Friday, August 26, 2005


At the time when the industry began to promulgate new codes—the first general one announced after my first public criticism of crime comics—the number of crime comic books began to increase tremendously, both absolutely and in relation to non-crime comics. From 1937 to 1947 only nineteen crime comic titles existed, sixteen of them obvious crime comics, three of them so-called Western comic books that actually featured crimes. But during 1948, 107 new titles of crime comic books appeared, 53 straight crime comics, 54 "Westerns" featuring crime.

It seems that the comic-book industry was in considerable conflict. On the one hand, they were not anxious for the public to know that the comic-book business and its influence was so enormous—though one publisher said in a revealing public statement, "When you get that big you just can't escape public attention!" On the other hand, since a sizable amount of advertising is carried in comic books, they like to use figures as large as possible. So while one could still find figures lower than my estimates, one could also find figures as high as 75 million a month (Advertising Age) or 80 million a month (Association of Comics Magazine Publishers)