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NEWS ARCHIVE

    • Two MORE Discoveries!
      November 1, 2013: Two more previously-unidentified SOTI books have now been found! A comic book sleuth has found two of the lost SOTI comic books that have been undetected by comics historians for nearly sixty years! See T-man #4 and Diary Loves #31 on the lost SOTI page.

    • Historically Significant Seduction of the Innocent Comic Book Found
      September 3, 2013: A copy of "The Nightingale" was recently uncovered by a collector. The comic book "The Nightingale," published by Once-Upon-a-Time Press in 1948, is the scarcest known comic book that Dr. Fredric Wertham referenced in Seduction of the Innocent. Until this copy was found, only two copies were known to exist, and only one was in the hands of a private collector (the other owned by the Library of Congress). Read about the discovery here Nightingale discovery.

    • Performance to Feature Wertham, Marston
      March 29, 2013: Dr. Fredric Wertham sits down for a drink with fesishist and Wonder Woman creator, William Moulton Marston. That is the premise of the latest play by Stephen Gracia, "The Last Days of the Brave and the Bold". The play was presented March 28, 2013 at Mr. Dennehy's Pub in New York City. For more information on Stephen Gracia's D3C plays, go to the D3C web page.

    • March 20, 2013: Panel Discusses Wertham
      Scheduled to coincide with what would have been Dr. Wertham's 118th birthday, the event "Surely You're Joking, Dr. Wertham" was held on March 20, 2013 at the SoHo Gallery for Gigital Art in New York City. This panel discussion of Dr. Wertham and the comics censorship movement of the 1940's and 50's featured the following all-star panelists.

      DENNIS O'NEIL, one of comics' most acclaimed writers, worked briefly in journalism, then moved to New York and comics. Denny brought social consciousness to the medium with the groundbreaking Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. His work on Batman as writer and editorreturned that character to its dark, gothic roots.

      DAVID HAJDU teaches in Columbia University's School of Journalism. He serves as the music critic for The New Republic and is the author of books including Positively 4th Street and The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America.

      CRAIG YOE has been called the "Indiana Jones of comics historians" by Vice magazine. Publishers Weekly says he's the "archivist of the ridiculous and the sublime" and calls his work "brilliant." The Onion calls him "the celebrated designer," The Library Journal, "a comics guru." BoingBoing hails him "a fine cartoonist and a comic book historian of the first water." Yoe was Creative Director/Vice President/ General Manager of Jim Henson's Muppets, and a Creative Director at Nickelodeon and Disney. Craig has won an Eisner Award and the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.

      SHARON PACKER, M.D., is a practicing physician and psychiatrist, and Adjunct Professor of Media Studies at New School University . She has published dozens of academic articles and book reviews, as well as chapters on psychology and media, and psychiatry and religion. Her books include Superheroes and Superegos and the 2012 Cinema's Sinister Psychiatrists.

      CAROL L. TILLEY is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at University of Illinois. A lifelong comics reader, Tilley made her first visit to use the Wertham papers at the Library of Congress in October 2010. Although she was looking for his correspondence with librarians and teachers, Tilley quickly realized that there was a bigger story to be told: how the psychiatrist manipulated evidence to advance his anti-comics rhetoric. A scholarly paper based on this research was published in Information & Culture: A Journal of History in November 2012. Tilley has written and spoken about comics in venues such as Children's Literature in Education, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing, and the Comics Arts Conference at WonderCon. She is currently working on a history of children's comics readers.

      DANNY FINGEROTH (moderator) was a longtime writer and editor for Marvel Comics and was Senior VP of Education at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA). He has spoken on comics at venues including The Smithsonian Institution and The Metropolitan Museum. Fingeroth is the author of Superman on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent; and co-editor (with Roy Thomas) of The Stan Lee Universe, a treasury of interviews, articles, and mementos relating to the co- creator of the Marvel Universe, including a debate between Lee and Wertham's colleague, Dr. Hilde Mosse.


      From left, O'Neil, Hajdu, Tilley, Packer.

