Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 14-15


Dublin Core


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 14-15


A continuation of the previous article about censorship and the beginning of an article about fanzines to look out for.


Joe Brancatelli


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971)




Fredric Wertham
Wally Stoelting





The linking of sex and violence in this rationale of rating is misleading. It is
wrong, both theoretically and practically, to think of them as if they belonged
together and were strictly comparable. It obscures the whole issue. In practice
it means overemphasizing sex, which is titillating even when being condemned,
and underrating violence. Sex is pleasure, violence is pain. The mechanism of
the effects of their presentation is entirely different. It seems that the classifiers
in their global evaluation have taken a cue from some of the hysterical anti-
pornography legislation which makes it appear that nudity and murder are
equally dangerous. And what happens is that sexual obscenity is decried while
brutality is accepted. With all this talk about nudity we are apt to forget that
even a clothed girl should not be beaten or sadistically abused or killed.
If we want to deal realistically with effects, we have to distinguish three
I non-violent unsadistic sex
II violence + sex, which is sadism
III non-sexual violence
There is a wide field in which we do not know what representation may be a
factor for stimulation sexually, normal or abnormal. Gordon Craig, the pioneer
of the modem theatre, recorded that reading Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata at the age
of 17 “sent me into a high fever and awakened sexual desires which were really
difficult to combat.” Yet this novel is known to generations of readers to be of
the highest ethical type.
It is very different with sadism. With scientific clinical methods it is demon-
strable that representations of sadistic scenes can have harmful effects. A movie
like The Penthouse which makes sex, violent and violence sexy can give the im-
mature very unhealthy first (yes, first!) suggestions or reinforce significantly
pre-existing ones. As A1 Morgan writes, satirically, some movies should have
been classified as “S” for sadism.
Violence in the movies, cold, cruel, ruthless violence and torture, is a matter
for itself. You cannot take that up apart from what goes on in the community
itself. It is part of a broad spectrum of violence-stimulating influences in the
mass media. They make violence acceptable, attractive and even advisable as
a method. It disturbs all human relations. Being a higher art form than other
mass media, the film is even more potent. The movies do not operate in a
vacuum, they function in a market dominated by the vendors of violence. It is
frivolous not to acknowledge the connection between this mass conditioning and
what goes on in life around us. Violence, mimed and real, is contagious. Classi-
fication cannot diminish, far less stem, this flood.
Any good principle can be abused. The protection of the young is one such
principle. Of course they should be protected from being exposed to excess
violence presented as alluring (“hard action adventure”), sadism depicted as an
exciting exercise, sexual perversities, in which they can get eventually stuck,
shown as thrilling experiences. Of course children are adversely affected by all
this. What they can see in some of our modern movies has made them apt to
confuse courage with cruelty, sex with sadism. That harm has never been ac-
knowledged by the creators of the classification scheme. They are still waiting


Ah, remember the days when you had to buy
The Rocket's Blast Comicolleotor? Apparently
Gordon B. Love's adzine is going still full
tilt, but there are now two relatively new
adzines on the market that deserve getting-
One is The Buyer's Guide For Comic Fandom,
and the other is Stan's Weekly Express.
The Buyer's Guide is not yet one year old
and is published by Alan Light, DynaPubs En-
terprizes, RR #l, Box #297, East Moline, Il-
linois, 6l244, and is free to anyone on de-
mand. I have not been able to contact Alan,
but I'm sure he would not mind a short para-
graph on his prize publication. TBG comes in
newspaper size (ll"xl7“), and reaches a pro-
ported thirty-five hundred customers per is-
sue. TBG is almost solely a comics oriented
adzine, though EC, horror and pulps have car
ved a small niche, and are growing. Since it
is free, you can't beat the price. It's not
too bad, no matter how you look at it.
Stan's Weekly Empress is older than the
Buyer's Guide. It's circulation, I gather,
is approximately the same as TBG. Stan Blair
runs WE, and does so well. WE, as opposed to
the Buyer's Guide doesn't stop at comics,
and frequently has issues filled with just
pulp ads. In the past few issues, Stan's WE
has carried con reports, an interview with
Jack Kirby, a letter by dealer Howard Rogof-
sky, and an answering letter by associate
editor Bruce Hamilton. In the future, items
such as these will appear in a special zine,
while WE sticks to ads only.
Perhaps the biggest advantages of WE (be-
sides the ads, of course) are the WRB and
the WSA. WRB is the WE Reporting Bureau. WRB
reports on people who try to, let us say,
get away with not being legal. WE has helped
to expose at least one mail fraud and has
helped to clear up cases which were "hazy".
It helps the guy who has sent in a $50 dol-
lar order and never receives it. (For a more
complete report on WRB and WSA see Dealer
Watch by Stan Clish in COMIC FAZVDOM MONTHLY
#1!) Also, the WSA is the WE Seal of Approv-
al. BSA is a pledge to observe certain rules
concerning mailing and business procedures.
Such as, if you put an ad in Weekly Empress,
you should answer any letters sending money
and asking for your merchandise. After ob-
taining the seal from Weekly Empress, you.
may use the WSA anywhere you advertise or;
write letters. This seal shows that you, the!
WSA holder, are doing your best to get your;
-product to your customer as soon as possible?
and in as good a condition as possible. If
also shows that if you, the customer, do
not receive your merchandice, Weekly Empress;
may be able to give you some help in getting'
it or a refund through WRB. Of course, regu-
lar channels, such as writing letters to the
advertiser, should be used at all times be-
fore anyone jumps to conclusions. (I know of
that from-personal experiences.) A subscrip-
tion to Weekly Express is four issues for
$l, thirteen for $2.50, or twenty-six issue
for $4.00. You can buy We from Stan's Weekly
Empress, Box #207 (Davue Station), Dayton,
Ohio, ,45406. This is a good buy, one that
should not be missed. Try four issues!
Now, on to some regular reviews... .
Minotaur #13 from Carl Gafford, l40 Lone
Oak Drive, New Milford, Conn., 40¢. If my
review last issue didn't sell you on MEno-
taur, then buy this one and know! Issue l3
contains a "Star-Boy and Mysticist" strip by
Tony Isabella and Joe Jenkins, two Sheldon
Wiebe vampire stories, the usual loc's, and
a twenty page "Hermat-Bobcat" strip by Jen-
kins and Gafford. The covers, all four of
them, are good. Gaff's Star Trek is the best
of the lot, with Mooney's front cover being
good, and someone's backcover on Japanese
horror flicks being okay (though humorous),
and someone else's backcover on Thongor be-
ing okay. The big thing this issue is the
Hermat-Bobcat strip. Star-Boy was alright,
though it seemed alot like a lead in for the
"next time". Also in Minotaur #15 is a copy
of Directions #5, a comic letter of comment
zine. This is a good zine, too, with letters
by Gafford, Gordon Matthews and Jeffrey Was-
serman being especially interesting. Buy it.
Anomaly #2, 75¢ from Jan Strnad, 2540 Al-
oma, Wichita, Kansas, 06221. This is an ex-
cellently reproduced zine with good to ex-
cellent features. One feature is by Vaughn
Bode. I just happen to be a Bode fan, stem-
ming probably from early Witzends. If you're
not, due to being unfamiliar with his works,
than buy this now, and don't bother reading