United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency

The United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency was established by the United States Senate in 1953 to investigate the problem of juvenile delinquency.


The subcommittee was a unit of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and was created by a motion of Senator Robert Hendrickson, a Republican from New Jersey. Its initial budget was $44,000. The first members of the subcommittee consisted of Senator Hendrickson, and Senators Estes Kefauver (Democrat from Tennessee), Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (Democrat from Missouri), and William Langer (Republican from North Dakota).[1] Senator Hendrickson was initially the chair of the committee but was later replaced as chair by Senator Kefauver.

1954 comic book hearings

The public hearings took place on April 21, 22, and June 4, 1954, in New York. They focused on particularly graphic "crime and horror" comic books of the day, and their potential impact on juvenile delinquency. When publisher William Gaines contended that he sold only comic books of good taste, Kefauver entered into evidence one of Gaines' comics (Crime SuspenStories #22 [April-May 1954]), which showed a dismembered woman's head on its cover. The exchange between Gaines and Kefauver led to a front-page story in The New York Times the following day.

Chief Counsel Herbert Beaser asked: "Then you think a child cannot in any way, shape, or manner, be hurt by anything that the child reads or sees?"

William Gaines responded: "I do not believe so."

Beaser: "There would be no limit, actually, to what you'd put in the magazines?"

Gaines: "Only within the bounds of good taste."

Sen. Kefauver: "Here is your May issue. This seems to be a man with a bloody ax holding a woman's head up which has been severed from her body. Do you think that's in good taste?"

Gaines: "Yes sir, I do — for the cover of a horror comic. A cover in bad taste, for example, might be defined as holding her head a little higher so that blood could be seen dripping from it and moving the body a little further over so that the neck of the body could be seen to be bloody."

Kefauver (doubtful): "You've got blood coming out of her mouth."

Gaines: "A little."[2][3]

What none of the senators knew was that Gaines had already cleaned up the cover of this issue. Artist Johnny Craig's first draft included those very elements which Gaines had said were in "bad taste" and had him clean it up before publication.

Because of the unfavorable press coverage resulting from the hearings, the comic book industry adopted the Comics Code Authority, a self-regulatory ratings code that was initially adopted by nearly all comic publishers and continued to be used by some comics until 2011. In the immediate aftermath of the hearings, several publishers were forced to revamp their schedules and drastically censor or even cancel many popular long-standing comic series.

See also


  1. ^ "Senators to Hold Teen Age Hearings," New York Times, Sep. 19, 1953, p. 16.
  2. ^ Kihss, Peter. "No Harm in Horror, Comics Issuer Says". New York Times, April 22, 1954, p. 1.
  3. ^ Nyberg, Amy (February 1, 1998). Seal of Approval: The Origins and History of the Comics Code, Volume 1. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 61–63. ISBN 0-87805-974-1. Retrieved 9 November 2016.



  • Beaty, Bart (2005). Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture. University Press of Mississippi, ISBN 1-57806-819-3.
  • Nyberg, Ami Kiste (1998). Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code, University Press of Mississippi, ISBN 0-87805-975-X.
  • Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) hearings before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the U.S., Eighty-Third Congress, second session, on Apr. 21, 22, June 4, 1954. (OCLC Worldcat link to 5320509 or 27331381)

External links

1954 in comics

Notable events of 1954 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1955 in comics

This is a list of comics-related events in 1955.

Bob Haney

Robert G. Haney (March 15, 1926 – November 25, 2004) was an American comic book writer, best known for his work for DC Comics. He co-created the Teen Titans as well as characters such as Metamorpho, Eclipso, Cain, and the Super-Sons.

Canadian comics

Canadian comics refers to comics and cartooning by citizens of Canada or permanent residents of Canada regardless of residence. Canada has two official languages, and distinct comics cultures have developed in English and French Canada. The English tends to follow American trends, and the French Franco-Belgian ones, with little crossover between the two cultures. Canadian comics run the gamut of comics forms, including editorial cartooning, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and webcomics, and are published in newspapers, magazines, books, and online. They have received attention in international comics communities and have received support from the federal and provincial governments, including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. There are a comics publishers throughout the country, as well as large small press, self-publishing, and minicomics communities.

