#547 “The Ten-Cent Plague”

The Ten-Cent Plague

The Comics Code, while not much more than a memory today, had a huge effect on the direction of American comics for half a decade. David Hajdu’s book The Ten-Cent Plague looks at the events that led up to the code, following the development of comics — and the protests against them — through the first half of the twentieth century. Why were comics scapegoated for social ills? Tim and Paul discuss the book.

#469 Fred Van Lente, timewalker

Ivar, TimewalkerTime travel is a fascinating topic to many, and Fred Van Lente‘s current Ivar, Timewalker series from Valiant is  timesurfing at both its most fun, and most scientific, with nods to Stephen Hawking’s writings on the subject. Van Lente did his own time jump to the past a couple years ago in The Comic Book History of Comics. This week Tim discusses both these works with him, along with Spider-Man, Archer & Armstrong, reassessing Fredric Wertham, and more.

#243 Frontline Combat

EC Comics are primarily remembered as gruesome horror stories, but the company published in other genres as well. One EC staple was war comics, which enjoyed great popularity during the Korean War. One such title was Frontline Combat, the comic that dared to admit that “Marines retreat!” The now-huge names behind the series — Harvey Kurtzman, John Severin, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and more — primarily intended it as an anti-war book, but is it? Is it possible to simultaneously portray war as horrible, and painstakingly present the tanks and guns in all their glory? Tim and Kumar discuss.