Monday, August 8, 2011

Diagram for Delinquents Update #14: Amounting to No(Some)thing


1.) I have another entry to present this week for the Diagram for Delinquents promo card contest. This entry harkens back to an earlier blog update wherein I discussed the use of psychiatric tests by Wertham on children. In that post I embedded an actual Rorschach blot test that we found in Wertham's papers at the Library of Congress. Check out that post here: Diagram for Delinquents Update #5: Drag Me to Hell, Baby.

It's a long post, and one of my favorites for its winding but connected (at least I think so) narrative.

2.) Alas... we have returned. The crew has returned from our L.A. adventure where we interviewed five great subjects that will certainly make compelling contributions to the documentary.

We began with Broadcast Thought at Meltdown Comics, followed them with Jim Trombetta, and cleaned up with Mark Evanier, then headed to the UCLA Film and Television Archive to view footage that we will acquire for the picture. I must say, my socks have been knocked off by what I saw there!

This week's update teaser is a little excerpt from comics writer, journalist, and historian Mark Evanier.

The inspiration for this clip is Wertham's thoughts on the life and legacy of comics. In Seduction of the Innocent Wertham makes this particularly erroneous prediction:

"I have known many adults who have treasured throughout their lives some of the books they read as children. I have never come across any adult or adolescent who had outgrown comic-book reading who would ever dream of keeping any of these 'books' for any sentimental or other reason."

Again, I have responded to this particular statement in an earlier blog post. It's another of my favorites. The title comes from what is perhaps my favorite "Werthism". Check out: Diagram for Delinquents Update #6: Kafka for the Kiddies.

Mark has a simple, but elegant response to Wertham's above remarks:

3.) Next on the crew's agenda:

In ten days we will be sitting down for two important interviews.

First up is James E. Reibman in Philadelphia. That will be followed on the next day with the David Hajdu interview. These two men both play an important role in chronicling Wertham and the period of comics that our film begins in. I am excited for these interviews as I am looking forward to exploring and capturing the thoughts and perspectives of each!

1 comment:

  1. Pretty damning stuff towards old Wertham. I still don't entirely understand how someone so driven to understand sociocultural explanations for violence would place all the blame on entertainment like comics. Not that comics were totally innocuous at the time, but I guess the guy was just an early 20th century type of thinker who saw this new medium and just didn't get it.