I’m Not Going to Say a Word…

…except to thank Dave Kraft for passing this along.


19 Responses to “I’m Not Going to Say a Word…”

  1. Brian Spence Says:


  2. Charles Bryan Says:

    What the heck were they thinking? or NOT thinking?

  3. Lee Barnett Says:

    To be fair… that’s a slight cheat, since the cover copy’s been removed.

    When the copy’s restored, the cover makes more sense, though still disturbing in oh so many ways.

  4. Steve Gerber Says:

    Lee: Thanks for calling the missing copy to our attention.

    Charles: Definitely “not thinking”, but that’s because this cover appeared in a very different cultural context.

  5. Alex Krislov Says:

    My instant reaction was to burst out laughing. I find that a little more disturbing than the cover, now that I think about it.

  6. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    Very true observation on the importance of cultural context. That piece of art was created in a time where people were not automatically assumed suspect. Certainly there are atrocities that are prevented or caught before going on for years, these crimes still occur and our hypervigilance, though it has merit, has come at the cost of a more expressively free world.

    Stepping down off of my soapbox, that is a damn funny pic. There is a site out there that has the goofiest, most suspect, etc Superman covers collected for ridicule and amusing comments, but I don’t have it handy to link at the moment.

  7. Steve Gerber Says:

    It was also created at least half a decade before the McMartin Preschool hysteria, the event that made pedophilia an acceptable topic for the mainstream media. Pre-McMartin, it would’ve taken a dedicated NAMBLA member to find anything untoward in this drawing.

  8. Richard Beland Says:

    The title, “ACTION Comics”, makes it even funnier! This would make an interesting episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”.

    Fred: You must be thinking of http://www.superdickery.com, a bottomless pit of laffs. Thanks to Steve for pointing that site out to the gang over at the Howard the Duck group.

  9. Richard Beland Says:

    Let’s try that again without the comma:

  10. Charles Bryan Says:

    🙂 I know it was done in all innocence way back then. My faux-shock just didn’t come through in type.

    I probably bought this comic when it came out (particularly since it had Green Arrow in it). I can’t remember if, by this time, I’d read about Wertham; before hearing of Seduction of the Innocent, I never gave sexual subtext in comics any thought.

    Of course, after hearing about Werthan, I still didn’t give it much thought, since he was pretty much a crackpot.

    This pic must really be making the rounds — I’ve seen two other references/links to it today.

  11. Charles Bryan Says:

    By the way — the Grand Comics Database claims that this cover is pencilled by Bob Oksner. It looks like his inking, but it looks like Curt Swan’s pencils to me.

  12. Stephen Payne Says:

    That one’s pretty bad, I’ll tell you. I’ve seen it before, and it’s still shocking.

    But the worst (and funniest) one of all has to be this one right here…


  13. Brian Spence Says:

    “Robin, what have I done to you!” HA!!

    Fred makes a good point that goes right to our current climate of fear. Is it better to prevent kids from being assaulted or should we keep every adult under an umbrella of suspicion for coming into contact with a kid? Is it better to live with the very low chance of getting killed by a terrorist or should we give away our freedoms, our tax dollars, and fight in this stupid war?

    When you look at what our entire society has given up in the name of ‘security’, it makes you wonder.

  14. Brian Spence Says:

    Oh, and since the last blog entry by Steve was about Bill Maher:


  15. Tom Walker Says:

    I think it is very funny, but then, I’m a gay Brit, so what do I know of moral standards?

    Boy seems to be depicted weeping from emotions rather than fear or pain, thus it seems oddly romantic – about heroism rather than terrorism. Wonderfully corruptive image for the neo-puritans, however! Artshock!

  16. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    According to my mother, who, as a female comics professional, was often called upon to debate him in the media, he was not a crackpot, but a calculating bastard (bastard is her word).

  17. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Damn, can’t edit. I was talking about Wertham in my previous post.

  18. Charles Bryan Says:

    Wertham employed flawed reasoning to explain juvenile delinquency and to go after a particular form of entertainment. He read any number of things into comics pages that weren’t there (despite however many times Wonder Woman may have been tied up).

    That’s good enough for me to label him a “crackpot”; it doesn’t exclude that he was also a calulating bastard.

    He certainly wasn’t the first or last of his kind.

  19. Matt Butcher Says:

    Cultural context says a ton about that cover. Especially that even we comic lovers can and DID think THAT about our Superman.