Effort was being made to keep the hearts and minds of the Tri-City residents clean and pure, but it was a losing battle in 1956.
The kids should be horrified at what Mom, Pop are reading
By Malcolm MacNey, Herald staff writer
Published on July 8, 1956
Tri-City kiddies who two years ago were being offered an unhealthy comic book diet of sex, gore and horror, today would be hard-pressed to find any of the defiling little magazines on Tri-City stands.
But for adults, the doses of scum and scurviness and scrupulousness are being offered in larger amounts than ever. Not only being offered, but also being taken in larger doses.
Be that as it may, the outlook is bright and happy in the comic book situation. In a tour of grocery stores, drug stores, newsstands and other places that offer the little picture magazines for sale, the nearest thing to objectionable material that could be found were a few comics based on war.
The tour was made as a follow-up to a campaign around two years ago to clean up the comic books being sold in the Tri-Cities. At that time, the Herald pointed out some of the dirt being offered the youngsters, and the campaign was taken up by a great many residents including a number of members of the ministry.
Gone now are the nearly undressed women who formerly slunk through many of the picture packages, gone are the slimy monsters, and gone the crummy hoodlums who always lost in the end but often became near heroes before going down.
Not only are they gone, but there are strong signs indicating that in place of the former cancer, a healthy new growth is underway. In place of such former scram teasers as the Green Goople or the Purple Papion, the kiddies can now pick from among such classics as those written by Robert Louis Stevenson and other famous children's authors.
In many of the stores, children who go after comic books are kept away from the adult magazines by the simple method of putting the comic book stand some distance away from the magazine racks.
There is another reason, though, for the separation. One store owner explained he had made the shift to place the rack in such a position as to discourage small fry from lounging around on the floor of his establishment while reading the comics.
While the fare for the children has been greatly improved, some of the material being put out for adults makes granddad's Whiz Bang appear a Sunday School book in comparison.
The business of attacking famous persons, mostly those in the entertainment field, is booming. No less than eight magazines whose sole purpose seems to be writing on slime, or by insinuation to make it appear slime is present, were found on one newsstand. That was only two or three above the average at all places selling magazines.
Still to be found, though it may take some looking around, are the nudist magazines and the magazines that show pictures of nudes under the guise of art photography.
Nearly every store handling magazines also carries pocket books. Though some of the finest literature is being published in the pint-sized paperbacks, the books have almost become synonymous with rounded and bare-bosomed women.
Now the cover picture does not seem enough, and a caption is apt to blatantly proclaim, "Lita is seeking every thrill, and knows where to look."
These are just a few of the salacious offerings, and actually, we don't intend here to go into a lengthy dissertation of what is being put out for the adult reading public. We'll merely note a good portion of it is trash, the trash is not hard to buy, and it is being purchased.
That brings a question to mind: Does the trend show poor taste on the part of the publisher, or does the fault lie with the readers whose literary appetites are being fed?
The way things are going, maybe the kiddies who are now receiving some rather good material in their comic books will rise up in wrath at what mom and dad are reading.