Fredric Wertham (March 20, 1895 – November 18, 1981) was a German-born Jewish-American psychiatrist and crusading author who protested the purportedly harmful effects of violent imagery in mass media and comic books on the development of children. Wertham testified before Congress to this effect, and the movement he spearheaded led to the creation of the "Comics Code Authority" and its seal of approval. This financially compelled the self-censorship of major comics, until the 1970s, when DC finally risked publishing a story involving a superhero's sidekick (Speedy/Green Arrow) and his descent into drug use, without the CCA seal.
If a comic is read or open near the spinning rack, when it is spun, even gently, it creates a large storm of energy that draws everything nearby, including people, into the comic. They will be stuck for an unspecified amount of time, though it was implied that if they were unable to escape before the ending there would be no means of returning to reality.
The events of the comic will play out as if the victims were characters, they can act freely and influence how the story progresses. Characters inside the book see themselves as comic book illustrations instead of flesh and blood, though all sensations felt are real.
The effects can be reversed by spinning the rack again, a problem as it doesn't follow the victims into the book. By redirecting its energy with mirrors it can turn it's effects on itself. Without it's battery, the "HEY KIDS COMICS" sign, it cannot work without an alternate energy source.
- The comics that come with the rack seem to be an extension of the artifact, as each one needed its own static bag. It is unknown if they're the only comics that work with the effects of the spinner rack.
- The Farnsworth can reach characters inside the comic books, as it can utilize any frequency including those of pocket dimensions.