In this episode, we start by discussing the Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency from 1954. These hearings that took place over two days in 1954 explored crime, violence, sex and horror in comic books. As a result of these hearings and the efforts of those like Fredric Wertham whose book Seduction of the Innocent vilified comic books and their publishers, the industry created the Comic Code Authority. The CCA resulted in the a complete change in comic books and the closing of many comic book publishers.
We also talk about the great comedy magazines from EC Comics, Mad and Panic. Indeed, as a direct result of the CCA, Bill Gaines, Mad’s publisher, stopped publishing Mad as a comic book and changed it to a magazine to avoid the CCA’s regulation. Mad was published as a comic book from issue #1 (October-November, 1952) until issue #23 (June, 1955). Issue #24 launched Mad Magazine, which went on to become one of the most popular comedy magazines ever published in the United States and is still published today. Panic was also a comedy magazine published by EC Comics. It debuted with issue #1 (February-March, 1954) and ran for 12 issues until 1955. Panic #1 was actually discussed in the Senate Hearings in 1954.