BRING ON THE BAD GUY
THE DAY STAN LEE MET FREDRIC WERTHAM - IN THE PAGES OF SUSPENSE #29
Fredric Wertham MD took up his active role in the American anti-comics movement in 1948, and by 1953 he had already burnt a trail of public image destruction right into the heart of the comic book industry. Whilst the worst was yet to come the following year with the publication of his "Seduction of the Innocent", Stan Lee targeted the New York psychiatrist in April 1953 in a short story he wrote for "Suspense" #29. This satirical four-pager came at a time when Wertham was a household name and Lee was still little more than an industry insider. In time, both individuals would take on iconic importance for the history of comic books, but in the end, Stan Lee won and Fredric Wertham lost, and that was no surprise to anyone who had read Suspense #29 - the only time the two ever met.
FREDRIC WERTHAM - SPIRITUS RECTOR OF THE AMERICAN ANTI-COMICS MOVEMENT Some if not most people who know about the existence of the movement to censor or even ban comic books in the US associate these events with a specific timeframe and a specific individual, both of which are interlinked by the fact that the one person commonly seen as responsible for the crusade against comics - Fredric Wertham MD - published his signatory book - Seduction of the Innocent - in 1954. This view is strengthened by the fact that hearings of a US Senate Sub-Committee on juvenile delinquency took place that very same year which also looked into the possible influence of comic books and called upon Doctor Wertham's testimony as an expert on the subject - events which would ultimately trigger the creation of the Comics Code Authority. However, Fredric Wertham was far from being the first to criticize comic books. American (and European) society has a long history of initial opposition towards new forms of popular culture media (Wright, 2001), and the same wave of moral and cultural criticism and even contempt which had previously hit out at newspaper magazines, movies and radio plays was also duly directed towards the emerging medium of the comic book as of the mid-1930s.
Numerous essays and articles were published on the subject which displayed a growing tendency to view comic books as a detrimental influence on society. The critics deplored the "continuous diet of lurid melodrama" (Ryan, 1936) and the "badly drawn, badly written, and badly printed (...) pulp-paper nightmares" (Chicago Daily News, 8 May 1940, quoted by Coville, ----). As the vocabulary of the comic book critics grew increasingly pronounced, the National Education Association Journal demanded "an antidote to the comic magazine poison" in 1940 (Decker, 1987).
So although Fredric Wertham was clearly not the first to demand that "parents and teachers throughout America must band together to break the `comic' magazine" (Chicago Daily News, 8 May 1940), he was undoubtedly the most influential individual of the American anti-comics movement.
Born in 1895 as Friedrich Ignaz Wertheimer in Nuremberg, Germany, he received a medical degree in 1921 from the University of Würzburg and began his professional life in Munich at the German Research Institute for Psychiatry before moving to the United States in 1922 to work at Johns Hopkins Universitys Phipps Psychiatric Clinic (Womack, 1992). Taking the anglicised name of Fredric Wertham he received US citizenship in 1927 and moved to New York City in 1932 where he worked at the Bellevue Hospital Center and its well known psychiatric facilities. Appointed director of the Bellevue Mental Hygiene Clinic in 1936, Wertham also worked as forensic psychiatrist for the city's Department of Hospitals.
Fredric Wertham MD
(1895 - 1981)
In this capacity he was called upon to provide psychiatric examinations in conjunction with criminal court cases, and in this context Wertham came into increasing contact with troubled youth. He started to develop a clinical interest in popular culture, and his focus began to zoom in on what he perceived to be the negative influences of movies, radio plays and comic books. Following his appointment as director of the psychiatric services at the Queen's Hospital Center in 1940, Wertham began to write and publish about what he perceived to be a connection between popular culture and juvenile delinquency until deciding to take a markedly more active stance as of early 1948 when he initiated a symposium on The Psychopathology of Comic Books in New York City by the Association for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. It was here that he took center stage for the first time, chairing the event and declaring it to be a milestone by gathering several speakers who were presented as specialists on the topic of comic books - although this appraisal was, from a non-partisan point of view, somewhat questionable.
The symposium marked the beginning of Fredric Wertham's active involvement in the anti-comics movement, which would ultimately lead him to the publication of his best known work, The Seduction of the Innocent, in 1954. Whilst the drive to censor comic books or drive them clean off the market had a long standing by the time he joined the cause, it had been an uncoordinated series of individual statements and events which failed to make more than a short and at best regional impact before Wertham's involvement, which instantly gave the movement what it needed most: a strong leading hand and a powerful aura of perceived professional respect and moral integrity.
