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Dr Fredric Wertham "Lied And Lied And Lied About Comics"


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Old 17-02-2013, 19:03
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There have been rumours about anti-comics
crusader Fredric Wertham falsifying
his research for years, but now University
professor Carol L. Tilley has uncovered proof:

For example, in “Seduction,” Wertham links “Batman” comic books to the case of a 13-year-old boy on probation and receiving counseling for sexual abuse of another boy: “Like many other homo-erotically inclined children, he was a special devotee of Batman: ‘Sometimes I read them over and over again. … It could be that Batman did something with Robin like I did with the younger boy.’ ”

What Tilley found in Wertham’s notes, however, was that the boy preferred “Superman,” “Crime Does Not Pay” and “war comics” over “Batman,” and that he had previously been sexually assaulted by the other boy – all information that Wertham left out.
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/02/...-about-comics/

I'd always though Wertham meant well but was
misguided about going after comics, but the
fact that he altered his research shows he had
little respect for factual accuracy.
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Old 17-02-2013, 23:37
grimtales1
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Interesting....
I've heard Wertham's name because Bill Bryson talks about him and his research/book "Seduction of the Innocent" (?) in Bryson's memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, in a chapter on comics. I never knew Wertham lied.
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Old 18-02-2013, 07:25
frightlever
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He trotted out statistics left and right so of course he lied.
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Old 18-02-2013, 17:59
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There have been rumours about anti-comics
crusader Fredric Wertham falsifying
his research for years, but now University
professor Carol L. Tilley has uncovered proof:



http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/02/...-about-comics/

I'd always though Wertham meant well but was
misguided about going after comics, but the
fact that he altered his research shows he had
little respect for factual accuracy.
He used the fallacy of "post hoc ergo propter hoc" in his conclusions.

All juvenile delinquents read comics therefore reading comics must cause juvenile delinquency.

Psychology in those days was very much a pseudo-science.
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Old 19-02-2013, 13:49
dadioflex
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Psychology in those days was very much a pseudo-science.
Plus ça change...
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Old 19-02-2013, 14:06
jackbell
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Good came out of it because comics were very violent and scary at the time. When I look back on the covers even now they are frankly horrible, but I think he went too far with his take on Batman and Robin being 'a homosexual wish dream, etc. Although there was something in Wonder Woman being a sapphic bondage dominatrix.
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:02
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Psychology = quackery

Human beings are psychological machines of course, but the idea that it's possible to understand such machines is dubious.
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:56
grimtales1
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Good came out of it because comics were very violent and scary at the time. When I look back on the covers even now they are frankly horrible, but I think he went too far with his take on Batman and Robin being 'a homosexual wish dream, etc. Although there was something in Wonder Woman being a sapphic bondage dominatrix.
I remember hearing Bill Bryson's book on CD and I searched on wiki for any characters called Asbestos Lady (!), Lady Lotus or something like that (apparently Lady Lotus was one of Captain America's companions),
Asbestos Lady appeared in Marvel Comics in 1947, so the comics Bryson came across as a kid were probably old even then. ("I remember feeling a strange but entirely agreeable hormonal warming at the first sight of Asbestos Lady, whose cannonball breasts and powerful loins, were barely contained within the wisps of satin fabric with which some artistic genius portrayed her")
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Old 21-02-2013, 14:07
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Good came out of it because comics were very violent and scary at the time. When I look back on the covers even now they are frankly horrible, but I think he went too far with his take on Batman and Robin being 'a homosexual wish dream, etc. Although there was something in Wonder Woman being a sapphic bondage dominatrix.
Yeah, the people in National Publications used to express
concern that W.M. Marston's Wonder Woman stories were
full of bondage undertones. Mind you, some of
Alex Raymond's early Flash Gordon stories used to feature
topless women getting whipped, and those were published
in newspapers!
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Old 21-02-2013, 17:43
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Good came out of it because comics were very violent and scary at the time. When I look back on the covers even now they are frankly horrible.
They were horror comics. I would have been very disappointed if they weren't "horrible".
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Old 21-02-2013, 21:09
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They were horror comics. I would have been very disappointed if they weren't "horrible".
Also, the EC Horror Comics were aimed at older
teenagers, not the small kids who bought them
because the retailers unwisely stuck them next to
Donald Duck or Archie Comics. A ratings system
similar to the one used by modern retailers might
have helped avoid all the ruckus. The retailers
wouldn't sell violent Mickey Spillane novels to
small kids, so why did they sell equally violent
EC Comics to the nippers?
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Old 21-02-2013, 21:21
grimtales1
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They were horror comics. I would have been very disappointed if they weren't "horrible".
Bill Bryson seems to alude to that sort of early stuff in his memoir, with comics that went quite far showing depictions of violence or sexy situations, maybe he saw them as a small kid but I doubt they were intended for someone his age in the mid-50's (Bryson was born in 1951 so would have been 5-6 I think).
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Old 24-02-2013, 15:10
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Also, the EC Horror Comics were aimed at older
teenagers, not the small kids who bought them
because the retailers unwisely stuck them next to
Donald Duck or Archie Comics. A ratings system
similar to the one used by modern retailers might
have helped avoid all the ruckus. The retailers
wouldn't sell violent Mickey Spillane novels to
small kids, so why did they sell equally violent
EC Comics to the nippers?
Very young kids yes. I think kids about 10 upwards buying EC/Harvey comics at the time would have loved them with no harm at all.

