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A Haunt of Fear: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign (Studies in Popular Culture (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 Oct 1992

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (1 Oct. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878055940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878055944
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 994,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

An exploration of the British campaign against horror comics between 1949 and 1955 that led to the passage of the Children and Young Persons Act of 1955

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Format: Paperback
Most British comic fans will know that during the 1950s a hysterical campaign was launched against the horror and crime comics imported from the USA.

What's rather less well known is that this campaign was not initiated by the usual right-wing groups who call themselves 'the moral majority' - though they played their part - but in fact originated with Sam Aaronovitch and the British Communist Party.

Barker's book examines the surprising alliance of the extreme Left and the extreme Right and draws out the similarities in their outlook: their cultural elitism and a fear of the working class; and a knee-jerk anti-Americanism and a Little Englander mentality which saw British culture under threat of an unruly, outside force. When socialism embraces nationalism, it's not a pretty sight.

Barker's book illustrates the authoritarian instincts that both Left and Right manifest when faced with popular culture and it is a perfect accompanyment to his other work of censorship and moral panics: 'Action!: The Story of a Violent Comic', 'Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the Media' and 'The Crash Contoversy: Censorship Campaigns and Film Reception' (with Jane Arthurs and Ramaswami Harindranath)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little too dry even for the committed comic book historian but informative nonetheless.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The more things change, the more they stay the same 16 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Before video games, movies and TV, comic books were the bee in the proto-Tippers' collective bonnets. This book is an admirable attempt to summarise the campaign against the comics in Britan, which actually led to them being banned.
The comics themselves (of which three are reproduced in full and many others in part) seem almost quaint now; the campaigners seem as silly as their intellectual descendents do today. The work is well-structured and never dull, but the writing lets it down a bit - there's a weird undergraduate feel throughout. Still, worth a look for comic book or pop culture fans.
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