Press Release

Sequart Organization is proud to announce the DVD release of their Fredric Wertham documentary, Diagram for Delinquents.

In 1950, America was in a state of panic; many felt that juvenile delinquency was destroying the very fabric of society. In 1954, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote a scathing indictment of comic books called Seduction of the Innocent. Its central premise was that comics were the leading contributing factor to juvenile delinquency. (At the time, 90% of all children were reading comic books.) That same year, Dr. Wertham testified at special hearings on comic books at the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States. Comic books were on trial!

Diagram for Delinquents captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s / early 1950s America and investigates how the funny books found themselves on the bonfire. Using expert interviews and never-seen-before historical photographs and films, Diagram goes further than any documentary to explore and understand the controversial figure at the center of this American tale: Fredric Wertham.

The DVD (as well as a digital download version) is now available for purchase at the Sequart Store.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“Diagram does a tremendous job of creating a human and social context for events that are too easily oversimplified, bringing full color (literally and metaphorically) to the usual black-and-white portrayal of Fredric Wertham. It’s also incredibly fun to watch, using everything that’s good about comic book graphics without ever trivializing the material.” — Gerard Jones, author of the Eisner-winning Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book

“For those who might not have thought to look back at the path the medium has had to walk to get where it is today, Diagram for Delinquents is a well-researched and comprehensive history lesson, and should be required viewing for anyone who ever wondered what the fuss was over those silly old monster comics, anyway.” — Stephen Andrade, Ain’t It Cool News

“Diagram is so extensive in its research and its relaying of the facts that it’s commendable… A thorough and balanced study of the evolution of comic books, and of Wertham’s career.” — Chris Evangelista, Cut Print Film

“Diagram for Delinquents delivers the most well-rounded approach [to Wertham’s story] in recent memory… This movie has an impressive collection of old footage, recordings, and photographs that are put to great use.” — Cliff Wheatley, IGN

“With commentary by expert comics and pop culture historians like Bart Beaty, Amy Nyberg, Bradford Wright, Carol Tilley and others, viewers get an extremely nuanced view of the comics industry of the time and gain a new perspective on the industry.” — Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

About the Publisher: Sequart Organization is devoted to the study of popular culture and the promotion of comic books as a legitimate art form. Sequart has published twenty books, six documentary films, and thousands of online articles. The documentaries include She Makes Comics, and the books include Our Sentence is Up: Seeing Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles. Sequart is currently producing a documentary on writing powerhouse Neil Gaiman.

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