AusReprints

...covering Australian comics

Topix announced

by james@ausreprints.com

"Catholic comic book now on sale"

A brand-new wholesome comic book hit the stands in early 1954, according to Sydney's Catholic Weekly on 11 February 1954 and Melbourne's Catholic Advocate on 25 February 1954. This is a product of its time, battling against the threat of comic books during the moral panic and censorship of the 1950s.

Topix was, the papers insist, a decent answer to the other rubbish on the bookshelves, with artwork of the highest quality and absorbing interest. "It's purpose is fivefold":

"To offer clean, wholesome entertainment for boys and girls of all ages."

"To provide an antidote to the many unsuitable comics which are now on the market and which find their way into many Catholic homes."

"To satisfy a natural demand among children for easy-to-read picture stories."

"To provide catechetical instruction in visual form."

"To assist Catholic educators by portraying the great events of history and picturing the lives of civilisation's benefactors—its saints and sholars, its scientists and artists, its explorers and statesmen."

It's wasn't a new concept. Timeless Topix was first published 1942 by the Catechetical Guild Education Society in St. Paul Minneapolis in the United States. In 1945, the Advocate spruiked new French and Spanish editions, with the original English-language edition selling 400,000 copies in the US and Canada.

In December 1948 the Advocate reprinted across three issues "an exposé of communist tactics" titled Is This To-morrow. Sourced from the US Catechetical Guild, it explaining in comic form "how communists, using tried and tested methods, could cause revolutionary chaos in a democracy".

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