Debunking the Corrupting Effects of Comic Books

Email a Friend
From and

It was 1954 and Dr. Fredric Wertham was testifying before Congress. "Are there any bad effects of comic books?  I may say here on this subject there is practically no controversy," he said. "Anybody who has studied them and seen them knows that some of them have bad effects." Dr. Wertham, author of "Seduction of the Innocent," had a simple case to make against comic books. They corrupted young minds. They were a hazard to society.

Recently, however, another researcher came to a different conclusion. When Carol Tilley, assistant professor at the University of Illinois’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, reviewed Wertham’s papers she found a different story — one of a scientist muddling and fabricating his evidence to suit his conclusions. Paul Levitz is a former president and publisher of DC Comics. He's also author of "The Gold Age of DC Comics."