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The ten-cent plague : the great comic-book…
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The ten-cent plague : the great comic-book scare and how it changed…

by David Hajdu

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
When I was a kid, occasionally I would be allowed to look at my father's old copies of Mad magazine, which I thought were cool, but weird, all the way back to the very first ten or so. Most of the references eluded me, and after reading this book, I largely understand why. Hadju's book is a fascinating examinatioN of a period which I didn't know much about, but which now seems almost a quaint relic of a bygone world. ( )
  Bill_Bibliomane | Aug 1, 2013 |
A fascinating topic, but the book just didn't grab me. For one, I wish there had been more illustrations beyond the few plates of b&w photographs. And while the author was trying to put the comic-book scare into the context of the times (1940s & 50s in the U.S.), it was too much dry detail for me. I first learned about the comics code while reading Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a much more readable (and yes, fictional) introduction to the world of comic books & their creators. ( )
  sharwass | Apr 27, 2013 |
A fascinating topic, but the book just didn't grab me. For one, I wish there had been more illustrations beyond the few plates of b&w photographs. And while the author was trying to put the comic-book scare into the context of the times (1940s & 50s in the U.S.), it was too much dry detail for me. I first learned about the comics code while reading Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a much more readable (and yes, fictional) introduction to the world of comic books & their creators. ( )
  sharwass | Apr 25, 2013 |
Hadju's book is a history of the various campaigns to suppress comic books, culminating in the 1950s campaign that put so many writers, artists and publishers out of business. Along the way, he cannot avoid relating a good bit of the history of comic books, from the origin of comics in newspapers through the adoption of the Comics Code in the mid-Fifties. This is an interesting and readable history of one medium of popular culture. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
The comic code controversy has intrigued me for a while. It was before my time. I basically lived in the 12 cent comic code world and was happy for it, although I have since discovered the pre-code world and revel in it a wee bit. The silver age of comic code land is by far the best comic times that there ever were, to my mind.

What I find interesting is that the precode world from a modern ("now") view was pretty darn mild - but it must have been disturbing to have a story where the good guys don't always win or something like that to the establishment minds of the 50's. It sounds so stupid the little I had read about it - I didn't live through it (at least I wasn't reading comics through it) but EC Comics was destroyed by the comic code (they were the "Tales From The Crypt" guys as well as some other interesting stuff).

I enjoyed David Hadju's "Positively 4th Street ..." so this seemed like a good bet to read some in depth history of the comic code crisis. Modern comics have broken away from anything like the comic code and to my mind that is not a good thing because although I like a few modern comics, I find them as a whole near impossible to enjoy.

I enjoying this book quite a bit. Very interesting but an odd book. Considering the topic the lack of more than a handful of photos comes across as unusual. The start of the book is a rush through the birth of comics and a lot of names and characters get dropped in. Although I know very little early comics history I know enough to recognize several of the names. If I hadn't I think I may have been a bit overwhelmed as it was fun to go "ohhh Joe Kubert started working for so and so at age TEN!!!???!!!" but most folks in the world would go Joe Who? The book seems to assume you would already know some of the background stuff. I sort of think it needed a tougher editor. The book is a little scattered for me so I suspect it would be worse for the non-comic fan. Or maybe it seems scattered to me because I AM a comic fan. It is an odd combo of too much information and too little information. The guy also repeatedly is talking about the jewishness (is that a word) of most of these early comic guys but I fail to understand why in most cases. An exception is when he tries to explain how jews don't worship graven images that the catholics supposedly thrive on, I guess it would be some horrible sin if they did, and yet almost all these artists were jewish and creating comic graven images. It didn't make sense to me, probably cause I'm not jewish. I never even knew I worshiped graven images.I don't even know what a graven image is. Guess I better go wiki. ( )
  RBeffa | Oct 21, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
“The Ten-Cent Plague” is a worthy addition to the canon of comic-book literature: a super effort, if not a superduper one.
added by lquilter | editNew York Times, Ron Powers (pay site) (Mar 23, 2008)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Hajduprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, SusanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jake, Torie and Nate
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Sawgrass Village, a tidy development about twenty-five miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, is named for the wild marsh greenery that its turf lawns displaced.
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Comic books, not rock-and-roll, created the generation gap. They also spawned juvenile delinquency, crime, sexual deviance, and things of unspeakable depravity. Long before Elvis appeared on Ed Sullivan from the waist up, long before Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin, long before James Dean yelled, “You’re tearing me apart,” teachers, politicians, priests, and parents were lining up across from comic-book publishers, writers, artists, and children at bonfires and Senate hearings decrying the evil that was the ten-cent plague.
David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America comprises the last book in an informal trilogy about American popular culture at mid-century, and radically revises common notions of popular culture, the generation gap, and the divide between “high” and “low” art.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374187673, Hardcover)

Amazon Significant Seven, March 2008: I may be alone here, but when I read Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, a whole strata of American artists came to life for me. Ever since then I've been waiting for a book like David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague to come along and show me the contours of this world. Anyone who remembers Positively 4th Street will recognize in this new book Hajdu's peerless ability to weave first-person recollections with an acute perspective of America at a pivotal moment in its cultural timeline. The rise of comics as a mode of expression, an outlet for entertainment, and, rather tragi-comically, as a target for censorship, couldn't be more compelling in anyone else's hands. In deft narrative strokes Hajdu creates a colorful, character-driven story of our first real--and lasting--counterculture (if the burgeoning popularity of graphic novels is any indication) and shows why we embrace it still.--Anne Bartholomew

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first created--in the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books. No sooner had this new culture emerged than it was beaten down by church groups, community bluestockings, and a McCarthyish Congress--only to resurface with a crooked smile on its face in Mad magazine.-- From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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