In 1950, America was in a state of panic. Juvenile delinquency was destroying the very fabric of society. Ninety percent of all children were reading comic books. In 1954, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote a scathing indictment of comics called Seduction of the Innocent. Its central premise: Comic books were the leading contributing factor to juvenile delinquency. That same year, Dr. Wertham testified at special hearings on comic books at the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States. Comics were on trial.
Diagram for Delinquents captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s and early 1950s America and investigates how the funny books found themselves on the fire. Using expert and comic book insider interviews, never seen before historical photographs and films, and animation, DIAGRAM goes further than any previous comic book documentary to explore and understand the controversial figure at the center of this American tale: Fredric Wertham.
Bonus material (available on the DVD and in the “download plus”) includes:
- Full, hour-long interview with legendary comics creator Al Feldstein.
- “Grimmness” short film: Wertham and Hitchcock debate media violence.
- “The Current State of Comics in America” unused rough-cut sequence.