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Love & Death

1949 HC Printing of Love & Death. The only exterior text is on the spine.
1949 SC Printing of Love & Death.
1963 SC Printing of Love & Death

Love & Death, by Gershon Legman, was published in 1949, a full five years before Seduction of the Innocent. Like SOTI, L&D criticized the comics of the day, especially crime comics, and listed some specific examples of comics the author thought to be harmful to children.

There are six different editions of Love & Death:

  • Love & Death The New Directions edition.
    This was number 8 in a series from James Laughlin's New Directions. According to a contributor to SeductionOfTheInnocent website contributor CJ Scheiner, only about 10 of these were made.
  • Love & Death 1st Breaking Point Edition, red hardcover (1949)
    Legman had these printed in VERY limited quantity (it has been suggested 50 or fewer) to either give or sell to admirers.
  • Love & Death 1st Breaking Point Edition, red softcover (1949)
    Identical to the above EXCEPT in soft wraps.
  • Love & Death 1st Edition/1st Breaking Point Edition, with ads, red softcover (1949)
    Same as 1st SC printing EXCEPT for 8 pages of advertising in the rear of book.
    The book pictured here is a copy presented by Legman to the poet Jose Luis Garcia. Prior to this book appearing at, the existence of this edition was unknown to to prominent collectors of Dr. Legman's work. Please contact us at if you have more information about this edition or own a copy.
  • Love & Death 2nd Edition orange hardcover w/DJ (1963)
    Identical to 1st Edition/1st Printing EXCEPT for the new covers and "2nd Printing" note.
  • Love & Death 2nd Edition orange softcover (1963)
    Identical to 1st Edition/1st Printing EXCEPT for the new covers, "2nd Printing" note, AND a list of the publishers who originally rejected the book in 1948-49, plus reviews on the inside rear cover.

Legman had participated with Dr. Wertham in the 1948 symposium "The Psychopathology of Comic Books", and later published an essay of the same name in Neurotica #3 in 1948. This became the basis for the comic book section of Love & Death, titled "Not for Children".

Additional criticism of comics by Legman can be found in:

  • Neurotica 3 (1948) "The Psychopathology of the Comics"
  • Neurotica 6 (1950) Follow-up to Legman's initial criticism of comics. Legman notes the shift in focus of comics publishers from crime comics to romance comics, and lists the romance comics of 1948-49. Legman credits his earlier writings as being the catalyst for the change in subject matter of the comics.
  • The COMPLEAT Neurotica 1st Edition (Orange) Hardcover w/DJ (1963) This book reprints all nine issues of Neurotica, including both the original essay from issue 3 and the follow-up from issue 6.

Thanks to CJ Scheiner and to eBayer FunniesInk for contributing information about the editions of Love & Death and Neurotica.

Comic Books Referenced in Love & Death per Overstreet
Title Issue  
  ALL-AMERICAN WESTERN   103   Mentioned in Love & Death
  CLAIRE VOYANT   3   Used in Love & Death
  CRIME MUST PAY THE PENALTY   33   "Dell Fabry- Junk King" drug story used in Love & Death
  DONALD DUCK FOUR COLOR   199   Mentioned in Love & Death
  FIGHT COMICS   48   Used in Love & Death
  JEANIE COMICS   16   Used in Love & Death
  JUMBO COMICS   94   Used in Love & Death
  SADDLE JUSTICE   3   Used in Love & Death
  UNDERWORLD   4   Used in Love & Death


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