Fredric Wertham was the ideal individual to become the personified anti-comics icon, simply because he combined all the required qualtities for success in his personality. His political standing (which was far more to the left than the many portraits which describe him as a liberal make it appear to be) did not contradict an elitist notion (in this case regarding culture) which in turn gave rise to a personal belief of holding a position of absolute insight and truth. These qualities made him a highly effective populist who also understood how to use the media, but the most important element was Wertham's professional standing, which gave him a mainstream credibility and a broad acceptance by the media and audiences alike.
Not surprisingly, neither the industry nor comic book enthusiasts had any nice things to say about Wertham, and to the growing comic book fandom movement of the early 1960s he became an almost mythical evil beast - the man who had tried to kill the American comic book.
It is therefore quite ironic that Fredric Wertham, a forensic and clinical psychiatrist, would be all but forgotten today had he not chosen to become the leading figure of the American anti comic book movement of the late 1940s and 1950s. The effectiveness of his activities in this domain was such that a lasting wave of contempt from the comic book enthusiasts' community has ensured that the memory of his name and his work lives on until this day.
However, the concussions caused by his writings and his speeches were highly damaging to the comic book publishers long before The Seduction of the Innocent and the 1954 Senate hearings. For the industry, he was the personified anti-comics movement icon as early as 1949, when publishers such as Timely/Marvel ran editorials explicitly directed against Fredric Wertham.
STAN LEE - SPIRITUS RECTOR OF THE AMERICAN COMIC BOOK RENAISSANCE Stanley Martin Lieber - better known, of course, as Stan Lee - is to comic books and the industry what Fredric Wertham was to the anti-comics movement: the personification of just about everything iconic associated with their fields of activity. Just like Wertham, Stan "the Man" left his public mark to the extent that even people who know little about comics know his name - now set in front of a background of numerous movie adaptations with which, again, Stan Lee is closely associated (although not as much in terms of production as through his numerous cameos). No other comic book writer, editor and publisher even comes close to the imposing shadow cast by this giant of the industry who has grown - again, similar to Wertham - to almost mythical proportions.
In a certain sense, Stan Lee (born in New York City on 28 December 1922) and Fredric Wertham were professional contemporaries. Lee entered the comic book industry at the age of just under 17 as an assistant at Timely Comics (published by Martin Goodman, who was married to a cousin of Lee) and then moved on to writing tasks, co-creating his first superhero (the Destroyer) for Mystic Comics #6 in August 1941. A dispute later on that same year between publisher Goodman and the editorial and creative team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby resulted in Simon and Kirby walking out at Timely and Stan Lee being installed as interim editor. Lee rose to the occasion, displayed an obvious talent and enthusiasm, and was duly promoted to the position of editor-in-chief and art director of the comic book division of Goodman's publishing company. By the time Fredric Wertham stepped up onto the stage in 1948, Stan Lee had thus successfully been in the comic book business for almost ten years.
The notion of contemporaries, however, only relates to both Wertham and Lee being on the playing field at the same time. In terms of status, they were players from two entirely different leagues. Stan Lee was established, respected and generally well-liked at Timely Comics, but he was still far from being a public figure, let alone a household name. In essence, Lee was an industry insider unknown to the general public. Fredric Wertham, on the other hand, had virtually exploded onto the scene in no time and quickly featured in well-known, high circulation publications such as Collier's, The Saturday Review of Literature and Reader's Digest.
When Stan Lee finally did come to acquire a similar amount of general public attention and profile in the late 1960s to early 1970s - touring campuses and giving public talks - the active days of Fredric Wertham were all but over.
However, the psychiatrist's mythical status as the real-life Dr Doom of the anti-comics movement virtually demanded a clash with his antipode, the ever smilin' Stan "the Man", who like Reed Richards would no doubt prevail and defeat the evil Doctor's scheme. In real life, however, it never seems to have happened, despite references by Lee to several public debates between Wertham and himself in his autobiography (Lee & Mair, 2002).
