Scouting, Volume 42, Number 7, September 1954 Page: 2
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Editor's note—The controversy over comic books, which
rages with continuing fury, is of concern to every
Scouter, as well as to every parent. We are all well aware
of the impact which a child's reading may have on his
behaviour. There is no denying the eagerness with which
youngsters devour the modern comic book. What is the
net effect of such reading? Good or bad? Or just neu-
tral? No one is better qualified to present the case
against the crime comics than Dr. Fredric Wertham,
whose recent book, "Seduction of the Innocentis a
report of his years of research on the problem and clini-
cal treatment of children. His article, "What Parents
Don't Know About Comic Books," in the November,
1953 Ladies' Home Journal, is based on the book which
is published by Rinehart and Company. Answers to the
following questions are excerpts from the article.
Q. Is the circulation of these comic books large
enough to cause concern?
A. At the present time the number of comic books fluc-
tuates around 90,000,000 a month. According to the
Wall Street Journal there are 840,000,000 units a year,
20 per cent more than four years ago.
When judging the effect of comic-book reading, it
must be kept in mind that many children read the same
comic book over and over again, and that many comic
books are read and reread .by many different children.
Comic books have no rival as the greatest publishing
success in history. One crime-comic book announces on
its cover that it is read by 6,000,000 readers. This is one
of the worst comic books, a veritable primer for teaching
Junior juvenile delinquency.
Q. Is not the comic strip pretty generally accepted
A. Many adults think that they know all about crime-
comic books because they know mystery and detective
novels, comic strips in newspapers, and have cast an
occasional glance at a comic book at a newsstand or in
a child's hand. But most adults really have no idea of
the details and content of most crime-comic books.
Our study concerned itself with comic books and not
with comic strips. There are fundamental differences be-
tween the two, which the comic-book industry does its
best to becloud.
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 42, Number 7, September 1954, periodical, September 1954; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth329228/m1/4/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.