers the main arguments advanced by the intellectuals in the debate regarding comic book censorship by analyzing three books published between 1949 and 1954: Gershon Legman’s Love and Death: A Study in Censorship, Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, and Geoffrey Wagner’s Parade of Pleasure: A Study of Popular Iconography in the USA. In addition, the chapter analyzes Frank Tashlin’s 1955 film Artists and Models, which tackles the comic book controversy, and concludes with a discussion of contemporary arguments against comic books, along with the identity-building function of freedom of speech.

Keywords:   comic books, censorship, comics, juvenile delinquency, intellectuals, Gershon Legman, Fredric Wertham, Geoffrey Wagner, Artists and Models, freedom of speech

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