      Hajdu, Tilley, Packer, and Yoe.

    • February 18, 2013: Wertham Lied in SOTI, Researcher Says

      Carol Tilley, assistant professor at the University of Illinois's Graduate School fo Libary and Information Science, has examined documents in Dr. Wertham's files at the library of congress. She has come to the conclusion that Dr. Wertham fabricated some of the evidence presented in Seduction of the Innocent. For more information, read the New York Times article on Carol Tilley's work about Dr. Wertham, and the article at the University of Illinois website.

    • April 2, 2012: Another Hanging

      Observant contributor Dave Reynolds noticed that this cover of Lone Rider #3 is just as good a fit as Rangers #38 for this quote:
      "On the floor under his open hand lay a comic book with this cover: a girl on a horse with a noose around her neck, the rope tied to a tree. A man was leading the horse away, tightening the noose as he did so. "
      Dave found another comic that comes really close to what's described. Check out the cover to Lone Rider #3 below. There aren't a lot of covers that depict hangings, and even fewer that depict women being hanged. On this cover, the woman on the horse is about to be hanged, and there is a man causing the hanging, so this part is consistent with what Wertham wrote. However, the man is not leading the horse away.

      Could this be another "Lost SOTI" comic? Is this quote from Rangers #38, Lone Rider #3, or another book? Feel free to e-mail us your thoughts on the matter.

    • April 2, 2012: Mystery Squared

      The mystery regarding "Mysteries of Paris" has been solved. Why is it that Wertham's description of The Mysteries of Paris doesn't seem to match the comic book? See the Classics Illustrated page for details.

    • October 7, 2011: Another Lost SOTI Reference Located... (and it was right under our noses)!

      Another comic book reference in SOTI has been located, thanks to the sleuthing work of Brad Sultan. Brad found that the following quote from SOTI page 387: A young soldier "keeping watch in his foxhole in Korea" is exterminated by a ghost: "The fangs and talons of the evil witch sank deeper into the jugular vein and then came out, withdrawing rich red blood. The young man sank forward, face up, dead!
      comes from Black Cat Comics #39, already a known SOTI book!

    • August 11, 2011: Another Lost SOTI Comic Discovered?

      For more than half a century, the source of the following quote in SOTI has been unidentified.
      "On the floor under his open hand lay a comic book with this cover: a girl on a horse with a noose around her neck, the rope tied to a tree. A man was leading the horse away, tightening the noose as he did so. "
      A comic book has been discovered that comes really close to what's described. Check out the cover to Rangers Comics #38 below. There aren't a lot of covers that depict hangings, and even fewer that depict women being hanged. On this cover, the woman on the horse is about to be hanged, and there is a man causing the hanging, so this part is consistent with what Wertham wrote. However, the man is whipping the horse and not leading it away.

      Could this be another "Lost SOTI" comic? Feel free to e-mail us your thoughts on the matter.

    • August 1, 2011: Details of another Lost SOTI Comic!

      Check out the scans from one of the recent Lost SOTI comics that has been discovered. See the Lost SOTI page for scans from True Love Problems and Advice Illustrated #11.

    • July 3, 2011: Another Lost SOTI Comic Discovered!

      A comic book featuring Captain Marvel was recently discovered to be one of the "Lost SOTI" comics! Details will come, either at this website or perhaps in 2012 when the Wertham film "Diagram for Delinquents" is released. See the next news item for more on this film.

    • July 3, 2011: Wertham Film Production Has Begun

      Production has begun on "Diagram for Delinquents," a film about Dr. Wertham and SOTI. The film crew has already interviewed SeductionOfTheInnocent.org webmaster Stephen O'Day, and has posted an excerpt from that interview here. There's lots more to come, so be sure to check out the status updates at robertemmons.blogspot.com.

    • June 13, 2011: Yet Another "Gay Batman" Comic Located?
      Batman #67 might well be another "lost SOTI" comic book!

