Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 29, 2010

George F. Will On Comics Censorship

imageI've learned to distrust George Will on everything that isn't the designated hitter rule, so I'm wary of reading too much into this brand-new essay about videogame censorship that invokes the 1950s anti-comics crusade. As Will notes, novel and popular forms of cultural expression invariably attract the censorious-minded folks, although I'm not certain I share his assertion that this attraction is limited to those on one side of the spectrum. It's worth keeping in mind, though, as a form of cyclical popular history. As I recall, the comic book censorship of the 1950s has an immediate precedent that Will doesn't mention: comic-strip censorship during the teens and '20s. It's also interesting to note that there was brief, secondary flash of such concerns in the late 1980s/early 1990s, in that video games are hardly new. Anyway, I think there may be a point or two worth taking away from Will's piece about the general phenomenon, even though it reads like one of those essays where certain points are slipped by to maintain the stinging quality of the rhetoric without getting anything mired down in details.
posted 6:00 am PST | Permalink

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