If Dr. Fred Wertham weren’t already spinning in his grave, this’d surely send the old crank gyrating. In 2013, Hard Case Crime–capable stewards of all things pulp–are releasing an original prose novel inspired by the scandals that rocked the comics industry of the 50s and beyond. Written by crime and comics author Max Allan Collins with illustrations by Terry Beatty, Seduction of the Innocent is a murder mystery steeped in EC Comics lore.
COMIC BOOKS ARE
CORRUPTING AMERICA’S YOUTH!
Or so the esteemed Dr. Werner Frederick would have people believe—people like the Congressmen holding hearings on banning violent crime and horror “funny books.” And when the crusade provokes a most un-funny murder, Jack Starr—comics syndicate troubleshooter—has no shortage of suspects. Was it the knife-wielding juvenile delinquent or the naked seductress? Perhaps a frustrated publisher or an outraged cartoonist. Or was it a comic book reader…?
Inspired by the real-life 1950s witch-hunt against Tales From the Crypt publisher EC Comics, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT pulls back the curtain for an insider’s view of the history of comics—and features more than a dozen brand new illustrations in the classic EC style by comic book legend Terry Beatty!
Speaking as someone with over two dozen Hard Case Crime paperbacks at arm’s length from his bedside, this is pretty thrilling. In addition to new titles like this one, HCC reprints some tremendous gems from the likes of Cornell Woolrich, Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, Mickey Spillane, James M. Cain and more. If you want to delve into the classics that inspired books like Brubaker’s Criminal, they’re an indispensable resource.
You can read a sample from the forthcoming Seduction of the Innocent over at the Hard Case Crime website. The only bad news? It’s not out until next February.