In English Canada many cartoonists, from Hal Foster to Todd McFarlane, have sought to further their careers by moving to the United States; since the late 20th century increasing numbers have gained international attention while staying in Canada. During World War II, trade restrictions led to the flourishing of a domestic comic book industry, whose black-and-white "Canadian Whites" contained original stories of heroes such as Nelvana of the Northern Lights as well as American scripts redrawn by Canadian artists. The war's end saw American imports and domestic censorship lead to the death of this industry. The alternative and small press communities grew in the 1970s, and by the end of the century Dave Sim's Cerebus and Chester Brown's comics, amongst others, gained international audiences and critical acclaim, and Drawn and Quarterly became a leader in arts-comics publishing. In the 21st century, comics have gained wider audiences and higher levels of recognition, especially in the form of graphic novels and webcomics.

In French Canada indigenous comics are called BDQ or bande dessinée québécoise (French pronunciation: ​[bɑ̃d dɛ.si.ne ke.be.kwaz]) Cartoons with speech balloons in Quebec date to the late 1700s. BDQ have alternately flourished and languished throughout Quebec's history as the small domestic market has found it difficult to compete with foreign imports. Many cartoonists from Quebec have made their careers in the United States. Since the Springtime of BDQ in the 1970s native comics magazines, such as Croc and Safarir, and comics albums have become more common, though they account for only 5% of total sales in the province. Since the turn of the 21st century cartoonists such as Michel Rabagliati, Guy Delisle, and the team of Dubuc and Delaf have seen international success in French-speaking Europe and in translation. Éditions Mille-Îles and La Pastèque are amongst the domestic publishers that have become increasingly common.

Estes Kefauver

Carey Estes Kefauver (;

July 26, 1903 – August 10, 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1939 to 1949 and in the Senate from 1949 until his death in 1963.

After leading a much-publicized investigation into organized crime in the early 1950s, he twice sought his party's nomination for President of the United States. In 1956, he was selected by the Democratic National Convention to be the running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. Still holding his U.S. Senate seat after the Stevenson–Kefauver ticket lost to the Eisenhower–Nixon ticket in 1956, Kefauver was named chair of the U.S. Senate Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee in 1957 and served as its chairman until his death.

Film career of Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was a highly decorated American soldier and Medal of Honor recipient who turned actor. He portrayed himself in the film To Hell and Back, the account of his World War II experiences. During the 1950s and 1960s he was cast primarily in westerns. While often the hero, he proved his ability to portray a cold-blooded hired gun in No Name on the Bullet. A notable exception to the westerns was The Quiet American in which he co-starred with Michael Redgrave. Murphy made over 40 feature films and often worked with directors more than once. Jesse Hibbs who directed To Hell and Back worked with the star on six films, only half of which were westerns. When promoting his 1949 book To Hell and Back he appeared on the radio version of This Is Your Life. To promote the 1955 film of the same name, he appeared on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town. He was a celebrity guest on television shows such as What's My Line? and appeared in a handful of television dramas. Murphy's only television series Whispering Smith had a brief run in 1961. For his cooperation in appearing in the United States Army's Broken Bridge episode of The Big Picture television series he was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.

Gardner Fox

Gardner Francis Cooper Fox (May 20, 1911 – December 24, 1986) was an American writer known best for creating numerous comic book characters for DC Comics. Comic book historians estimate that he wrote more than 4,000 comics stories, including 1,500 for DC Comics. Gardner was also a science fiction author and wrote many novels and short stories.

Fox is known as the co-creator of DC Comics heroes the Flash, Hawkman, Doctor Fate and the original Sandman, and was the writer who first teamed those and other heroes as the Justice Society of America and later recreated the team as the Justice League of America. Fox introduced the concept of the Multiverse to DC Comics in the 1961 story "Flash of Two Worlds!"

