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Why blame comics for societal failure?

Why blame comics for societal failure? At the end of WWII, comic books took a darker turn from the heroic tales we know today. Since the United States emerged victorious from the war, the need for superheroes greatly decreased. Americans no longer needed saving from their enemies. In fact, America became a new super power. They built the atomic bomb, they defeated the Nazis, and the economy was prospering. As these changes were happening and superheroes were falling out of popularity, the comic books industry had to make significant changes in their publishing in order to keep the public’s interests. This resulted in the emergence of crime, horror, mystery and romance comics. These comics often depicted darker themes such as murder, robbery, torture, abuse, and disobedience. Many of the characters had distorted images and were portrayed to be monsters that inflicted pain on their enemies. Since the end of the war, many of the older generation began falling out of the audience of comics books. So these crime and horror comics were being sold to young children around the nation. As the popularity of these comics grew, many people started attacking the comic book industry, claiming that their children were becoming delinquents due to these crime and horror comics. They claimed that these comics were portraying crime in a positive light and that many children were mimicking the disturbing actions they saw such as stabbing, robbing and forcing their control over others. What really worried many people was that these comic books were corrupting the American values. They were promoting civil disobedience, divorce, prejudices etc. This was the real reason many officials wanted to take action. They claimed it was to help the generation but I think that it was just so they didn’t lose control over them. It is common in American history for society to attack various forms of media when they think that the younger generation is spiraling out of control. Since comics were so popular during this time period and were publishing darker themed comics, it is not surprising that they were being blamed for society’s failures. Eventually, comics were forced to censor their work by the emergence of the Comic Code Authority. This put many limitations on what comic publishing industries were allowed to show to the public. It gave people more control over what the younger generation read, which is what parents and government officials wanted in the first place.


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