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1940 science fiction fanzine calls comics “a fly-by-night affair”

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Carol Tilley—who’ll be speaking Thursday at the National Archives about letters kids wrote to the Senate defending comics in 1954—just posted over on Facebook the front page from the August 25, 1940 issue of Fantasy News … and I can’t resist sharing one part of it here.

Thomas S. Gardner, whose short fiction had been published in the ’30s in Wonder Stories, complained that the new science fiction comics were so inane as to cause some readers to give up on science fiction entirely. Plus comics (or so he claimed) were even damaging the reputation of science fiction—and the fans themselves.

Science Fiction is being guffawed, ballyhooed, and ridiculed out of existence. The readers and magazines are being classified as morons as a result of the comic books.

Luckily, though, the prescient Gardner predicted comic books wouldn’t be around for long.

The comic magazines are a fly-by-night affair in all probability. The fact that few appear for the second issue but start out with a new series hoping to sell the first copies is pretty good proof of their impermanence.

Gardner lived until 1963, after the Golden Age of comics had ended and the Silver Age had begun. Wonder whether that was long enough for him to change his mind?

fantasy_news082540

You can read the issue in its entirety over at FANAC.

Tags: comics, fanzines, science fiction
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