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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Seduction of the Innocent
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Seduction of the Innocent

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. This week, hosts Taliesin Jaffe, Amy Dallen, and Matt Key chatted about the history of comic books and the industry-changing effect of the Comics Code Authority.

No other event had an impact on the comic book industry like the 1954 publication of Frederic Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent and the U.S. Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency that followed close after. Comics were ruining children’s minds, argued the book, and were a bad influence on everything from behavior to education.

Amy talked a little about the Comics Code that was adopted by comic publishers as a result.

The Seduction of the Innocent, citing anecdotal evidence for comic books as a bad influence, was shared widely in newspapers and magazines and public opinion of comics was quickly affected. EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines testified in front of the Senate on comics’ behalf, but soon found himself out of the industry after the code censored the type of books they were printing.

“One of the most interesting things about the Code,” said Amy, “is that it is a mix of things that essentially we would all agree with, or that we would all agree probably shouldn’t go in a kids’ book. And then, other stuff that we would wildly not agree with, and it’s all over the map.”

Take a look at the gallery below for more reading recommendations if you’re interested in the history of the Comics Code Authority.

Amy recommends visiting the site of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for a concise look at the history of the Comics Code from the 1950s through the years, along with issues affecting the industry today.

THE DAILY WEDNESDAY

Did you know The Wednesday Club has their own letters column with questions and comments from viewers? Send in your thoughts, comic recommendations, questions, and more to Matt, Amy, and Taliesin at [email protected] and you might just see yourself on the next episode.

Please mark your message “OK to read on air” so the hosts know what you’re comfortable with sharing.

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Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha every Wednesday night to catch the next spectacular episode of The Wednesday Club.

Featured Image: Rinehart & Company

Other Images: Picador, Penguin Random House, and Dark Horse Comics

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