Take It from Buzzy

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Batman, DC Comics, Superman
Tags: ,

Here’s a positive article regarding comic books from a 1949 edition of TIME magazine, not long before the comicbook medium would be demonized by Estes Kaufauver and Frederick Wertham.

Take It from Buzzy
Monday, Aug. 29, 1949

The comic book, Gang Busters, usually a hectic free-for-all of ricocheting bullets, cold-blooded criminals and implacable law enforcers, played host last week to a mild-mannered youth. In the midst of its bimonthly gallery of firebugs, homicidal maniacs, fight fixers, railroad wreckers, waterfront thugs and redblooded, straight-shooting minions of the law stood a pale blond youth named Buzzy. He was there to advise action-loving gangbuster fans not to join the ever-growing band of “stayouts” who decide each year that seeking their fortune in the world is more exciting than completing their public-school education.
Buzzy is the first enlistment in a new campaign mapped out by the National Social Welfare Assembly (representing the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Family Service Association and 55 other organizations) in cooperation with National Comics Publications, one of the largest U.S. comic-book publishers (37 magazines, 10 million circulation). Their purpose: to present “socially constructive” messages, exchange ideas on how best to make all comic books (with a monthly sale of 50 million) more acceptable to youth leaders, educators, psychiatrists and parents. Before the year is out, U.S. kids will get wholesome advice about racial tolerance, participation in community affairs and health education from such comicbook favorites as the Batman, the Green Arrow, Superboy and Superman.
Gradually the assembly hopes to thin out some of the blood and muffle the thunder of the average comic rip-roarer. Most conspicuous sample of their influence to date: “Brooklyn,” a raggle-taggle Boy Commandos’ character with bad grammar and warped diction has been transformed into a junior Brooks Brothers type who speaks impeccable English.”

Some of the wholesome advice about racial tolerance, participation in community affairs and health education that was mentioned has been posted here, here, and here.


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