The Censorship of Horror Comics
An Influence on Behaviour?
The government was concerned by the influenceof horror comics on young people’s behaviour. The newspaper article on the left shows that crimes and 'immoral acts' committed by young people were linked by the media to the horror comics. They were blamed for presenting sexual and physical violence as entertainment and for making such acts seem acceptable.
An article was published in Time Magazine in America in 1948 warning of the dangers of the comics. A psychiatrist, Dr. Wertham, was interviewed on the on the subject and said:
' We are getting to the roots of one of the contributing causes of juvenile delinquency….You cannot understand present-day juvenile delinquency if you do not take into account the….influence of the comic books.'
From 'Puddles Of Blood', Time Magazine, 29 March 1948
Comic books, in his eyes, were not only inspiring evil acts, but also suggesting a form for those acts to take.
Fairytales, myths and stories from the Bible, despite presenting equallyhorrific events and images to children, escaped criticism.For instance, in ‘Hansel and Gretel’ two young children are held hostage by an old woman who intends to cook and eat them, only to be burnt alive at the end by the children. In the Bible story, David and Goliath, David gives Goliath a hole in the head. These stories were, and still are, aimed at an even younger age group of children.
Do you think that the fairy tales, myths and Bible stories which you were told as children influenced your behaviour?
Why do you think that no-one suggested banning them as well as horror comics?