Seduction of the Innocent (Rinehart)

    (Rinehart, 1953, 1954)
©1953, 1954 Fredric Wertham

Although not a comic book, Seduction of the Innocent is probably the most influential book in comics history. Written by psychologist Fredric Wertham in 1954, much of its contents originally ran as a series of articles in the Ladies’ Home Journal, entitled “What Parents Don’t Know About Comic Books.”

While working with juvenile delinquents in the forties and fifties, Wertham became convinced that comics were exerting a corrosive influence on children. Using dubious methodology and a raft of anecdotal “evidence” he accused comics of promoting cruelty in children, carrying sexual messages, and promoting illiteracy. Batman and Robin were labeled homosexual role models. Wonder Woman was called a lesbian, bondage fantasy. Even Superman was portrayed as a fascistic archetype. These charges touched off a firestorm of public outcry, industry upheaval, and the creation of the Comics Code Authority.

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No copies available
With bibliography, dust jacket  

Hardcover - 2nd printing

1 copy available for $130.00
2nd printing; Includes dust jacket, does not include bibliography; ca. 1954  

Hardcover - 4th printing

No copies available
4nd printing; Published by Main Road Books