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Seduction of the Innocent (Hard Case Crime) Paperback – February 19, 2013
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"Violent and volatile and packed with sexuality...classic pulp fiction." - USA Today
"Collins' witty, hard-boiled prose would make Raymond Chandler proud." - Entertainment Weekly
"Max Allan Collins blends fact and fiction like no other writer." - Andrew Vachss
"Collins makes it sound as though it really happened." - New York Daily News
"Few people alive today can tell a story better than Max Allan Collins. SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT is a great, page-turning read that is beautiful to look at and serves as another proud addition to the Hard Case Crime library." – Bookreporter
“A solid tale of crime, greed, and murder with a tasty dash of sequential art history in the mix.” – Fanboy Comics
“Everything I would ever want in a detective novel.” – Geek Hard
“When a book manages to keep me reading from beginning to end, I consider it a job well done, but when I sit there for hours on end reading because I can’t put it down, that’s when I consider a book truly good and Seduction of the Innocent falls happily in that second category.” – Geekenstein
“A fast read, hedged by a bevy of hilarious characters and culminating in a delicious ‘whodunit.’” – Noir Whale
“Any fan of noir, pulp fiction or comic books will appreciate Seduction of the Innocent.” – Pop Cults
“Hats off to Max Allan Collins for this phenomenally entertaining piece of historical fiction, and Terry Beatty, for the classic, inspired EC style art work.” – Comic Hype
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, comic books were seen back then as a threat to America's youth. Before there was Elvis and his subversive hips on "The Ed Sullivan Show," there were graphic covers on newsstands of blood-splattered horror, ghouls and women in various stages of undress on titles such as Tales from the Crypt. Publishers like EC Comics put out many of the worst offenders. And once the impressionable minds of our youth consumed this material, all sorts of juvenile delinquency and social anarchy would follow. So the argument went.
Max Allan Collins, bestselling author of several acclaimed mystery series, the graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION and a writer of the Dick Tracy comic strip, has written a wonderful historical novel and hardboiled mystery about this period of American history. Seduction of the Innocent was the name of a real 1954 study by psychiatrist and author Dr. Fredric Wertham. In Collins's talented hands, 2013's SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT becomes a richly imagined mystery.
And in keeping with the period the novel covers, Hard Case Crime has given the story the full pulp treatment, including 16 pages of illustrated interior pages by comic book artist Terry Beatty of Batman fame and a truly stunning pulp cover by Glen Orbik.Read more ›
My favorite bit comes from the Code of Comics Magazine Association of America (adopted 26 Oct. 1954):
"The comic-book medium, having come of age on the American cultural scene, must measure up to its responsibilities...
To make a positive contribution to contemporary life , the industry must seek new areas for developing sound, wholesome entertainment."
Of course transcipts continue to allude to an American tradition of decency and fairness. Since most of these Senators are from Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, and this is pre-60′s Civil Rights, I was never sure whose vision of American tradition they wanted preserved. I can make good solid guesses though.
Anyway, when I saw that Max Allan Collins was releasing his third Jack and Maggie Starr novel through Hard Case Crime I was pretty damned thrilled. When it was revealed that it would be a fictional attack on Dr. Frederick Wertham (the McCarthy of Comic Books) I was down-right ecstatic. Wertham firmly believed that he could save the world from the savagery of comic-books and did his best to see the industry crippled.Read more ›
Hard Case Crime has a penchant for unearthing off-beat pulp novels with interesting back stories. With Seduction of the Innocent, author Max Allan Collins wanted to complete his trilogy of roman a clef mystery novels set in the Golden Age of Comics. The first novel (A Killing in Comics) dealt with the artists who created Superman and how they were cheated of their profits. The second novel (Strip for Murder) was set against the backdrop of a famous feud between two popular comic artists. Since the previous publisher dropped the series after two installments, HCC stepped in and published this final volume about the government's crusade against violent and erotic comics in the 1950's.
I suspect the roman a clef aspects would be very fun to any reader familiar with comics and comic writers of the era. Collins both skewers the industry for its excesses but also idealizes the artists as pioneers of a misunderstood art. It's obvious he wanted to play up the more colorful behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Unfortunately, since I wasn't in on the joke, I found it difficult to care about some of the minor characters or understand their relevance to the story at large.
I was saavy enough at least to figure out some of the code: Americana=DC Comics. Wonder Guy=Superman. Batwing=Batman. Amazonia=Wonder Woman. Craze=Mad Magazine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Seduction of the Innocent" is set during that weird period in the 1950s when the comic-book industry was attacked by an amalgam of social science, politicians, and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Danno
Seduction of the Innocent is the third book in Max Allan Collins' trilogy about about Jack and Maggie Starr, a mystery series set in the comic book industry in the fifties. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Dave Wilde
Reads like a second rate Mickey Spillane novel. Very slow moving. Excessive background on the comic book industry of the 1950's. Read morePublished on July 11, 2013 by A. C. Herrick
This book was a lot of fun even if it wasn't perfect. I recommend it, especially if you're interested in comic books or comic book history.Published on July 6, 2013 by BB
Okay, if you're a comic book fan, especially one who enjoys EC horror comics and Lev Gleason style crime comics, you do not want to miss Max Allan Collins' novel, Seduction of the... Read morePublished on June 30, 2013 by Charles R. Rutledge
The last volume in this trilogy on the comic book industry is set in the 1950's, when the furor over the rising amount of crime, violence and sex rose to a roaring peak,... Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Ted Feit
I really like Max Collins a lot. He has several good series that deserve close readings. However, this book is more notable for the original comic art as well as lots of tidbits... Read morePublished on April 22, 2013 by Jeff
Of the three Jack/Maggie Starr novels, I enjoyed Seduction of the Innocent the most. The whole era of the comics witch hunt and hysteria lends itself to more interesting... Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by Tim Field
Another successful historical mystery by the master of the form, Max Allan Collins' "Seduction of the Innocent" is the third in a series, though it's a very successful... Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by Joseph J. Maniscalco