Friday, September 26, 2008

How comics are like Hitler

In his Ten-Cent Plague David Hajdu reviews various campaigns against comic books. In 1944 (while we were actively at war with Germany) a Catholic group decried comics for their “vigilante spirit … Fictitious ‘junior commando’ groups bear a strong resemblance to the bands of child militarists in Nazi Germany.”

About ten years later in a new campaign against comics the psychologist Fredric Wertham testified before Congress. “’I think Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry. … They get the children much younger. They teach them race hatred at the age of four, before they can read.’”

So comics, like Hitler, foment race hatred. And comics, like fascists, suggest children band together to enforce … something … community standards, maybe? Naturally Hadju’s book is rife with book burnings and community groups banding together to drive out the Other, with comics representing the Other.

But we know comics are bad because, you know, they are like Hitler. No need to say more, really.

1 comment:

David Lee Ingersoll said...

Um ... yeah. 'Cause comic books bring fear and intimidation, not to mention genocide, wherever they appear.