no scei agetjDo Comic Books Contribute
ortlsutufito Juvenile Delinquency?
s exist, exampl'"
uvecNILE delinquency is much too mild
term to describe the wave of youth
horror and sadism that has swept the
njustice, »n country. Authorities such as FBI Chief
ussion of some J J. Edgar Hoover have expressed deep
m taking some J\and growing concern. What are the
aboratory, office! causes of the spreading wave of teenage
advance our soCejtrimes? For example, do comic books
expose them tojcontribute to juvenile delinquency?
nonconformists. To answer tnis question, Facts For-
I would like wfnm's STATE OF THE NATION pro-
and for all. TrAj,ram brought together three distin-
ing I ever heardigUjsh00i Americans: Ham Fisher, crea-
history, a pronator of the "Joe Palooka" comic strip;
irer on ancient'John Goldwater, president of the Comic
ly "a loud-moulBook Association of America, and Dr.
r." In a lecture1 Daniel A_ p0Hng, author of "The Glory
IcCarthy is heWjand Wonder of the Bible" and editor of
esite of the sciewlthe Christian Herald.
jlogy instriu I"1
German instrUJDo comic books contribute
"a paid inform't0 juvenile delinquency?
time. 1 wonder
m of the studentl Dr. Poling and Ham Fisher say "Yes"
their freedom n<4"—Or. Poling pointing out that comic
indience to this M'ooks of the highly suggestive variety
.u|(,(| ,,, i would not be published if they had no
's also very cuf"1 influence and further contending that if
keeps talking aM'hey have any influence at all, it is a
if hysteria, but I liad influence.
e in particular! "Don't pinpoint comic magazines,"
ts took place. If'insists Mr. Goldwater, staling that the
e objective and J blaming of comic books is "an extreme
come out and te» position which is not substantiated by
le magazine se^ any valid research" and referring to the
someone in the * findings of psychiatrists and crime
vet here he hjj authorities to support this assertion.
jple are afraid. ' While agreeing unanimously that
cle if there ever 1 there are both good and bad comic
hooks, there is a difference among the
•ould not say ' '"" ;ls to tne percentage of comic books
' given to harmful "excesses." Seven or
eight per cent, says Mr. Goldwater, while
Dr. Poling estimates 25 per cent.
New York Magistrate Charles F. Murphy, specialist in juvenile delinquency,
was appointed by the association to
draw up a "code of ethics and standards" and act as administrator.
Declares Mr. Goldwater: "Judge Murphy is out to do a job and we in the
association have pledged ourselves to
cooperate with him 100 per cent. The
reason that past efforts have failed was
the fact that we didn't have a Judge
Murphy; we didn't have a code administrate!; we didn't have a set-up, a review
staff; we didn't have the cooperation of
the printers, the publishers, and the engravers. We have it now; we have the
whole industry behind Judge Murphy;
and he is going to do a job."
A previous unsuccessful restraining
effort is cited by Ham Fisher: "Several
years ago the New York legislature's
special committee for the study of
comics put out a pretty severe criticism
and a warning. A lot of comic book
publishers promised they'd abide by
this; so they put out even more dirt
and filth—more horrid, lurid sex crimes
—and put a little phrase on top, 'Crime
does not pay,' and got away with it."
However, in support of the new industrywide association, Mr. Fisher states, "I
don't think Judge Murphy will stand
for any of this bunk; this time I think
it will be carried out."
Also praising Judge Murphy, Dr. Poling says, "I've been terrifically impressed by what he said and by this
code; and I believe that under his leadership we shall have better things in the
future. The magazine of which I am
editor will support this kind of program."
Is self-censorship effective?
Less than a month after the organization's formation, thirty-eight titles
were dropped "as a voluntary gesture
on the part of publishers who had published these magazines which were considered in bad taste," Mr. Goldwater
states with pride. "As of this date, there
isn't a single horror or terror comic
magazine being published. They're all
out, completely eliminated."
The restraining influence has reached
Great Britain, according to Ham Fisher.
who cites the case of "a publisher who
was reprinting American comics. The
reason he dropped them was the fact
that the American publisher dropped
them and, therefore, he couldn't get the
plates from the United States. He announced with a great big fanfare, 'I'm
dropping horror comic magazines,' just
like a lot of other comic book publishers
who found that the people weren't going
to let their children buy them."
What about legal censorship?
Voicing unanimous disapproval of
legal censorship, the Irio states:
Ham Fisher: "There's a certain town
in the United States that's just appointed
a legal censorship committee. This is
the most dangerous thing in the world.
I'm much against legal censorship; it's
the first step toward socialism. If the
publishers don't do it, they will destroy
Mr. Goldwater: "Nobody wants
(Continued on Page 39)
>rs at Yale wetfl
to take a sta«'
•: How about on" ,
lhat was the par* "hot '* being done to
r . ,„ eliminate harmful comics?
lire is no conform Self-censorship is the method beii
used by the Comic Book Association of
.T_ nfi America to "eliminate those few maga-
tTercIlleliate ^ »n«which violate the concept of good
i an approximate '. laste> says Mr. Goldwater. president ot
the newly-formed association which represents nearly the entire comic book
-is the name
la. little or n<
'lis group which
•is that "get togelhv..
ilierty." us Mr. Ret*>
iety of Individual'5,
cat philosophy; ,(j ... _..fc
' all the great f.WJ 'N THE MARCH ISSUE
ilosophy lhat ljl\ | OF FACTS FORUM NEWS .
tesl possible mi'"'"
;. And it thinks tit'
of colleges in "" ,
r information ""l-jj
Dr. Bella V. Itodd discusses Communist infiltration of the comic book
Ham Fisher, creator of "Joe Palooka"
FACTS FORUM NEWS, January, 1955