The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America
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... show more
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.The story of the rise and fall of those comic books has never been fully told--until The Ten-Cent Plague. David Hajdu's remarkable new book vividly opens up the lost world of comic books, its creativity, irreverence, and suspicion of authority.When we picture the 1950s, we hear the sound of early rock and roll. The Ten-Cent Plague shows how--years before music--comics brought on a clash between children and their parents, between prewar and postwar standards. Created by outsiders from the tenements, garish, shameless, and often shocking, comics spoke to young people and provided the guardians of mainstream culture with a big target. Parents, teachers, and complicit kids burned comics in public bonfires. Cities passed laws to outlaw comics. Congress took action with televised hearings that nearly destroyed the careers of hundreds of artists and writers.The Ten-Cent Plague radically revises common notions of popular culture, the generation gap, and the divide between "high" and "low" art. As he did with the lives of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington (in Lush Life) and Bob Dylan and his circle (in Positively 4th Street), Hajdu brings a place, a time, and a milieu unforgettably back to life.
Publish date: March 18th 2008
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 434
Edition language: English
, Books About Books
, American History
, Sequential Art
, Graphic Novels
, Graphic Novels Comics
, Comic Book
Less than two years after the publication of Ray Bradbury's vision of future bonfires, Fahrenheit 451, the comic-book burnings of 1955, like the many that preceded them in the mid-to-late 1940s, were an inversion of Bradbury's prophecy. In the philistine dreamscape of Fahrenheit 451, a fascistic gov...
Rating: 4* of fiveJust read it. It's sixteen kinds of fascinating and a few more kinds of awesome.Seriously. Just go get one and read it! Quit looking at reviews! Too much good stuff in here that anyone alive in this horrifying over-religioned right wing fucking nightmare country we've allowed to de...
I loved the opening, the first few sections that detailed the rise of comic strips then comics -- and particularly loved Hajdu's ability to weave in great anecdotes (one artist telling how his Mom would make two extra trips to the butcher to get more greasepaper, so he could spend more time tracing ...