      One of the assertions made by Dr. Wertham in Seduction of the Innocent was that Batman and Robin were gay lovers. In bolstering this claim, made on pages 190 and 191 of SOTI, Wertham states, "Like the girls in other stories, Robin is sometimes held captive by the villains and Batman has to give in or 'Robin gets killed.'"

      For more than half a century, the source of this quote has been unknown to comic book historians, scholars and collectors. Thanks to the research of Hector Guerra, the source of this quote may now be identified. The exact scene described by Wertham occurs in Batman #67, as illustrated below.



      The argument that Batman #67 is a "lost SOTI" book is compelling, noting that
      1. The date of Batman #67 falls within the range of dates of other comics Wertham criticized.
      2. The situation Wertham describes, in which Robin is kidnapped and Batman is required to do the villain's bidding, occurs in this comic.
      3. The exact quote "Robin gets killed." occurs in this comic.

      However, it's also possible that a similar situation COULD have occurred in another Golden Age Batman book. A three-word quote is not proof positive. The only way to ensure with certainty that Batman #67 is the book to which Wertham referred is to check all of the Batman stories from 1946 to 1954 (including Detective and World's Finest) to make sure that this simple three-word quote does not appear elsewhere. For now, we'll call this a "suspected" SOTI book.

      In the past five months, three DC comics have been identified as "lost SOTI" comics: Batman #64, World's Finest #44 and Gang Busters #3. If Batman #67 turns out to difinitively be one of the lost SOTI books, that will make four.

    • May 13, 2011: Another "Gay Batman" comic located!

      Batman #64 has been identified as a "lost SOTI" comic book! Read the press release and FAQ.

      One of the assertions made by Dr. Wertham in Seduction of the Innocent was that Batman and Robin were gay lovers. On page 191, Wertham states,

      The atmosphere is homosexual and anti-feminine. If the girl is good-looking she is undoubtedly the villainess. If she is after Bruce Wayne, she will have no chance against Dick. For instance, Bruce and Dick go out one evening in dinner clothes, dressed exactly alike. The attractive girl makes up to Bruce while in successive pictures young Dick looks on smiling, sure of Bruce.

      For more than half a century, the source of this quote remained unknown to comic book historians, scholars and collectors. Thanks to the research of Hector Guerra, the source of this quote is no longer a mystery! Below see the cover of Batman #64, and the page that was referenced by Wertham.



      In the past four months, three DC comics have been identified as "lost SOTI" comics: Batman #64, World's Finest #44 and Gang Busters #3.

  • April 23, 2011: Gay Batman located at last!
    Worlds Finest Comics #44 has been identified as one of the "lost SOTI" comics!

    One of the assertions made by Dr. Wertham in Seduction of the Innocent was that Batman and Robin were gay lovers. On page 190, Wertham states,

    As they sit by the fire the young boy sometimes worries about his partner: 'Somethingís wrong with Bruce. He hasnít been himself these last few days.' It is like a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.

    For more than half a century, the source of this quote remained unknown to comic book historians, scholars and collectors. Thanks to the work of Hector Guerra, the source of this quote is no longer a mystery! Below see the cover of Worlds Finest #44, and the page that was referenced by Wertham.

    This quote

    Sometimes they are shown on a couch, Bruce reclining and Dick sitting next to him, jacket off, collar open, and his hand on his friendís arm.

    also comes from World's Finest #44.

    And from page 9 of SOTI, there is this quote,

    Here, too, is the customary close-up of the surprised and frightened-looking policeman with his hands half-raised saying:
    NO - NO! DON'T SHOOT
    as he is threatened by a huge fist holding a gun to his face! This is followed by mild disapproval ("You've gone too far! This is murder!") as the uniformed man lies dead on the ground. This comic book is endorsed by child specialists who are connected with important institutions.


    This reference also comes from World's Finest #44.

    In the past three months, two DC comics have been identified as "lost SOTI" comics: World's Finest #44 and Gang Busters #3.






  • March 9, 2011: More news on Gang Busters #3!
    This book was recently discovered to be a "lost" SOTI book. Now we know that it was used by the NY State Legislature as well! It's pictured on page 60 of the Committee's 1951 report. For more items used in that report, see our page devoted to that investigation.

