On Thursday, April 17, author David Hajdu will be at Town Hall to promote his new book, THE TEN CENT PLAGUE, detailing the Senate crackdown on comic books in the 1950s amidst fears of their contributing to juvenile delinquency. Fantagraphics didn't publish this book, but we like it so much that we're teaming up with Town Hall to promote the event. For you NEW YORKER readers out there, the current issue includes a review of THE TEN CENT PLAGUE (as well as a swell "Talk of the Town" piece by Lillian Ross about Drew Friedman's Friar's Club event to promote MORE OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS).
Anyway, we hope you'll join us for what promises to be a fascinating talk about one of the more curious and ignoble moments in American pop culture history, a period which put several comic book publishers out of business and threatened to destroy the industry completely. Here's the full description:
Conventional wisdom places rock 'n' roll at the dawn of American youth culture, but it was the comic books of the 1930s and '40s that first created a radical divide between the generations. David Hajdu looks at why Jews — such as Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, and Stan Lee — dominated the comic book industry, and how they employed comics to express their Jewish experience. Music critic for The New Republic, Hajdu is the author of Positively 4th Street. His new book is The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America. Presented by Nextbook: Public Programs on Jewish Literature, Culture and Ideas. Advance tickets are $8/$6 Town Hall members, students, and under 25 only at www.nextbook.org. Call 206/744-2289 for more information.
Thursday, April 17, 2008, 7:30 PM. Downstairs at Town Hall, enter on Seneca Street.