Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 20-21


Dublin Core


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 20-21


Finishing up the censorship article and the start of an article about new comics to buy.


Joe Brancatelli


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971)




Fredric Wertham
Bob Pinaha





movies showing “unheard-of cruelties” and “true ingenuity” in depicting physical
tortures. What they actually did, as a pioneer sociologist of the film, Siegfried
Krakauer, wrote, was to “unleash a strong sadism and an appetite for destruc-
Mr. Jack Valenti, the president and official spokesman for the Motion Picture
Association of America, has stated repeatedly that we do not know anything
about any harm that excessive violence and brutality in the movies can do to
children. He is entirely uncertain in the matter. The effects may be bad for
chi1dren—-and then again they may be good for them. Mass media violence he
said officially provides a release from “disturbing emotions.” So sadism in the
movies may be indispensable. “Nobody knows,” he told an interviewer, "whether
pictures harm children. . . . We have no evidence on either side." This un-
certainty from which he suffers is unrelieved. “There is no substantive evi-
dence,” he tells us repeatedly. The rating system was devised only on account
of “the concern of the parents.” He remains completely uncertain about any
possible harm because all we have is “the frail judgments of mortals.” It 1S all
“subjective”; we have “no objectivetests.” We don’t know.
In the television field Mr. Valenti has powerful co-sufferers from uncertainty.
They often express themselves in identical terms. For instance very recently a
highly placed spokesman for the TV industry told a national magazine w1th a
readership of millions: “We don’t know (whether there is too much violence
on TV). We aren’t certain what the effect is. . . .We do know there is pubhc
I have tried to understand this predicament of uncertainty. It must be difficult
to be responsible for films seen by thousands of young people and to be continu-
ously so uncertain about whether they are good for them or harm them. The
uncertainty must be unbearable. It reminds me of the man who_saw a psychia-
trist because he was so uncertain about whether his wife was faithful to him or
not. He would have not minded if he really knew she wasn’t; but the continued
uncertainty was too much for him. Once he called the psychiatrist in great dis-
tress. He had seen his wife in the evening walking on the street with a man. He
followed the pair to a hotel and looked through the keyhole into their room. I
could see my wife all nude,” he said, “and then I saw the man all undressed, too.
But then they turned off the light--and now I have that terrible uncertamty
That seems to me precisely Mr. Valenti’s position. And any classification
erected on that basis can only be ephemeral and suspect. ,

The Journal
of the
Producers Guild of America
Volume 11, Number 4,

Welcome back readers to this second ins-
tallment of COMIC PODIUM. Read on as I en-
velop you with my nauseating reviews on rec-
sent comics.
The first comic being up for review this
month is DC's Adventure Comics #411. Its top
story, entitled, "THE ALIEN AMONG US", of-
fers us a very old, old plot about a peace-
loving alien monster being sought after by
earth's prejudiced inhabitants. My own per-
sonal reactions to this type of story is
that it came off rather well only because it
had something to say in today's terms about
today's prejudices. However, if not for this
factor I would've thrown the book aside, ti-
red of seeing the same old plot one too many
times. (Another good factor that I neglected
to mention was Supergirl's rather scanty new
costume. One tends to wonder if the comics
code authority would have allowed this had
it not been revised. Food for thought!) The
rest of the book offers an old "Legion df
Super-Heroes" tale and a very well done In-
fantino story called "WARRIOR SHEPHERD". It
impressed me greatly in that it was a smooth
well-written and well-defined story which
made for interesting reading.
Had it not been for the lead story in the
ll5th issue of Lois Lane, this book might
have been a memorable issue in the series
for some time to come. what more could you
ask for in one book? Two golden age stories,
featuring Lady Danger and a golden age Lois
saga; a Rose and Thorn adventure; and a lead
story featuring the heroine and your favor-
ite super-hero! But, like I said, the lead
story, "MY DEATH...BY LOIS LANE" marred the
book because, simply it was very shallow. (I
suspect the main reason this story was used
was to further Kirby's story along.) Perhaps
if it were booklength... The Rose and Thorn
story offered us not only an interesting
story-line to read, but excellent artwork to
gaze at as well, courtesy of Dick Giordano.
It‘amazes me how a strip like this, which
had a rotten beginning, can evolve so swift-
ly into a first-rate feature--that is until
the end of the story. Although interesting
to read, the idea of a robot being used to
catch the heroine is an idea used to the
hilt in the pages of Spider-Men. I can only
hope that DC gives a fresh new approach to
this hackneyed plot. Things may change now,
of course, since Poison Ivy will soon enter
the strip.
Now, let's take a gander at the recent
Marvel's First on Marvel's new list is one
book by the name of Marvel Triple Action. My
first impression was one of pleasure, think-
ing that finally the Silver Surfer has been
brought back as a back-up feature in this
new book. My pleasure turned immediately to
disgust when I discovered that this was an-
other reprint magazine. Needless to say, I
won't go into detail on this book as you've
probably read this story beforeand doubtles-
sly formulated your own opinions. The on-
ly memorable thing to me about this issue is
the fact that it is the second time I have
gotten a double cover on a comic book.
Thor #194 has got to go down in comic
fandom for it's sheer lunacy. Thor fails in
his quest to regain the Odin-ring, but in
failing, Thor actually achieves his object-
ive. Odin explains: "The ring doth take pow-
er--not give." In another twist, by getting
rid of Loki, Odin dooms Asgard. How we won't
know until next issue, but I'm not sure I
want to know.
Now, for the BIG one, Kirby's Spirit Wor-
ld--one big disappointment. The stories them
selves are mildly amusing, but what really
killed it was that horrible blue ink! Yeech!
Boy, whoever said truth is stranger than
fiction were certainly wrong there.
If you're a golden age buff but can't get
up the bread to buy those treasures, than I
advise you to get the DC Special #15 which
reprints all golden age Plastic Man strips
including the Woozy Winks origin. The story
themselves are very funny and downright hi-
Wbnder Woman #197 boasts a new change in
her life. I won't go quite that far. The
story simply attempts, and successfully, I
might add, to give her very human emotions
wherein she just gets fed up with I Ching
and his philosophies after an emotional let-
down. This issue also boasts being a "spec-
ial" issue and in a sense I guess it is be-
cause it contains all new material. what I'd
really like to see from DC is a super-hero,
take Wonder woman, f'rinstance, get a big
change (as she did) and then afterwards get
another big change which would catch the re-
ader off guard. But I guess it will never

Remember, comments can be sent to Joe, or
to me, Bob Pinaha at:
24 Patton Drive
Sayerville, New Jersey,

We'll be back next issue.