BGSU library will host talk on efforts to censor comics


Charles Coletta will speak on Seduction of the Innocent: The Anti-Comic Books Crusade of the 1950s & Beyond Thursday, September 27, at  1 p.m. in Pallister Conference Room, Jerome Library

This presentation highlights the backlash against comic books during the 1950s following the publication of Dr. Frederic Wertham’s book The Seduction of the Innocent: The Influence of Comic Books on Today’s Youth. The presentation includes a discussion of efforts to ban comics today.

Wertham’s text fueled widespread fears that comic books were a leading cause of juvenile delinquency, sexual perversion, and rising crime rates. He even claimed heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were promoting immorality. His anti-comics crusade led to Congressional hearings, book burnings and the rise of the Comics Code Authority, an industry self-censorship board that lasted until the early 21st century.  

About the presenter

Dr. Charles Coletta is a lecturer in BGSU’s Department of Popular Culture, teaching a variety of courses related to comics and popular culture. He has served as a contributing writer to several academic texts on comics. In 2006, he assisted BGSU alumna Eva Marie Saint in preparation for her role as Martha Kent in Superman Returns. He is co-chair of the 2019 BGSU Batman Conference at BGSU.