Duke University Libraries
The 1950s: Fear, Censorship and the Cold War
In 1953, Frederick Wertham published his infamous book "Seduction of the Innocent," in which he claimed that comic books were evil, they contributed to the delinquency and sexual perversion of minors, and their publishers were part of the McCarthy-era communist conspiracy. 1950s America was only too willing to investigate Wertham's charges, which led to the self-imposed censorship of the comics code of 1954. EC comics, with their graphically violent covers, were particular targets of censorship efforts. After 1954, mature content and explicit covers disappeared from mainstream comics for several decades. Korean War comics also reflected the Cold War fear of communism. Romance comics, another popular genre, continued to flourish both before and after the adoption of the comics code, and present an image in keeping with the stereotypical gender roles of this decade.
Shock SuspenStories no. 15, June-July, 1954 Crime SuspenStories no. 17, July, 1953 Crime SuspenStories no. 22, April-May, 1954 Operation: Peril no. 3, Feb.-Mar., 1951
My Romantic Adventures no. 82, 1956