"He [Wertham] once claimed he did a survey that demonstrated that most of the kids in reform schools were comicbook readers. So I [Lee] said to him 'If you do another survey, you'll find that most of the kids who drink milk are comicbook readers. Should we ban milk?' His arguments were patently sophistic, and there I'm being charitable, but he was a psychiatrist, so people listened." (Lee & Mair, 2002)
According to Raphael & Spurgeon (2003) it is more likely that Lee may have been involved in some discussions with individuals sharing Wertham's views, and that both his position and his options at the time - from 1948 to 1954 - were of a far more passive nature:
"I [Stan Lee] hated the idea of what was happening with Wertham, I hated the fact that he was tarring every comic book with the same brush, but there was nothing we could do about it. We had to live through it." (Raphael & Spurgeon, 2003)
But even if Lee's head to head discussion with Wertham on comic books should be a fictional part of the Stan Lee mythology, it is not entirely outside factual reality, simply because such a discussion did indeed take place in April 1953 - in the pages of Atlas Comics' Suspense #29.
WHAT IF... FREDRIC WERTHAM STORMED STAN LEE'S OFFICE? Atlas Comics (as Timely Comics had rebranded itself in November 1951) published a whole range of comics which featured Suspense in their title one way or the other, and one was simply called just that - Suspense. It was a typical representative of the Atlas line of horror and sci-fi titles, featuring several (usually five) four- to six-page short stories per issue.
In the case of Suspense #29 (April 1953) these were "The Man behind the Blinds" (6 pages, script by Stan Lee, art by Fred Kida), "By the Light of the Moon" (5 pages, no credits given), "Strong as an Ox" (5 pages, script by Stan Lee, art by Jerry Robinson), "The raving Maniac" (4 pages, script by Stan Lee, art by Joe Maneely), and "The Man who was going to destroy America" (4 pages, no credits given). Although highly run-of-the-mill routine in terms of its content, Suspense was a special title in editorial terms as it served as a testing ground for Stan Lee who made his first steps towards an editorial approach which would become his trademark in years to come as he introduced a letter page - aptly titled Suspense Sanctuary - and added editorial comments which already display many traits of his future 1960s/70s Marvel "bullpen bulletins". Far from being the inventor of such an editorial approach which tries to build up a line of communication with its readership, both the letters page and the editorials in Suspense very much served the purpose of giving Atlas a copycat title of EC's popular horror titles at the time.
Suspense #29, on sale in January 1953, was also special in that it was the last issue to be published before the title was cancelled.
It is therefore possible to assume that this gave a singular extra dose of editorial liberty, as nothing you could do would endanger the title as it was already doomed in any case (just as would be the case in August 1962, when Amazing Fantasy #15 was the last issue of its title and could thus provide a no-risk opportunity for the tryout of a character called Spider-Man). Whatever the exact circumstances - which appear to be clouded by the mists of comic book history - Stan Lee penned an exceptional 4-page story for the last issue of Suspense called "The Raving Maniac" - illustrated by Joe Maneely - which completely defies the standard plot mould for any horror comic book as he lays out the story of himself as the editor of a comic book company who has to face an enraged person who storms into his office to complain furiously about the terrible content of the publisher's horror comics. Typical for the approach Stan Lee took to comic book storytelling in the 1960s, "The Raving Madman" is an early example of his way of playing with the internal, plot level reality, and the external, real world level reality of the reader, and having them interact at times in a Luigi Pirandello style. The Italian playwright (1867-1936) who received the 1934 nobel prize in literature often played with the so-called "fourth wall", i.e. the front of the stage which separates a play from the audience also in terms of their unconnected realities. He carried this theme to an extreme in his 1921 play Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore [Six Characters in Search of An Author], where the stage actually becomes an extension of the real world reality in which actors and audience both find themselves, and are thus both part of the setting of the play. Taken up by other authors and filmmakers (e.g. Woody Allen in his 1985 Purple Rose of Cairo, where a fictional film character leaves his movie and enters the real world), this narrative motif also plays an important part in the work of Stan Lee.
Lee's pronounced inclination towards a Pirandellian interconnection between the fictional worlds and characters he and others created and these very same real life individuals lead to a number of "self-portrait appearances" - and an actual paradigm according to which the "Marvel Universe" was a factual part of the real world. Stan Lee wrote his first story featuring himself ("The Nightmare") for Astonishing #4 (June 1951), and true to life, he was the editor who was looking for a story for a special edition of - Astonishing. Whilst many other comic book creators would later also include cameo appearances and Will Eisner seemingly was the first to ever do so (in The Spirit strip for 8 June 1947), Stan Lee must rank as the comic book industry's equivalent to Alfred Hitchcock in this respect.
