Episode 35: When science fiction gets censored

R. Crumb was one of the underground artists whose bizarre work pushed the limits of official censorship

R. Crumb was one of the underground artists whose bizarre work pushed the limits of official censorship

There's nothing quite so dystopian as censorship: the suppression of knowledge, or works of art, that challenge the ruling order. We look at how science fiction, fantasy and horror have been censored. But also, what does science fiction teach us about how to resist censorship? And we talk to Ron Turner, publisher of Last Gasp, about the underground comics scene and his struggles with official censorship.

Works cited, etc: 

Censorship (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Anthony Comstock (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Fredric Wertham (psychologist)

Seduction of the Innocent (book by Fredric Wertham)

E.C. Comics

William M. Gaines (comics publisher)

Carol Tilley on her Fredric Wertham Research (CBLDF)

The Comics Code (CBLDF)

Frequently Challenged Books (American Library Association)

Harry Potter

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (books)

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (books)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (book)

Y: The Last Man (comics series)

Sandman (comics series)

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel)

Saga (comics series)

The Exorcist (movie)

The Exorcist trailer

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (novel)

Florida school pulls Cory Doctorow’s book, he sends it to students (L.A. Times)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (novel)

Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell (novel)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (novel)

Fahrenheit 451 on HBO (movie)

Playboy (magazine)

Hugh Hefner (editor)

Infomocracy by Malka Older (novel)

Equilibrium (movie)

An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King (novel)

Serenity (2005 movie)

Newsflesh by Mira Grant (book series)

Tongue-Tied (TV Tropes)

Steven Universe (TV series)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (novel)

A Clockwork Orange (movie)

Ron Turner and Last Gasp

Berkeley Ecology Center

United Farm Workers (union)

Slow Death Funnies (comic book)

Roger Alvarado (activist)

Third World Liberation Front

Zap Comix (comics series)

Gary Edson Arlington, owner of the San Francisco Comic Book Company

Radical America Komiks (comics series)

Felch Cumics (graphic novel)

Cunt Comics (graphic novel)

Robert Williams (artist)

Spain Rodriguez (artist)

S. Clay Wilson (artist)

Rory Hayes (artist)

George DiCaprio (writer and performance artist)

Leonardo DiCaprio (actor)

Dan O’Neill (artist)

The Air Pirates (artist group)

Mickey Mouse (cartoon character)

Disney’s Bloody Attack on the Air Pirates (CBLDF)

The Grateful Dead Family Album by Jerilyn Brandelius (book)

The Book of Weirdo: A Retrospective of R. Crumb’s Legendary Humor Comics Anthology by Jon B. Cooke (book)

Shut Up You Animals!!! The Pope is Dead. A Remembrance of Dirk Dirksen: A History of the Mabuhay Gardens by Dirk Dirksen (book)

Charlie Jane Anders