Published by Hard Case Crime / Titan Books – out next month.
Blazing into bookstores next month, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT is a hardboiled detective novel inspired by the 1950s witch-hunt against crime and horror comic books. Written by best-selling novelist Max Allan Collins (author of Road to Perdition and long-time scripter of the Dick Tracy newspaper comic strip) and featuring 16 pages of interior illustrations by comic-book artist Terry Beatty (Batman, The Phantom), SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT tells the story of comic book industry troubleshooter Jack Starr and his investigation into the death of a moral crusader out to get violent comics banned.
The book was inspired in part by the real-life crusade of Dr. Fredric Wertham, who in 1954 published a non-fiction book also titled Seduction of the Innocent in which he accused comic books – especially violent ones such as those put out by Tales from the Crypt publisher EC Comics – of corrupting America’s innocent youth.
Hard Case Crime will bring the book out in February 2013, in paperback and e-book editions, with a new cover painting in the classic pulp style by Glen Orbik.
Well, this one pretty much has everything I like in one handsome little package:
Great pulp Hard Case Crime cover?- CHECK.
Great narrative by one of my favourite US authors, Max Allan Collins? – CHECK.
A crime fiction meets the world of comic books theme (including some rather nice internal illustrations between chapters)? – CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.
With a crafty tale wrought with revenge and the fear of the corruption of America’s youth through comic books, Seduction of the Innocent, tells of the worry that a book ‘Ravage of the Lambs’ could stir by declaring the comic book world as one responsible for all of societies ills. Although set and based on the 1950’s witch hunt against ‘Tales from the Crypt’ publisher EC Comics, it’s a tale that’s ripe for a modern read – whether it’s comic books, movies or video games, there has and always will be areas of culture which some will choose to target as accountable for everything that goes wrong with young people in society.
If you like your crime with a classic tint, Max Allan Collins is just the man to take you back in time.