Unlike his first self-portaryal, Lee never even touches upon the standard lore of horror and fantasy in "The Raving Maniac" as the story takes place in broad daylight and is completely devoid of anything supernatural. Right from its first panel, the plot jumps to the meta level of the comic book itself as the story unfolds entirely in the offices of a comic book publisher whose output obviously includes a whole range of horror comic books. "The Raving Maniac" thus immediately breaks up the barrier between the fiction of the author and the real world of the readers.
This highly unusual narrative for a comic book of the early 1950s is in stark contrast to the conventionality of its visual breakdown as drawn by Joe Maneely, who used a basic six panels in three rows per page layout with only very little variation: the splash page features a double-height double-width introductory panel with the title text line, and two panels are split in half vertically.
The story opens with a large splash panel showing an obviously infuriated middle-aged and cigare-chewing man about to storm through the door to the office of an editor, as the inverse writing on what must obviously be a glass panel in a door indicates to the reader. This was a nice and almost cinematographic visual take by Joe Maneely to set the scene in one single shot, an ability which was one of the main reasons why he was one of Stan Lee's favourite go to artists of the 1950s decade at Atlas before this fruitful team-work was abruptly halted when Maneely fell victim to a fatal accident in June 1958, aged 32.
The opening shot also clarifies that the editorial office out of which the reader is seeing the scene belongs to a comic book publisher whose mainstay seems to consist of titles such as ARGH Comics, Zombie Chillers, Casket Comics (a "casket" being the North American equivalent to an English "coffin") and Horror (which is the title of one of the comic books the enraged gent is about to carry into the editor's office), and an artist who is pushed aside by the "raving maniac" carries some interior pages to a story entitled "The Screams".
One title published by this company of which a cover is seen to be hanging on the wall, however, seems slightly cryptic at first glance - Belvue Comics.
This is most probably intended to affirm the notion of those who have some background knowledge that this whole story is set in the context of the anti-comics movement and one specififc indivdiual: Fredric Wertham, MD - who had been the director of the Mental Hygiene Clinic at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City.
This little background hint right in the very first panel also forms a narrative link to the outcome of the story, where the "raving maniac" is apprehended and escorted away by two individuals clad in white hospital gear. It is obvious that their destination will be a psychiatric ward, and given the New York City base of Atlas and Stan Lee, it is clear that this will conjure up the name "Bellevue" for many readers, as the Bellevue Hospital Center (the oldest public hospital in the US, founded in 1736 and located on First Avenue) is mostly referred to by the general public simply as "Bellevue" and as such most always refers to the hospital's psychiatric facilities.
Throughout the entire story there is no explicit reference to the furious visitor being Fredric Wertham, but many clues exist to deduct that Stan Lee was in fact thinking exactly of Wertham and trying to make this implicitly clear, although he came very close to outright confirming this interpretation in an interview.
"In the story, I [Stan Lee] was the headman at a [comic book publishing] company when suddenly, some nutcase, raving maniac came crashing in to [scream at me] about the evils [of comic books]... The executive whom I portrayed lashed back with some of the usual arguments plus a new one or two... Naturally, those points were so powerful in that story that the raving maniac slunk off in utter defeat. But that was fiction. I wish we could have dismissed Dr Fredric Wertham as easily." (Gitlin, 2010)
Although thus officially only portrayed as a Wertham clone, the raving maniac displays a whole number of traits easily associated with Wertham.
The raving maniac is portrayed as an individual with an almost feverish forward driving force - "Out of my way!" are his first words as he pushes away an artist standing between him and the door to the editor's office, and this commanding style of communication will be the mould for all of his utterings throughout the story - a style which matches Wertham's general rhetoric very well.
"'The publishers will raise a howl about freedom of speech and of the press' [Wertham] continued. 'Nonsense!'" (Wertham, quoted by Crist, 1948)
And just as Wertham stormed various public and media fora in 1948, the raving maniac "burst into my office like a hurricane!". In an angry eruption, he then tells the editor to his face that he finds his publications to be "miserable magazines", "this junk - this rot - this trash!!" - or, in the words of Fredric Wertham MD:
"The comic books, in intent and effect, are demoralizing the morals of youth. They are sexually aggressive in an abnormal way. They make violence alluring and cruelty heroic. They are not educational but stultifying." (Wertham, quoted by Crist, 1948)
"Why does our civilization give to the child not its best but its worst [i.e. comic books], in paper, in language, in art, in ideas?" (Wertham, 1954)
Stan Lee has the editor, a.k.a. himself, counter the ranting of the Wertham Doppelgänger by pointing out that it's purely fiction for fun and relaxation, and that no one is forcing anybody to read these comic books if they don't want to. The position of the "raving maniac" is displayed as a stubborn insistence on his purely personal view, and a perspective that the editor and his comic books should have to conform to the critic's way of seeing things.
