In testimony before the committee, he made claims like how the comic-book industry was more dangerous for children than even Hitler ever was.
Seduction of the Innocent. Beginning inWertham wrote and spoke widely, arguing about the detrimental effects that comics reading had on young people. Statements from Wertham's subjects were sometimes altered, combined, or excerpted so as to be misleading.
The committee's questioning of their next witness, EC publisher William Gainesfocused on violent scenes of the type Wertham had described. Wertham used New York City adolescents from troubled backgrounds with evidence of behavior disorders as his primary sample population.
Archived from the original on September 15, Hidden : s containing links to subscription-only content CS1 French-language sources fr Articles with German-language sources de CS1 German-language sources de CS1 Dutch-language sources nl Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from June Articles with unsourced statements from September Articles lacking in-text citations from May All articles lacking in-text citations All articles with failed verification Articles with failed verification from March Articles with unsourced statements from May Subsequent to the publication of Seduction of the Innocentthe Comics Code Authority was voluntarily established by publishers to self-censor their titles.
Relevant personal experience was sometimes left unmentioned.
For instance, in arguing that the Batman comics condoned homosexuality because of the relationship between Batman and his sidekick Robin, there is evidence Wertham combined two subjects' statements into one, and did not mention the two subjects had been in a homosexual relationship for years prior. As a platform from where he could spread his message more efficiently, Wertham appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency.
At EC Comics, Mad magazine was the only surviving title. Early complete editions of Seduction of the Innocent often sell for high figures among book and comic book collectors. Comics portal United States portal Books portal.
The hearing was in April, and the same summer 15 publishers went out of business. Dutch Minister of Education Theo Rutten of the Catholic People's Party published a letter in the October 25,issue of the newspaper Het Parool directly addressing educational institutions and local government bodies, advocating the prohibition of comics.
Even if the government didn't act beyond the hearing, and Kefauver lost interest in comics after he was selected as a presidential candidate, the public damage was already done. For instance, he used children at the Lafargue Clinic to argue that comics disturbed young people, but according to a staff member's calculation seventy percent of children under the age of sixteen at the clinic had diagnoses of behavior problems. The book was taken seriously at the time in the United States, and was a minor bestseller that created alarm in American parents and galvanized them to campaign for censorship.
According to a study by Carol L. Tilley, Wertham "manipulated, overstated, compromised, and fabricated evidence" in support of the contentions expressed in Seduction of the Innocent. Paul A. Witty, professor of education at Northwestern University, has well described these comics when he said that they "present our world in a kind of Fascist setting of violence and hate and destruction. At the same time, a U. Congressional inquiry was launched into the comic book industry.
Seduction of the Innocent caught the attention of Senator Estes Kefauver. As late asthe law was invoked to prohibit the comic magazine Fantask —which featured translated versions of Marvel Comics stories — after seven issues.
Wertham had often testified in court cases, which skewed his sense of evidence. It is not possible to act against the printers, publishers or distributors of these novels, nor can anything be achieved by not making paper available to them, as the necessary paper is available on the free market". Kefauver had a reputation as a mob hunter, and it was a known fact that the mob had strong connections with the distribution of comics and magazines.
He saw Wertham's agenda as a tool he could use against the organized crime within the industry. It made headlines on the New York Times ' front .
Seduction of the innocent
His descriptions of comic content were sometimes misleading, either by exaggeration or elision. Wertham critiqued the commercial environment of comic book publishing and retailing, objecting to air rifles and knives advertised alongside violent stories.
Wertham also claimed that Superman was both un-American and fascistic. S2CID David January Archived from the original on June 18, Retrieved May 27, Additional May 27, Archived from the original on May 27, Retrieved March 6, Still, Hajdu is right to point out that Wertham's ideas of proof were extremely primitive, more forensic than scientific.
I think it is bad for children," he goes on, "to get that kind of recurring diet Therefore the democratic ideals that we should seek are likely to be overlooked. Actually, Superman with the big S on his uniform — we should, I suppose, be thankful that it is not an SS needs an endless stream of ever new submencriminals and "foreign-looking" people not only to justify his existence but even to make it possible.
Seduction of the Innocent is a book by German-born American psychiatrist Fredric Werthampublished inthat warned that comic books were a negative form of popular literature and a serious cause of juvenile delinquency.
Archived from the original on May 9, Retrieved on May 27, Archived from the original on February 8, Germany: Xoomic. Archived from the original on August 28, Archived from the original on June 30, Het is niet mogelijk tegen de drukkers, uitgevers of verspreiders van deze romans strafrechtelijk op te treden, terwijl evenmin iets kan worden bereikt door geen papier beschikbaar te stellen aangezien het voor deze uitgaven benodigde papier op de vrije markt verkrijgbaar is. The book asserted that reading this material encouraged similar behavior in children.
David Lewis writes that Wertham's anxiety over the perceived homosexual subtext of Batman and Robin was aimed at the welfare of introduced to that sort of family unit, not on some inherent immorality of homosexuality.
At the time, Wertham was also the Court's appointed psychiatric expert during the trial of the Brooklyn Thrill Killersa gang of youths who had brutalized people and killed two men during the summer of Wertham asserted that the gang leader's behaviour had been caused by comic books, and most specifically pornographic ones. Consequently, Seduction of the Innocent serves as a culminating expression of his sentiments about comics and presents augmented examples and arguments, rather than wholly new material.
He stated, "These booklets, which contain a series of illustrations with accompanying text, are generally sensational in character, without any other value. Nights of Horroran underground fetish series that Wertham had used as evidence during the trial, was banned by the State of New York : the case against that comic eventually went to the Supreme Courtwhich upheld the ban in Although the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency's final report did not blame comics for crime, it recommended that the comics industry tone down its content voluntarily.
Fredric Werthan MD. This section includes a list of general referencesbut it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Seduction of the Innocent was illustrated with comic-book panels offered as evidence, each accompanied by a line of Wertham's commentary. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. The case helped fuel the public outrage against comic books.
Wertham's claim that Wonder Woman had a bondage subtext was somewhat better documented, as her creator William Moulton Marston had admitted as much; [ citation needed ] however, Wertham also claimed Wonder Woman's strength and independence made her a lesbian. Wertham thought he could prove his point by stringing together many anecdotes collected from his clinical research, making his claims virtually unverifiable. He failed to inform readers that a subject had been recently sodomized.
The Superman type of comic books tends to force and super-force. In the decades since the book's publication, Wertham's research has been disputed by scholars. Publishers then developed the self-censorship body the Comics Code Authority. Lambiek Comiclopedia. The hearing was also broadcast on television, which was quickly becoming a new mass medium, and made other media in.
Despite subjects specifically noting a preference for or the superior relevance of other comics, he gave greater weight to their reading Batman. He mentions a "headless man" in an issue of Captain Marvel while the comic only shows Captain Marvel's face splashed with an invisibility potion,  not a decapitated figure. He exaggerated a year-old girl's report of stealing in a comic from "sometimes" to "often". Please help to improve this section by introducing more precise citations. The first printing contained a bibliography listing the comic book publishers cited, but fears of lawsuits compelled the publisher to tear the bibliography from any copies available, so copies with an intact bibliography are rare.