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Squirrely

Joe McCulloch marks the start of the real comics week here.

Elsewhere:

Ng Suat Tong responds to Eddie Campbell’s essay from last week.

Continuing a flurry of research into Frederic Wertham in recent years (including TCJ’s Warren Bernard in issue 302), here is news that Wertham reportedly distorted his findings to suit his thesis, according to scholar Carol Tilley:

As she pored over his files, she began to recognize the case notes of children referred to in “Seduction,” and typing their quotes into her laptop computer. But when she returned to her hotel room and compared her notes to Wertham’s book, she found numerous inconsistencies. “I thought well maybe I’ve missed something, maybe I typed incorrectly,” Tilley said. So she began photocopying portions of Wertham’s files and comparing them closely to his book. “That’s when I realized the extent of the changes.”

Here’s a lengthy series of remembrances of the late artist Yossarian.

Not comics, but why not: I don’t buy the thesis that this artist is terribly revolutionary (market success is sometimes mistaken for innovation), but the ideas discussed here vis-a-vis e-book possibilities are applicable to comics.

Jim Rugg and co have launched a new podcast. First up is our own boss, Gary Groth.

 


2 Responses to Squirrely

  1. patrick ford says:

    Comic book publishers had to have anticipated the comics code. They had already seen pretty much the same thing play out just a decade earlier with their horror pulp magazines .

    Robert Kenneth Jones (THE SHUDDER PULPS):

    The first weird menace title was Dime Mystery, which started out as a straight crime fiction magazine but began to develop the new genre in 1933 under the influence of Grand Guignol theater.[2] Popular Publications dominated the genre with Dime Mystery, Terror Tales, and Horror Stories. After Popular issued Thrilling Mysteries, Standard Magazines, publisher of the “Thrilling” line of pulps, complained about trademark infringement. Popular withdrew Thrilling Mysteries after one issue, and Standard issued their own weird menace pulp, Thrilling Mystery. In the late-’30s, the notorious Red Circle pulps, with Mystery Tales, expanded the genre to include increasingly graphic descriptions of torture.
    This provoked a public outcry against such publications; for instance The American Mercury published a hostile account of the terror magazines in 1938:
    This month, as every month, the 1,508,000 copies of terror magazines, known to the trade as the shudder group, will be sold throughout the nation… They will contain enough illustrated sex perversion to give Krafft-Ebing the unholy jitters.[3]
    A censorship backlash brought about the demise of the genre in the early 1940s.

    Where did that phrase “Underground comix” come from?
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8gJ1B5ImVEk/T98qg40aflI/AAAAAAAATZw/60Rha8TgzgU/s1600/Mad+016+001.jpg

    Kurtzman was actually kind of appalled by the horror comics and might have been at least half pleased at their demise.

    Of course Martin Goodman and other publishers went right back into the genre with early ’50s paperback books and the Men’s Sweat magazines of the late ’50s and early ’60s.

  2. R. Fiore says:

    Well, there was another kind of bogus comics code before the code that was enforced. Same thing that happened with the movie production code, actually.

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