  • February, 2011: Another "lost" SOTI illo has been identified!
    Until now, the "Comic-book map for crime" illustration below from SOTI had been unidentified.

    Thanks to information found in the Wertham files at the Library of Congress, we now know this "comic book map for crime" illo comes from DC's Gang Busters #3.



  • February, 2011: Wertham film in the works! Read here for details about "Diagram for Delinquents"!

  • October, 2010: Another formerly "lost" SOTI book has been found. True Love Problems and Advice Illustrated #11 is a SOTI book.

    Check out True Love Problems and Advice Illustrated #11, then read pages 185-186 of Seduction of the Innocent:

    Love comics, like crime comics, play up the angle that what they depict is real life. "These girls are real people with real problems and real dramatic confessions," says a typical issue. What do these "real" girls want? "More than anything in the world I wanted glamor, money, adventure . . ." What are their problems? The titles of the stories give the answer:
    FALLEN WOMAN
    RUNAWAY PASSION!
    PRICE OF PRIDE
    FORBIDDEN LOVE
    MY FOOLISH MISTAKE!
    MUST I REVEAL MY PAST?

    This comic also contains the following quotes from SOTI:
    Violent passions smouldered in my heart! I burned with love for a man who could never be mine. In a moment of weakness I surrendered to a tragic impulse and grasped at a forbidden love!
    and
    Naive, innocent fool that I was, I thought he was asking me to marry him! But I found out different fifteen minutes after we checked into the hotel!! My folks hushed it up of course . . . and I learned to forget. . .

  • September, 2010: New Lost SOTI item found. Tween Age Digest #1 (September, 1952) is a formerly "lost" SOTI collectible that is now found. From pages 120-121 of SOTI:

    A similar children's magazine, Tween Age Digest, at twenty-five cents, also looks like a regular magazine, but has comic-book sections. One of these is a supercondensed comic-book version of Don Quixote. You see him lying on the ground: "The servants beat Don Quixote mercilessly and although he swore vengeance he was helpless as a beetle on his back."

  • August, 2010: New Guide with SOTI Changes. The new Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is out. The good news? Some of the contributions from SeductionOfTheInnocent.org have been included, such as the fact that Out of this World Adventures #2 was used in Seduction. The not-so-good news? There are numerous inaccuracies in the listing for Seduction of the Innocent, despite corrections submitted by the webmaster of SeductionOfTheInnocent.org. For the real story regarding editions of SOTI that have been published, refer to our page devoted to just that topic.

  • July, 2010: New Printing of POP! At last! Parade of Pleasure is back in print for the first time in 55 years! Greg Theakston's Pure Imagination has published a softcover edition of this important piece of comic book history. The new printing omits all of the photos and illos that were part of the original edition, but includes a large number of new photos and illustrations.

  • June 1, 2010: New Printing of SOTI! The eighth printing of Seduction of the Innocent has been released and is available through that big online seller of books and just about everything else.

  • April, 2010: SeductionOfTheInnocent.org gets press! When ParentDish did a story about Archie Comics' introduction of a gay character, they mentioned the role former Archie publisher John Goldwater played in the early days of the Comics Code. They also provided a link within the story to the best source of information about that time period. Rather than simply putting in a link to Wikipedia's entry on Seduction of the Innocent, as many others do, blogger Tom Henderson chose instead to link to SeductionOfTheInnocent.org. Thanks, Tom!

  • July 8, 2010: ANOTHER REFERENCE FOUND!
    • This formerly lost SOTI book reference has been found! Details to come!

      In the light of these facts it is indicative of the general misconception about crime comics, and a matter of regret, that a public agency like New York City's Youth Board lends its name to a "public service page" in crime comic books. This page, supposed to fight drug addiction among juveniles, shows the progress of a boy addict and bears the legend: "The Comics Magazine Industry pledges itself to aid youngsters in their fight against the enemies of youth - the dope peddlers." Are the children supposed to fight the adult drug- racketeers? That should be the concern of the adults. This page is in reality just an advertisement for "The Comics Magazine Industry" and is highly misleading to parents and children alike. A typical comic book with this page is one of the worst crime comics.


