David Hajdu

  • The Ten-Cent Plague

    IN THE LATE ’40S AND EARLY ’50S, there was no more vibrant part of the publishing industry than the lowly dime-store comic, churned out by an army of boilerplate writers, illustrators, and editors in New York for a rapturously devoted young audience. That is, until a cadre of youth groups and civic authorities targeted these publications as gateway reading to moral depravity. After Mad-magazine founder Bill Gaines foundered in a sweaty, Dexedrine-fueled haze in front of televised congressional hearings on the link between juvenile delinquency and horror and crime magazines, virtually the entirety