Golden Age of Comic Books

The Golden Age of Comic Books describes an era of American comic books from the late 1930s to circa 1950. During this time, modern comic books were first published and rapidly increased in popularity. The superhero archetype was created and many well-known characters were introduced, including Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel (later known as SHAZAM!), Captain America, and Wonder Woman.

I. W. Publications

I.W. Publications (also known as Super Comics) was a short-lived comic book publisher in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The company was part of I.W. Enterprises, and named for the company's owner, Israel Waldman. I.W. Publications was notable for publishing unauthorized reprints of other publishers' properties. Usually these companies were already out of business — but not always.

I.W. Publications published comics in a wide variety of genres, including crime, science fiction, Western, horror, war and romance comics, as well as funny animal and superhero titles. The company was known for its low-budget products: most of I.W.'s comics were sold in grocery and discount stores, often in "three comics for a quarter" plastic bags. The numbering of most of the company's titles is misleading, often not starting at issue #1 and skipping issue numbers. Incredibly, the company produced 118 separate titles, but only 332 individual issues — many titles only published a single issue.

The company published one comic book with original material: Marty Mouse #1 (1958), featuring funny animal stories by Vincent Fago, among others.Some I.W./Super Comics titles used original cover art: illustrators included Jack Abel, Ross Andru, Sol Brodsky, Carl Burgos, Mike Esposito, and John Severin, with lettering by Ben Oda.

John L. Goldwater

John Leonard Goldwater (born Max Leonard Goldwasser, February 14, 1916 – February 26, 1999) founded (with Maurice Coyne and Louis Silberkleit) MLJ Comics (later known as Archie Comics), and served as editor and co-publisher for many years. In the mid-1950s he was a key proponent and custodian of the comic book censorship guidelines known as the Comics Code Authority.

Johnny Craig

John Thomas Alexis Craig (April 25, 1926 – September 13, 2001), better known as Johnny Craig, was an American comic book artist notable for his work with the EC Comics line of the 1950s. He sometimes used the pseudonyms Jay Taycee and F. C. Aljohn.

Mathea Falco

Mathea Falco (born October 15, 1944) is a leading expert in drug abuse prevention and treatment who served as the first U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs during the Carter Administration. Currently, Falco is the President of Drug Strategies, a nonprofit research institute based in Washington, D.C., which she created with the support of major foundations in 1993 to identify and promote more effective approaches to substance abuse and international drug policy.

Neo-American Church

The Original Kleptonian Neo-American Church (OKNeoAC), mostly shorted Neo-American Church, is a religious organization based on the use of psychedelic drugs (the "True Host") as a sacrament.

Star Publications

Star Publications, Inc. was a Golden Age American comic book publisher, operating during the years 1949–1954. Founded by artist/editor L.B. Cole and lawyer Gerhard Kramer, Star specialized in horror comics, crime, and romance comics — but also published funny animal stories. Star was originally based in New York City before relocating to Buffalo, New York.

Notable creators who contributed to Star Publications titles included Nina Albright, Tex Blaisdell, Frank Frazetta, Milt Hammer, Alvin Hollingsworth, Joe Kubert, Pat Masulli, and Wally Wood. Co-owner Cole contributed many of his distinctive cover illustrations. Bruno Premiani worked as an editor at the company.

Superhero fiction

Superhero fiction is a genre of speculative fiction examining the adventures, personalities and ethics of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals known as supervillains. The genre mainly originated in and is most common to American comic books, though it has expanded into other media through adaptations and original works.

Toby Press

Toby Press was an American comic-book company that published from 1949 to 1955. Founded by Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp and himself an established comic strip writer, the company published reprints of Capp's Li'l Abner strip; licensed-character comics starring such film and animated cartoon properties as John Wayne and Felix the Cat; and original conceptions, including romance, war, Western, and adventure comics. Some of its comics were published under the imprint Minoan. Some covers bore the logo ANC, standing for American News Company, at the time the country's largest newsstand distributor.

It is unrelated to the book publisher Toby Press, acquired by Amazon.com in 2010.

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