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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Comics censorship in Britain: The story of the Gorbals Vampire.


In 1950's America it took a quack psychologist and a right wing presidential hopeful to demonize comic books and bring about the heavy handed censorship that blighted the medium for decades to come. However In Britain it needed something a little more interesting, namely a mob of armed juvenile monster hunting Glaswegians and the urban myth of the Gorbals Vampire.

This is an extract from a report done by the BBC on the history of the story;

"Hundreds of children aged from four to 14, some of them armed with knives and sharpened sticks, were patrolling inside the historic graveyard.
They were, they told the bemused constable, hunting a 7ft tall vampire with iron teeth who had already kidnapped and eaten two local boys." 

"The blame was quickly laid at the door of American comic books with chilling titles such as Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror, whose graphic images of terrifying monsters were becoming increasingly popular among Scottish youngsters."

"The government responded to the clamour by introducing the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 which, for the first time, specifically banned the sale of magazines and comics portraying "incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature" to minors"

Here's an article. 

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