Lee, in the persona opf the editor, thus reiterates two of the main characteristics of Wertham's position which also provoked some criticism from other academics.
"Dr. Wertham asks for censorship against the comic books; this infringement upon the freedom of the press (...) [and] his charges against the comic books are not verifiable and not corresponding to the facts." (Muhlen, 1949)
"The recent era of hysteria can be directly attributed to the activity of Dr Fredric Wertham (...) Writing vigorously and emotionally, if not scientifically and logically, in widely read and highly respected journals (...) Dr Wertham has succeeded in frightening parents, teachers and public officials into the belief that no matter the cost the comic book must go." (Schultz 1949)
"We may criticize Wertham's conclusions on many grounds, but the major weakness of his position is that it is not supported by research data (...) no acceptable evidence has been produced by Wertham or anyone else for the conclusion that the reading of comic magazines has or has not a significant relation to delinquent behavior." (Thrasher 1949)
And even the argument brought forward by the editor confronting this infuriated visitor that the contents of his comic books are simply there to entertain readers in a thrilling way and that the readers know very well how to handle imaginary tales because they are accustomed to these ever since hearing their first fairy tales echoed real-life statements in public.
"Parents who have trained their children to be emotionally stable and properly discriminating need have no fear of the effects of comic books on them, a panel of experts agreed." (The Milwaukee Journal, "Comic books' peril studied - Parents given advice", 22 September 1948)
In the words of Stan Lee as the editor:
"At least our readers know that our stories aren't true!! They can put our magazines down and forget about it! But you can scare yourself to death by reading a newspaper nowadays!!"
Finally, the editor then strikes his hardest blow by pointing out that
"in a dictatorship, people try to change your mind by force! You should be grateful you're in a land where only words are used!"
It is at this point in the story that the denouement takes place - the unraveling of the plot enters the stage in the form of the two aforementioned gentlemen from a psychiatric ward who are more than relieved to finally apprehend their eloped patient.
To the startled editor, one of the wardens explains that "we been looking for this character for days!" whilst his colleague adresses their patient:
"Come along peacefully now, Hubert!"
No family name is mentioned, and this seems fairly in line with set cliches of the era that a psychiatric warden would be addressing his patients by using their first name only. It also seems likely to assume that Stan Lee would not have dared to pinpoint Wertham directly as being the "raving maniac" of this story, given the allusions to the somewhat anti-democratic ideas and the mental health issues of the character.
However, choosing the first name Hubert may be considered a step in that direction: the name is of a distinctly German origin (just as Wertham himself was) and, according to US census data, not a particularly common one in the US and thus not amongst the 500 most popular first names for babies in the 1950s. Given Stan Lee's modus operandi, it is highly unlikely that the name Hubert was not chosen deliberately, rather than having a "Mr Smith" or "John", and Lee's ways with words might even justify taking the alliteration of hubERT and wERTham as being no coincidence at all.
It is therefore highly likely that Stan Lee did, indeed, meet Fredric Wertham - in a story he wrote. The narrative twist of having him be an inmate of a psychiatric institution rather than Wertham's real life position as a psychiatrist surely offered a certain amount of tongue in cheek satisfaction to the author, and a fleeting possibility of getting back at him and the fact that, as Lee put it, people listened to him simply because he was, after all, a psychiatrist.
As Hubert is taken away, the story continues with the editor being so exhausted and worn-out by the visit of the "raving maniac" that he decides to call it a day and head home, where he is greeted by his wife and his daughter, who asks for a bedtime story. The story, which had so far been fast paced and told in conflict dialogue - surely a very loud discussion - ends in a contrastingly peaceful setting as the editor tells his daughter about the events he witnessed at his office, but told in bedtime story mode.
This is Stan Lee's narrative technique to end this little story with the underlying message that the arguments of his visitor are so out of touch with the reality of comic books that they can't be taken seriously - and as every reader knows, a story which opens with the set phrase "once upon a time..." can't be taken as describing factual events.
