Banned Books Week is here, and libraries across the country have banned and challenged books on display. This year, the King Library at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (151 South Campus Avenue), is focusing on comic books in particular!
In 1954, the comic book industry began a campaign of self-censorship, the product of lengthy media and governmental attacks on comics that accused them of fostering juvenile delinquency, violence, and more. The Comics Code Authority was established to protect the industry from government intervention, but it instead handicapped creative free expression in comic books for decades, and nearly led to the end of the medium.
Even though the Comics Code is now defunct, comic books are still one of the most commonly challenged publications in libraries. The display, which is located in the foyer of the King Library, includes a number of historical resources on the Comics Code:
The ten-cent plague: the great comic-book scare and how it changed America by David Hajdu. King Library (2nd floor) | PN6725 .H33 2008
Seal of approval: the history of the comics code by Amy Kiste Nyberg. King Library (2nd floor) | PN6725 .N953 1998
Pulp demons: international dimensions of the postwar anti-comics campaign edited by John A. Lent. King Library (2nd floor) | PN6710 .P85 1999
Of comics and men : a cultural history of American comic books by Jean-Paul Gabilliet. King Library (2nd floor) | PN6725 .G3313 2010
The horror! the horror! : comic books the government didn’t want you to read! edited by Jim Trombetta, with an introduction by R. L. Stine. Available by request through OhioLINK.
Seduction of the innocent by Fredric Wertham. Access through Alexander Street Press.
Interim Report of the Committee on the Judiciary pursuant to S. Res. 89 (83d Cong. 1st sess.) and S. Res. 190 (83d Cong. 2d sess.) a part of the investigation of juvenile delinquency in the United States. Alternate title: Comic books and juvenile delinquency. Original report from 1955 available as a pdf.
CBLDF is a sponsor of Banned Books Week. Please help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by making a donation or becoming a member of the CBLDF!