Women Outlaws Seduce the Innocent. Ladies of the Lurid West!
Women Outlaws. A "golden age" comic book, which means before the government decided kids should read Casper the friendly ghost rather than lurid crime from the Wild West OR downtown. Whatever. None of these were as bad as what is found through a gaming console today, and kids are even lazier, more sullen and more surly now. Kefauver's censorship worked for a time, as the comics learned how to "self-patrol" with the comics code logo…but the kids are just the same, only worse!
Sure enough, one of Women Outlaws was used as an example for Fredric Wertheim's expose Seduction of the Innocent. And no wonder…check out one of the woman outlaws being served justice. Still, I was a juvenile delinquent, and all I read was the Hardy Boys!
Some kids are going to test the rules, Fredric. No matter what they read. Plus now that I recall, the boys were always bullying Chet, the fat kid.
One of these issues (the one with what seems to be Marshall Dillon's platonic girlfriend and implied whore Kitty from the Gunsmoke TV show) is currently listed on eBay for $600, so these have to be pretty scarce. One website puts the first issue at $900.
Who READ these? Little sisters who wanted their own action tales? Let's face it, "romance" comic books for the girls were horrible. Every single story was the same. Guy with a buzzy haircut meets a girl, there is some confusion (usually Buzzy has to fix his car and forgets to call) and the last panel has them swapping rings. Happy ending. It gets old, even to impressionable young readers being socialized into accepted forms of happy women consumers. So maybe some "branched" out into hanging branches?
I guess they do strike a blow for women somehow…and Annie Oakley was a role model for tough girls.
I really think Dad read these. Illiteracy rates were reported as less than 4% back in the 1950s, but I think that was propaganda to show the Ruskies we were superior. In fact, I think it was many times that, and even higher today. Imagine how many returned soldiers wanted books with pictures…and a little bright colored excitement from the wild west (with dames) would have been perfect.
Below is a great one…all smudged up with age and rotten acid pulp and more…yet still so great the seller is asking the price of dinner for it. It looks like "Dot" signed her name on it, so maybe girls did read them!
Comic Book guys are, by the way, WAY too hung up on condition. All things age, especially cheap comic books. Get over it. Live with the wear guys…art is supposed to change over the years through use and appreciation. Let your comic books breathe.
Women Outlaws was published by the Fox Feature Syndicate, who also published "Crimes by Women" and for some ungodly reason, a comic called "General Douglas MacArthur (which adds some support to my theory the consumers were slow readers from the Greatest Generation.) There were only a handful of issues.
The best site (and most information) is found on the FANTASY INK website, a place which also links to many things comic book. It is edited by Tom, who doesn't provide his full name but should. Nice stuff. Further information is available on WESTERN COMICS ADVENTURES. More information on Dr. Wertham and his curious mission is found HERE on Seduction of the Innocent the website, which is devoted to finding every damn comic book the good doctor was shocked by.
Books and ($5.99) ebooks by Jim Linderman are available HERE