How young readers challenged adults' understanding of comics
"In the late 1940s and culminating in 1954 with the publication of Wertham's book "Seduction of the Innocent" and the televised hearings on comics held by a United States subcommittee, comic books were the most contested form of print. Young readers could not get enough of them, purchasing more than a billion new comic books issues a year in the early 1950s. Adult critics such as Wertham feared, that by reading these four-color pamphlets young people would stunt their cultural development, ruin their eyesight, and fall into lives of depravity.
"Carol Tilley (Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois) draws in part from Wertham's manuscript collection at the Library of Congress and the archival record of the 1954 Senate hearings to document and analyze some of the ways young readers challenged and protested adults' understanding of comic book reading.