The Great Uncorking

In 1941 Dr. Fredrick Wertham published Dark Legend, an examination of a 1930s case in which a New York teen murdered his mother—and one of the earliest academic attempts to link violent, aberrant behavior with comics. Wertham followed Dark Legend with Seduction of the Innocent in 1954. The ensuing hysteria gave rise to the Comics Code Authority, whose job it was to cork representational expression—and in the process keep little Johnny from taking an ax to Grandma. In the late '60s, a small group of artists—Crumb, Moscoso, Griffin, Spain, Wilson, Shelton and Robt. Williams—effectively uncorked pop culture. The resulting torrent of shit was wondrous and disturbing. Williams' new book, Hysteria in Remission, is page after page of his amazing contributions to this great uncorking and is as close to a comprehensive collection of Williams' comic work as you'll find. In scope, it is a companion to Malicious Resplendence, an earlier book of Williams' paintings. Chrome, death, constipation, felching, rape, amputation —it's all here in the book, on the table, where it belongs.

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