Pulp Fictional Folk Devils? The Fulton Bill and the Campaign to Censor “Crime and Horror Comics” in Cold War Canada, 1945-1955

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-12-15
Identifier: 
etd9407
Keywords: 
Fulton Bill
Crime comics
Censorship in Canada
Cold War Canada
Eleanor Gray
Fredric Wertham
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the history of and the social, political, intellectual, and cross-border influences behind the “Fulton Bill” and the campaign to censor “crime and horror comics” in Canada from roughly 1945 to 1955. Many – though by no means all – Canadians had grown to believe reading comic books was directly linked with a perceived increase in rates of juvenile criminal behaviour. Led primarily by PTA activists and other civic organizations, the campaign was motivated by a desire to protect the nation’s young people from potential corrupting influences that might lead them to delinquency and deviancy and resulted in amendments to the Criminal Code passed by Parliament in 1949. These amendments criminalized so-called “crime comics” and were thanks to a bill introduced and championed by E. Davie Fulton MP. The passage of the “Fulton Bill”, however, did not subsequently produce the kinds of results expected and sought by anti-comics campaigners, including Fulton himself.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Allen Seager
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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