Frederic Wertham–still dead–still a hot topic. And folks continue to recover from NYCC. But at least we have apes in our future…
“From a writing standpoint, certain names lend themselves to the monkeyverse more easily than others. For instance: Spider-Monkey is just too perfect not to use. And, personally, I got a kick out of Iron Paw (who can make his paw like unto a thing of iron!). Captain America, on the other hand, is still called Captain America. Not Captain APE-merica. No need to insult him. Believe me, you don’t WANT to insult him…”
- Karl Kesel, revealing the wit that one hopes is prevalent in the upcoming Marvel Apes limited series.
“On page 101 of his book, Hajdu deliberately misquotes Wertham to misrepresent his argument. Hajdu has Wertham say: ‘We found that comic-book reading was a distinct influencing factor in the case of every single delinquent or disturbed child we studied’. That sounds pretty damning. But what Wertham actually said, in Judith Crist’s article, was presaged by this qualifying sentence: ‘We do not maintain that comic books automatically cause delinquency in every child reader,’ Dr Wertham explains, ‘But we found that…’ A world of difference.”
- Bart Beaty, dining on a steady diet of critical analysis regarding David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague
“The most comprehensive and contemporary book available, Bart Beaty’s Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture (2005, University of Mississippi Press), is invaluable — but Beaty, too, noticeably sways his text at key junctures toward his stated sympathies with and for Wertham (and his aggressive online presence since the publication of Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague has posited Beaty of late as a 21st Century apologist for Wertham). This is part of what makes Beaty’s book so indispensible – his research, analysis and representation of Wertham’s body of work is the best available by far, and appropriately multidimensional — but to serve that predisposition, Beaty misrepresents other parties relevant to Wertham’s career. My own extensive research and readings (including many of Wertham’s articles and all of Werthams’ book, save for his first, The Brain as an Organ, 1934) prevents my accepting Beaty’s arguments and conclusions at face value. For instance, Beaty’s concise summary of the comics industry’s representative testimonies in the spring 1954 Senate Subcommittee hearings simply isn’t accurate, ignoring testimony damaging to Wertham’s stance and grossly misrepresenting Milton Caniff’s testimony as being in essential accord with Walt Kelly’s, both testifying on behalf of National Cartoonist Society (Beaty, pp. 159-161). The truth would require closer scrutiny of both testimonies and detailing Caniff’s explicit rejection of Wertham’s and the Senate Subcommittees suppositions (and his belief that the comics under attack were in fact ‘fascinating,’ clearly at odds with Kelly’s proclamation against the creators of the crime and horror comics, that there ‘wasn’t room for them’ in the NCS). Again, this is neither the time nor the place for me to get into that discussion; and I do heartily recommend Beaty’s book for those who wish to read further on the subject.”
- Steve Bissette, sharing part of his upcoming book as it pertains to Wertham
“Why is that people can accept these stories if it’s about mutants or aliens or whatnot and, yet, when we use real life examples of actual groups of people oppressed by society on the whole, people decry political motivations?”
- Loren Javier, expecting more from his fellow humans. (A belated welcome back to blogging for Loren)
“Sometimes, when we publish new comics, I know that Minx will be on the creator in a flash once the project’s announced, but I don’t know if it will work the same way with Vertigo’s editors. I wonder if there will be a temporarily lull in submissions, followed by a torrent of Vertigo-rejected projects.”
- Jennifer de Guzman, speculating on what she fears might be in the SLG submissions pile sometime soon
“But it never ends–it’s all cyclical! Don’t you see? Everything eventually comes back…is undone! Exactly what happens doesn’t matter!”
- Marin, one of the Continuiteens (as written by Jeff Parker), in X-Men: First Class 11, revealing the nature of comics in a most succinct manner.