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August 20, 2014

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Cautiously Pessimistic

There's a great book called A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign by Martin Barker that covers this stuff, including the CP involvement, and takes a good look at some of the comics that provided much more interesting and nuanced social commentary than much of the left would have been capable of, then or now. Been years since I read it, but I remember the author being really sharp on the irony that, at the same time as the CP were teaming up with the church to fight horror comics that showed violence involving various imaginary, supernatural figures, the market was also being flooded with action comics based around glorifying far more realistic violence against dehumanised "commies", a development which the CP never seemed to notice or be particularly bothered by.

Paul Stott

Hi - Thanks for that. I had not come across the Martin Barker book.

I think most histories of the CGPB in that period concentrate on Hungary 56 and Cold War machinations (not surprisingly) so it probably needed someone coming from the comic book side of things.

Finally, if you read the customer review on Amazon of 'Haunt of Fears' it alleges the Communist campaign was led by Sam Aaronovitch - father of David, who now writes for The Times. Small world!

Regards,

Paul

Ray

Yes it's a real shame that you missed the exhibition, it was a cracker. There was a small section devoted to the Horror Comix saga and the CP involvement. Us older fans of yr blog lived through it and longed to get our hands on those American imports but perhaps it's just as well that we failed - who knows what damage could have been done to us!

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