I started reading Creepy, Eerie, Psycho etc. from the age of 11 when I found a shop that sold them in the UK. I loved and still do love the horror genre.
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Old 09-03-2013, 21:19
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Bill Bryson seems to alude to that sort of early stuff in his memoir, with comics that went quite far showing depictions of violence or sexy situations, maybe he saw them as a small kid but I doubt they were intended for someone his age in the mid-50's (Bryson was born in 1951 so would have been 5-6 I think).
I've not read Bryson's memoir, but it sounds interesting.
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Old 09-03-2013, 21:34
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There needed to be some regulation as some of the scenes in old EC comics were shocking but I think Wertham went a bit too far with the suggestions that Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman were gay.
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Old 09-03-2013, 21:46
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I've not read Bryson's memoir, but it sounds interesting.
It's called 'The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid' Its very good but not laugh out loud funny in the way some of his travel books are (but still good).
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Old 09-03-2013, 21:57
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It's called 'The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid' Its very good but not laugh out loud funny in the way some of his travel books are (but still good).
Thanks for that.

On the subject of Comics censorship, have you ever
wondered why there are no young women in either
"Tintin" or the first "Blake and Mortimer" comics? This
is because Belgium at the time had very strict laws against drawing attractive women in comics for children, even if
the comic was otherwise completely U-rated. Hence Herge
only features middle-aged women like Bianca Castafiore or pre-adolescent girls like Nushka or Zette.
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Old 09-03-2013, 22:14
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Very interesting, I didnt know that
I picked up some old (1959-70's) magazines/comics with Tintin strips in them when I was in France last year, probably somewhat rare now due to age, (though thousands of them were produced).
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Old 10-03-2013, 00:43
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There needed to be some regulation as some of the scenes in old EC comics were shocking but I think Wertham went a bit too far with the suggestions that Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman were gay.
Gasp! Speaking of "horror"! Oh! The HORROR! GAY!

Can you imagine the damage this agenda -- the very shocking and unregulated scenes that would necessarily ensue -- would
lead to lest someone didn't do something about it? I say thank God Almighty (the real one, not one of these comicbook "gods", thank you) that Werty had the balls to lie for the good of us all.
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Old 10-03-2013, 14:16
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Gasp! Speaking of "horror"! Oh! The HORROR! GAY!

Can you imagine the damage this agenda -- the very shocking and unregulated scenes that would necessarily ensue -- would
lead to lest someone didn't do something about it? I say thank God Almighty (the real one, not one of these comicbook "gods", thank you) that Werty had the balls to lie for the good of us all.
It's not about the "horror of being gay", but implying something that is not true - Batman and Robin was "a wish dream of two homosexuals living together" and Wonder Woman's strength and independence made her a lesbian.

This was not the intention of the comic creators, but Wertham's mistaken interpretation.
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Old 11-03-2013, 00:35
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It's not about the "horror of being gay", but implying something that is not true - Batman and Robin was "a wish dream of two homosexuals living together" and Wonder Woman's strength and independence made her a lesbian.

This was not the intention of the comic creators, but Wertham's mistaken interpretation.
Right. You're more worried about the fact that Werty got it wrong, had a mistaken interpretation, implied something that wasn't true... than the idea that what he was LYING about should not be the kind of thing that should be bothered about to begin with...

The problem is not that this stupid ****, Wertham, was "mistaken" (LYING). The problem is that he thought it was a good LIE to tell in the way of express condemnation.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:03
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Right. You're more worried about the fact that Werty got it wrong, had a mistaken interpretation, implied something that wasn't true... than the idea that what he was LYING about should not be the kind of thing that should be bothered about to begin with...

The problem is not that this stupid ****, Wertham, was "mistaken" (LYING). The problem is that he thought it was a good LIE to tell in the way of express condemnation.
Don't misinterpret what I'm saying, which was that he was deliberately mistaken and distorting the truth to make his point clearer. There was some truth but he over-egged it with the homosexuality nonsense.
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Old 11-03-2013, 18:23
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Don't misinterpret what I'm saying, which was that he was deliberately mistaken and distorting the truth to make his point clearer. There was some truth but he over-egged it with the homosexuality nonsense.
What truth?

The fool wasn't "mistaken", it wasn't a "mistaken interpretation", he didn't "get it wrong", or as you now with some prodding, couch it, "deliberately mistaken", he was flat out lying. Why would you want to lessen the charge with these euphemistic softeners?

And that's not even the real point here anyway. The "some truth" is what?
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Old 11-03-2013, 21:52
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What truth?

The fool wasn't "mistaken", it wasn't a "mistaken interpretation", he didn't "get it wrong", or as you now with some prodding, couch it, "deliberately mistaken", he was flat out lying. Why would you want to lessen the charge with these euphemistic softeners?

And that's not even the real point here anyway. The "some truth" is what?
The truth was some of the images were vile. Decapitations, syringes in eyeballs, etc.

And be a little less aggressive with your replies, please. It's all 60 years of water under the bridge now anyway.
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