Peanuts and the Seduction of the Innocent

The book Seduction of the Innocent is getting some attention once again. Folks with a sense of comic book history will know that this book, while it didn’t start the “will somebody think of the children?!” campaign against comic books in the 1950s, was the item that really brought it to a crescendo. This expos√© of the horrible, horrible ways in which comics were twisting the youth is in the news become someone figured out how badly the author, Dr. Fredric Wertham, was exaggerating his data in order to convict comic books.

Now, Schulz had his own small comment on the nature of the day’s comic books, seen in the June 22nd, 1952 Sunday Peanuts strip:


The reason I bring this up at all is for a small historical note: Seduction of the Innocent was published in 1954b by Rinehart & Co., the same publisher who, in 1952, began published the first book of Peanuts comics. (Which, admittedly, was not the sort of thing that Seduction was criticizing.)

Despite this famed (and hilarious) panel, Peanuts was overall pro-comic books. The kids read them at various times (including reading titles that in real life featured Peanuts stories). Charlie Brown collected them, although he would try to sell his collection for needed funds. Sally felt that the two good things about summer camp were reading comics in her bunk and reading comics under a tree, and the camp that banned comic books was the fundamentalist camp that Peppermint Patty revealed as hypocrites.


  As these two ads, from 1954 and 1961 respectively, show, Patty and Violet had a rather consistent relationship… living on slightly different planes, and not introducing themselves, but giving a name to each other. 40 SHARES Share Tweet this thing Follow the AAUGH Blog

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