    July 5, 2010: The Marvel Search continues!
    • In late 1948/early 1949, it turns out there were THREE Marvel anti-Wertham editorials. The first didn't mention Werham by name, the second one specifically referred to Dr. Wertham and his article in Saturday Review of Literature, and the third one also did not mention Werham by name. We're continuing to compile lists of the Marvel books from late 1948/early 1949 that have these editorials.

    May 21, 2010: ANOTHER REFERENCE FOUND!
    • It turns out that the quote, "Another crime comic describes the wonderful effects of morphine: 'One needleful of joy-juice and you get so satisfied with the world you forget your obligations!'" comes from a SOTI book that has already been identified. This quote is in the classic story "Murder, Morphine and Me" in True Crime v2#1. The most recent reprint of this story is in The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics.

    January 27, 2010: MORE NEWLY-FOUND SOTI ADS POSTED!
    • More to come!

    November 4, 2009: NEWLY-FOUND SOTI ADS POSTED!
    • Dr. Wertham criticized the ads he found in comics, and some examples of ads quoted in SOTI are now posted. More to come!

    October 21, 2009: NEWLY-DISCOVERED SOTI BOOKS!
    • A two-page text piece in Crime Does Not Pay #76 is referenced in Seduction of the Innocent. The same text piece is also in Crime and Punishment #16. Click here for details.

    September 15, 2009: NEWLY-DISCOVERED SOTI BOOK!(sort of)
    • Thanks to David T. Alexander for pointing out that Private Detective Stories v21 #3 is a pulp that contains an SOTI story.
      Although this is not where Wertham read the story, it's worth noting this golden age pulp reprint of the Sally Sleuth story from Crime Smashers #1 is a story that was not just mentioned, but pictured in SOTI.

  • News from dates prior to the start of the SeductionOfTheInnocent News Archive:

    NEWLY-DISCOVERED SOTI BOOKS, PREVIOUSLY "LOST"!

    • Kewpies #1 is now recognized as a SOTI comic by the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide due to the efforts of Seduction of the Innocent.org
    • Out of This World Adventures #2 was found by SeductionOfTheInnocent.org to be a SOTI comic, and this information has not yet been reflected in the Overstreet Guide.

    NEWLY-REFUTED SOTI BOOKS!
    • The SOTI reference to Frontier Romances #1 on p. 180 of SOTI is now acknowledged by Overstreet to be a general reference to erotic spankings in Western comics, not a specific reference to Frontier Romances #1. The book is still a SOTI book because of the illustration Wertham used, but Wertham did not make reference to this comic in particular on p. 180 of SOTI.
    • Haunt of Fear #23 is no longer listed in Overstreet as a Seduction of the Innocent book, because of information provided by SeductionOfTheInnocent.org.
    • Tom Mix Western #10 is no longer listed in Overstreet as a Seduction of the Innocent book, because of information provided by SeductionOfTheInnocent.org.
    • It seems apparent that Red Seal #16 was not the source for Dr. Wertham's "blood drainage" story, but instead the doctor saw this story in Authentic Police Cases #3. This is based on the fact that Wertham quotes the text piece in Authentic Police Cases #3, and makes no mention of having seen this story in two places (as he did with True Crime v1#2 and True Crime v2#1). More trivia about Authentic Police Cases #3: It's mentioned on pages 161 and 181 of SOTI, in addition to being included in the illustrations. You won't find that information in Overstreet yet, but you'll get it right here at LostSOTI.org.

    1940'S VARIANTS!
    • The descriptions of Peter Penny and his Magic Dollar listed in Overstreet appear to be incorrect. You'll only find that information right here at SeductionOfTheInnocent.org.
    • There are several versions of Your United States, a comic referenced in SOTI. This information is not yet in the Overstreet Price Guide, but is available here at SeductionOfTheInnocent.org.

     
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