The tone and setting of a fairy tale is further enhanced by the use of a diminuitive as the editor tells his daughter about "an excited little man with nothing more important on his mind". Naturally, this is also a way to portray the Wertham Doppelgänger in a derisive way - which is in fact reminiscent of the full-page editorials Timely/Atlas ran in May 1949:
"Lately there has been quite a debate about comics (...) In an article a Dr Wertham discussed the problem of juvenile delinquency in America today, and pinned the blame for some of these cases on comic magazines." (Timely Comics Editorial, May 1949)
The text belittled the comic book industry's critic by referring to him as "a Dr Wertham", which at face value was simply hitting back at Wertham with his own rhetoric. On the content level, it also implied - just as the editor's words to his daughter - that this person can not be taken seriously: he is just an angry little man (in a figurative sense, not refering to actual physical height), just a Dr Wertham.
Stan Lee had hit back, but chances are that only very few had taken notice at the time, and any reactions would have fallen on barren ground in any case as this was to be the final issue of Suspense. This little piece of Lee narrative thus remains what it was: a highly unconventional story approach for a comic book of its time, and a fairly unqiue artefact of comic book history. Not surprisingly, it was never reprinted until 2005 when Marvel Visionaries: Stan Lee brought the "raving maniac" back to the attention of the community of comic book readers.
Stan Lee would, of course, continue as editor at Atlas/Marvel, but he was still some eight years away from his personal moment of glory when he would launch the mighty "Marvel Age of Comics" with Fantastic Four #1 in 1961. Fredric Wertham, however, was just ahead of his most prolific period in his commitment to the anti comic book movement. In November 1953, he would publish an article entitled "What Parents Don't Know" in Ladies' Home Journal, and in May of the next year Reader's Digest would publish "Blueprint to Delinquency" - comic books were, in both cases, the reason to worry about. But most importantly, 1954 would see the publication of the book for which Wertham is most (in)famous - Seduction of the Innocent. He also appeared before the Senate Subcommittee Hearings that same year, and rounded it all off with an article entitled "It's still Murder" in the issue for 9 April 1955 of the Saturday Review of Literature.
By that time, Wertham cast a dark shadow over the entire comic book industry, but in that shadow there was also one editor who at least had the consolation of having told Wertham just what kind of person he was and what he thought about his crazy ideas - even if it had just been in a comic book, back in April 1953. But then again, that very same editor would still be around a few years later and, better still, be an important part of nothing short of a revival of the comic book and a new era. When that would happen, in 1961, a certain Dr Wertham would already be out of the spotlight.
In the end, Stan Lee won, and Fredric Wertham lost. It was no surprise to anyone who had read Suspense #29.
COVILLE Jamie (----) "The Comic Book Villain, Dr. Fredric Wertham M.D.", in Integrative Arts 10: Seduction of the Innocents and the Attack on Comic Books, available online and accessed 17 May 2010 at www.psu.edu/dept/inart10_110/inart10/cmbk4cca.html
CRIST Judith (1948) "Horror in the Nursery", in Collier's Magazine, 27 March 1948, 22-29
DECKER Dwight (1987) "Fredric Wertham - Anti-Comics Crusader who turned Advocate", originally published in Amazing Heroes (available online and accessed 12 July 2007 at www.art-bin.com/art/awertham.html)
GITLIN Marty (2010) Stan Lee: Comic Book Superhero, ABDO Publishing
LEE Stan & George Mair (2002) Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, Fireside
MUHLEN Norbert (1949) "Violence in the Comics - Reader's Letters", in Commentary 8
RAPHAEL Jordan & Tom Spurgeon (2003) Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, Chicago Review Press
RYAN John (1936) "Are the Comics moral?", in Forum (95/5), 301-304
SCHULTZ H. E. (1949) "Censorship or Self Regulation?", in Journal of Educational Sociology (Vol. 23, #4), 215-224
THRASHER Frederic M. (1949) "The Comics and Delinquency: Cause or Scapegoat", in Journal of Educational Sociology (Vol. 23, #4), 195-205
WERTHAM Fredric (1948) "The Comics - Very funny!", in The Saturday Review of Literature (issue for 29 May), 6-10
WOMACK Michael T. (1992) Fredric Wertham - A Register of his Papers in the Library of Congress, Manuscript, Library of Congress, Washington (availabale online and accessed 26 March 2010 at www.governmentattic.org/2docs/LOC_Wertham-Papers_1992_2007.pdf)
WRIGHT Bradford W. (2001) Comic book nation: the transformation of youth culture in America, Johns Hopkins University Press
first poste to the web 15 June 2010
revised and reposted 13 April 2014
Text is (c) 2010-2014 Adrian Wymann
The illustrations presented here are copyright material.
Their reproduction in this non-commercial context is considered to be fair use.