Friday, October 27, 2006

A Haunt of Fears

Now here is one scary book! A HAUNT OF FEARS by Martin Barker was published in the UK in 1984 and offers a succinct, scholarly look at the anti-comics campaign in 1950's England that paralleled the one in the US. Highly readable and smartly illustrated (including two complete EC horror tales and a Fawcett war propaganda story), the author delves into the American roots of the hysteria and how it spread across the ocean in remarkably similar form. Wertham and Legman both appear and their various allegations are once again trumped by logic and facts. Barker also questions the politics involved wiith the issue. With its emphasis on the global impact of the issue, A HAUNT OF FEARS is probably the most comprehensive of all of the various fragmented histories of the era.
Long out of print, check ebay or your local comic shops.If you think you already understand what happened to comics in the fifties and why, you may be surprised.

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