Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is SOTI?
A: Seduction of the Innocent, often referred to by its initials (SOTI), is a book written by psychiatrist
Dr. Fredric Wertham, MD. Initially published in April, 1954, SOTI harshly criticized comic books as being harmful to
children. Wertham's criticisms of comics from 1948-1954 led to a United States Senate investigation of the influence of
comic books on children,
and to the Comics Code Authority. By presenting the case that comic books are bad for children, SOTI helped bring about the
demise of numerous comic book titles and publishers,
including EC Comics and many others.
For more on SOTI, check out Wikipedia's entry on SOTI.
Q: What is the mission of SeductionOfTheInnocent.org?
A: SeductionOfTheInnocent.org is dedicated to the gathering and dissemination of information about
the mid-20th-century crusade to suppress, censor, or ban comic books, that culminated with the publication
of Seduction of the Innocent, the U.S. Senate Hearings into the dangers of comic books, and the formation of the
Comics Code Authority. One specific focus at the moment
is on comics used in Seduction of the Innocent, and as time
and interest allow, the focus will expand to include related items such as Parade of Pleasure,
Love and Death, Sterling North's
articles, and more.
We make every effort to limit the content of this site to FACTS and PRIMARY SOURCES for information about these historical events.
There is no shortage of opinions on the Internet, and there are plenty of places in cyberspace where one can express an opinion
about anything in the world.
This website is not one of those places. The intent of this site is to provide information as it was presented historically, and allow
visitors to form their own opinions based on facts.
Q: How can I contribute information to SOTI.org?
A: Just send us an
E-mail!   It's that simple.
Q: How can I contribute money? If you're a "dot.org", you must be looking for money, right?
A: Frankly, no. We're really just looking for information. Of course, everybody's looking for money.
If you'd care to make a NON-tax-deductible contribution to our efforts,
feel free to send us all the cash you can spare. But that's not why we're here, and we're doing this
on a shoestring
budget (pretty close to $0). This doesn't cost us much, so we don't need much. We're really not asking
for anything but information.
Q: Why don't you have SOTI posted at this website for all to read?
A: The copyright for Seduction of the Innocent, was renewed May 17, 1982, meaning it is still
protected by U.S. and international copyright law and cannot legally be republished
in any form (digital or otherwise) without the permission of the copyright holder.
Q: How much is my copy of Seduction of the Innocent worth?
A: There's a really simple answer to that question. It's "worth" what somebody is willing to pay for it. The same could be said of any
collectible. While that statement is universally true, many people hope to assign a precise dollar amount to an item they have.
To find out something's "worth", you need to evaluate what buyers are willing to pay and how much sellers are willing to accept.
Keep in mind that as with any collectible,
condition plays a significant role in what collectors are willing to pay. Here are some of the
prices from actual sales we've seen in the past few years for the U.S. editions of SOTI:
To see how much some sellers would like to
get for the copies they have for sale, search Amazon.com, Alibris.com, and eBay.com.
- Modern (1996-2004) printing: $35-$90 in like-new condition. The modern version of the book goes back to press every so often with another 220-copy "limited edition". This one typically sells for about $40 new,
but occasionally people pay more for it on eBay. Check Amazon.com to see if the latest printing is still available.
- 1954 Second printing: $65-$200.
- 1954 First printing, second state: $100-$350.
- 1954 First printing, first state (with bibliography): $150-$1000 and more.
- 1954 Rebound former library copies of the first or second print, with a binding that is different from the standard grey
boards and black spine: $50-$100.
Keep in mind that this is how you find out the price a seller WANTS to get for their copy of SOTI. It doesn't indicate that there are any willing buyers out there who will pay that price.
To see how much some buyers have actually paid for the copies they purchased,
search completed auctions at eBay.com.
Q: Is the content on your site copyrighted?
A: Yes. The HTML site content is written by me, webmaster Stephen O'Day, and it's copyright 2012 by Stephen O'Day.
I'm here to share information, so feel free use your own words to pass on information you have learned from this site.
Please don't steal my
writing and try to pass it off as your own. Additional documents posted here such
as articles and comics are copyright their respective creators, used here under the Fair Use doctrine, or are in the public domain.
Q: Who else has contributed to this site?
A: Actually this site is a collaboration. We've received data from many different sources, and are happy to give credit
where credit is due.
You'll find the names of contributors sprinkled throughout the site. We'd also like to acknowledge
contributions from the following:
- eBayer shiva_allesandra contributed one of the photos of a re-bound copy of SOTI.
- Hector Guerra uncovered which Batman comics were referenced by Dr. Wertham.
- eBayer Hoppywho contributed information for the Classics Illustrated page.
- Mike Goldstein contributed information regarding Colton Waugh's "The Comics"
- eBayer Comicstew (Stewart Silver) provided information and photos from the pamphlet "The Truth About Comic Books."
- Brad Sultan found the reference to the soldier keeping watch in his foxhole in Korea.
- Dave Reynolds noted that Lone Rider #3 is a good fit for one of the Lost SOTI books. He also contributed information about the anti-Wertham editorial in Millie the Model #18.
- eBayer ThePillowQueen contributed information about numerous Marvel books with anti-Wertham editorials, including Cindy Comics #34, Jeanie Comics #26, Gay Comics #35 and Oscar Comics #8,
- eBayer Doyman contributed information about the editorial in Gay Comics #37.
- eBayer Bronze! contributed information about the anti-Wertham editorials in Gay Comics #38 and Lana Comics #6.
Q: Are there any common misperceptions about Seduction of the Innocent?
A: There are a couple very common misperceptions. First, altough SOTI has sometimes been credited with triggering the Senate investigation into comics, the book was released only a few days before the
Senate hearings began. It was the work of Wertham and other critics that triggered the investigation, but the book itself
was released pretty much concurrently with the Senate hearings. Secondly, it has sometimes been said that Dr. Wertham advocated for the
Comics Code. Wertham actually did not feel that the Code was the correct approach to the problem; he wanted to ban the sale of "crime" comic books
to kids under the age of 15, and he felt that many genres (superhero, western, science fiction...) fit his definition of "crime" comic book.