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Untold Frederic Wertham Saga

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  • Richard J.
    In 1973 Freddie took a u-turn and published a book entitled the World of Fanzines . In this book he claimed that sci-fi and comics fandom were responible for
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 1, 2004
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      In 1973 Freddie took a u-turn and published a book entitled "the
      World of Fanzines". In this book he claimed that sci-fi and comics
      fandom were responible for the creation of a new form of art and
      expression that helped to promote communication and artistic
      endeavor. That fanzines were a positive force in the individual
      growth of teenagers!

      After the publication of this book, New York Comic Art Convention
      founder and promoter Phil Seuling invited Wertham, born in 1895, to
      be a member of a panel at the coming convention to speak to "his
      fans". In reality it was a setup.

      When Wertham arrived at the panel he found himself the target of
      angry comic fans who complained he ruined the field in the fifties.
      Hecklers were throughout the audience and with the animous reaching a
      fever pitch, Wertham left the panel and the convention.

      He never wrote another word on comics and died in 1981..
    • mecitrus
      I ve never heard that one before. A fun read for sure. -Yoc
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 1, 2004
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        I've never heard that one before. A fun read for sure.

        -Yoc
      • drakesix
        ... I d heard that story about Wertham before. One has to wonder what was going through Wertham s head. I mean, after all the attacks on comics he had made,
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 2, 2004
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          --- In thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com, "Richard J." <lightoller_ch@y...> wrote:
          > In 1973 Freddie took a u-turn and published a book entitled "the
          > World of Fanzines". In this book he claimed that sci-fi and comics
          > fandom were responible for the creation of a new form of art and
          > expression that helped to promote communication and artistic
          > endeavor. That fanzines were a positive force in the individual
          > growth of teenagers!
          >
          > After the publication of this book, New York Comic Art Convention
          > founder and promoter Phil Seuling invited Wertham, born in 1895, to
          > be a member of a panel at the coming convention to speak to "his
          > fans". In reality it was a setup.
          >
          > When Wertham arrived at the panel he found himself the target of
          > angry comic fans who complained he ruined the field in the fifties.
          > Hecklers were throughout the audience and with the animous reaching a
          > fever pitch, Wertham left the panel and the convention.
          >
          > He never wrote another word on comics and died in 1981..

          I'd heard that story about Wertham before. One has to wonder what was going through Wertham's head. I mean, after all the attacks
          on comics he had made, did he really think comic books fans would be amicable towards him?

          drakesix
        • Richard J.
          He thought they would be greatful for steering them away from such evil publications, of course. Thank you, Dr. Wertham, for showing us the light! Thank you! I
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 2, 2004
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            He thought they would be greatful for steering them away from such
            evil publications, of course.
            Thank you, Dr. Wertham, for showing us the light! Thank you!

            I wonder if Wertham ever cracked open a comic book?

            In Sunday school, I read a story about a mother who read her child's
            comic book and came back with the deaths and gunfire and all this
            horrible subject matter.
            My only reaction was she read different comic books from me, cuz I
            was in Archie and Richie Rich and Casper back then.

            --- In thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com, drakesix <no_reply@y...>
            wrote:
            When Wertham arrived at the panel he found himself the target of
            angry comic fans who complained he ruined the field in the fifties.
            Hecklers were throughout the audience and with the animous reaching a
            fever pitch, Wertham left the panel and the convention.
            He never wrote another word on comics and died in 1981..

            I'd heard that story about Wertham before. One has to wonder what was
            going through Wertham's head. I mean, after all the attacks
            on comics he had made, did he really think comic books fans would be
            amicable towards him?
          • Andy E. Nystrom
            ... Oh, definitely. There s a section in his book Seduction of the Innocent that reproduces some of the nastier images of the time. He doesn t cite
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 2, 2004
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              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Richard J. [mailto:lightoller_ch@...]
              >
              > I wonder if Wertham ever cracked open a comic book?
              >
              Oh, definitely. There's a section in his book Seduction of the Innocent
              that reproduces some of the nastier images of the time. He doesn't cite
              references for the images, but Overstreet's price guide notes comics that
              had panels reproduced in his book.

              And some of the images, even today would be considered "mature readers"
              stuff even though the wording often targeting kids. So one thing that
              probably helped his case was there was some element of truth hidden among
              the wilder claims. His main problem is that he didn't run any real
              scientific tests on his theories, and tended to downplay other possible
              causes of youth crime.

              Back in 1999 I wrote a pretty long review of the book. It can be found
              here:
              http://victoria.tc.ca/Recreation/Comics/SOTI.html

              Andy E. Nystrom
              wo991@...

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