Story: Comics and graphic novels

Corrupting comics, 1957

In the 1950s criticism of the supposedly corrupting influence of comics gathered steam, and they came under the purview of indecent publications legislation. In 1956 the government set up a special comics advisory committee which had the power to ban the import of comics. This is Minister of Justice Jack Marshall with a display of some of the comics that fell afoul of the committee. The titles on the board are All-famous police cases: true cases from crime filesD for death, Lorna, the jungle girl, Crime does not pay, Tim Valour and Web of evil. They would most likely have been considered suspect for their violent content. 

Writer A. R. D Fairburn was not a comics fan. Listen to his opinion, which was aired on radio in 1949.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Evening Post Collection (PAColl-0614)
Reference: EP/1957/2948-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero (ZB Citizen's Forum/ Reference number ID 32391)

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How to cite this page:

Tim Bollinger, 'Comics and graphic novels - Comics go underground, 1950s to 1970s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 July 2024)

Story by Tim Bollinger, published 22 Oct 2014