Monday, July 20, 2009
The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu
This book examines the rise of comic books in the 1940s, and then their downfall as right-wing parents and lawmakers sought to ban their sale to minors because they were believed to cause juvenile delinquency (in part perhaps because adults failed to take children seriously, considering them extremely impressionable and unable to form thoughts of their own--which, I think, is a mindset that still largely exists). Perhaps the most disturbing part is that in some cases the children themselves were leading the crusade against comics, organizing book burnings and chastising peers who refused to give up their favorite reading material. It all makes for a pretty interesting and often unsettling read into the extreme conservatism of the 50s. And what about the awesome cover art by Charles Burns?