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Tuesday, October 22, 2019 

If Bleeding Cool supports modern censorship, what was the point of reporting about Carol Tilley's discovery Wertham lied?

I made a most fascinating discovery of a little something the pretentious Bleeding Cool brought up over 6 years ago, when word of Fredric Wertham's fakings were first reported by professor Carol Tilley from Illinois. It was posted on February 11, 2013, and the headline read as, "Dr Fredric Wertham Lied And Lied And Lied About Comics". Let's highlight the following paragraph, written by Rich Johnston:
The Illinois News Bureau reports, (with the most condescending and predictable headline you can imagine, even for Bleeding Cool) that Dr Fredric Wertham, author of Seduction Of The Innocent, the book that inspired government hearings about the content of comic books, saw sales plummet from the bad publicity, and eventually leading to the establishment of the Comics Code – was made up. Or at least large chunks of his supporting data was. [...]
That's what Johnston said back at the time. But that's exactly why his subsequent support of approving censorship in the industry doesn't sit well. He and his staff did this just 2 years after citing the Tilley report, using, for instance, women as an excuse, without even considering that in every day and age, there is an audience and a market for plenty of different groups, and specific products are aimed at specific audiences, including those with sex-positive viewpoints. He apparently forgot it was a woman who revealed Wertham lied in his research, as he said. Nor does he take into consideration that early writers like Siegel and Shuster, among others, were aiming primarily at a boys' audience, and that any sex in comics like Superman was more or less accepted over the years, or that most creators usually knew what kind of audience and markets they wanted and were promoting it to the same. And lest we forget, he never considered Stan Lee's own opposition to censorship. I'd say that tells quite a bit right there.

And above all, if Johnston doesn't really believe what he said, even long after Axel Alonso lost his job at Marvel for toeing a social justice line at the expense of their products, what's the use of reporting on Tilley's discoveries at all, if he really does agree even remotely with Wertham's botched claims? Seriously, I don't think Johnston should've bothered if he really thought it even remotely acceptable to turn to what otherwise amounted to censorship, under the laughable defense women's entry into comicdom - something they'd already done decades before - inherently justified all this lunacy.

Let's also highlight the following taken from Tilley's own report:
Her research turned up a few other surprises: about 30 letters written to Wertham and another 200 or so sent to the Senate subcommittee by children trying to save their access to comic books. Other researchers have mentioned the missives sent to the subcommittee, but Tilley decided the young writers’ arguments deserved more attention. “Some of them talked about fairy tales and folk tales, Poe and Shakespeare, and said this stuff has murder and sex and traumatic events too, but you call that good literature,” Tilley said. She is in the process of locating as many of these letter-writers as she can find, for her research on how kids related to comics over time. “For most of them, my contact is the first acknowledgement they’ve had in 60 years that anybody read their letter.”
Let's take the talk of sex as our primary example here. There's as many women as there are men who've read Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare, along with novelists like Sidney Sheldon, and if they had no problem with sex in itself, why should they have one in comicdom or any other medium? Mileage varies equally among women and men alike, one more reason you can't just say sex is a problem, and definitely not if you're going to give violence a pass.

So my point here is - if Johnston decided to just up and serve as apologist for modern censorship, to say nothing of what we lately call social justice, then I just don't see why he, or anybody else of his ilk, should bother talking at all about the revelation a figure as controversial as Wertham lied or just plain screwed up his alleged research. And if they really don't support Wertham, well then, don't go miles out of your way to apologize for selfish, entitled clowns doing whatever they can to mangle famous creations to resemble their own laughable ideas of what entertainment should be like. Better still, they'd do well to retire from the comics coverage business, since they're not doing it any good with their political correctness obsessions.

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I don't think Johnston was advocating censorship. He thought some of the T & A covers were tacky and ridiculous and that publishers should adapt to changing tastes, but he also thought the backlash against them was over the top and he was not against sexy comics. As he wrote in the article by him that you link to,

"Creating work that is aware of gender issues, and work that is sexual does not have to be at odds. It just tends to be better thought through. Comics is in a very interesting time right now, and it’s probably right that publishers should be considering how covers make their line of comics look, in the light of attracting an emerging audience. One very senior comic book executive expressed his fears to me after a junior editor stated in meetings that maybe they shouldn’t hire the likes of Manara because of such social media backlash. This is echoed In comments by J Scott Campbell who states,
'The industry is watching all of these interactions and the policies of the big companies are changing as they’re reacting to this garbage. We’re starting to feel the conservative safeness in their choices more and more. Some of the artists you love are actually getting less and less work because their styles are deemed as “too sexy” now according to these loud voices of the minority.'
That, J Scott, is capitalism. People will buy what people will buy. But tastes change and either you change with them or you appeal to a market increasingly reducing in prominence.
But either way, for comic creators posting their own personal sketches, satirical or otherwise, the backlash seems… disproportionate."

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"Nor does he take into consideration that early writers like Siegel and Shuster, among others, were aiming primarily at a boys' audience"

I think that Siegel and Shuster were aiming at both boys and girls. That is why they gave Lois Lane her own backup strip, for example. The radio show always stated that they were talking to "fellows and girls".

"That, J Scott, is capitalism. People will buy what people will buy. But tastes change and either you change with them or you appeal to a market increasingly reducing in prominence."

Translation: Either you do what we want, or we'll censor you because it's "offensive." Plenty of people enjoy Campbell's art, but it's too triggering for SJWs like you.

It is not that Campbell is triggering. It is that he is not sexy enough. Some artists just draw sexy; their panels look like they are caressing the character's body with their brush. Alex Raymond, Al Williamson, Matt Baker, Frank Brunner, Bill Everett, Reed Waller, Trina Robbins, Phil Foglio, Esteban Maroto, Manara, Romero, Amanda Conner, Brett Blevins, Sara Pichelli,...

Campbell is slick with excessive lordosis but unexciting in comparison. He looks fake.

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