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On the way to San Diego, I read David Hadju’s book on the history of comic book controversies in US history. Called, “The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America,” the book is a fascinating account of an early aspect of the “culture wars” that are still being waged today. For most of the 20th century, comics and comic books were one of the major forms of storytelling as millions of people purchased comics every month. The fear that comics of all sorts and their often violent or lurid content (from gruesome crime stories to Wonder Woman’s breasts) could compel kids and teens to act crazy led, as Hadju documents, to all sorts of repressive actions. It is a good account of how our culture works when some perceived threat needs to be brought under control.

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