Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tales of Terror / 1954

This is a bit of an unusual example for the genre of bondage comic book covers. It would be more typical to see a female character illustrated as the victim. In the Spring of 1954 the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency held a series of hearings to discuss the effects of comic books on youth. A book by the psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham, The Seduction of the Innocent, was a key catalyst for the interest in the possible link between comic books and juvenile delinquency. There was probably some sense in the comics industry about the coming attacks on comics. I wonder if this cover was an attempt to balance out the gender biased bondage covers that were, and still are, popular on comic .

This 1954 cover is a more typical example of a bondage cover. From what I've read about this particular comic book, the issue didn't have a story that directly related to the cover.

Here is a quote from the Senate report's conclusions.

While not attempting to review the several findings included in this report, the subcommittee wishes to reiterate its belief that this country cannot affored the calculated risk involved in feeding its children, through comic books, a concentrated diet of crime, horror, and violence. There was substantial, although not unanimous, agreement among the experts that there may be detrimental and delinquency-producing effects upon both the emotionally disturbed child and the emotionally normal delinquent. Children of either type may gain suggestion, support, and sanction from reading crime and horror comics.

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