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The Curious Curator's Book Blog

Contemporary art curator. Student. Book addict. Art lover. Geek. Dreamer. Curious about everything. Check out my website http://thecuriouscurator.com/

Currently reading

EarthBound (Boss Fight Books, #1)
Ken Baumann
How to Do Things with Videogames
Ian Bogost
Philosophie des jeux vidéo
Mathieu Triclot

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America - David Hajdu

Less than two years after the publication of Ray Bradbury's vision of future bonfires, Fahrenheit 451, the comic-book burnings of 1955, like the many that preceded them in the mid-to-late 1940s, were an inversion of Bradbury's prophecy. In the philistine dreamscape of Fahrenheit 451, a fascistic government institutionalized book burning, banishing all publications that expressed ideas or had artistic merit. The only volumes left unscathed were those deemed of practical value or those beneath contempt: trade journals, pornography, and comic books.


This is the story of American comic-books' Golden Era and how those books were attacked by fear-mongering 'specialists' and self-appointed defenders of good taste. The scariest thing about this book is that the attackers actually succeeded in castrating the medium and censoring the artists for the sake of decorum and 'saving the children'. The descriptions of book-burning events organized by the children themselves (instigated by concerned parents and teachers) were especially hard for me to wrap my head around, specially in a post-war context, but this book makes it easier to understand. It also helps put the history of comics into perspective.


All in all, a recommended read for comic-book enthusiasts.