Top Comic-Book Historian Dies

Les Daniels, one of the earliest historians of comic books, has died. According to the self-styled “paper of record,” ‘He is perhaps best known, particularly among aficionados, for his 1971 book, “Comix: A History of Comic Books In America.” Starting with the days when pulp fiction fused with newspaper cartoons, Mr. Daniels documented how the golden age of comic books — pretty much starting with an infant placed on a rocket ship from Krypton to become Superman on Earth — evolved into a period of turmoil in the industry after a noted psychiatrist, Fredric Wertham, published “Seduction of the Innocent” in 1954. Focusing on the darker elements of the genre, horror and crime, Dr. Wertham saw comics as a cause of juvenile delinquency. His assertions were the subject of Senate hearings and prompted the industry to adopt a code of self-censorship.’

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