June 20.In his review of the world of comics (June 19) Kenneth Wright

says that American comics of the 1950s were ''credited with causing the

1954 expedition of some Glasgow schoolchildren . . . in search of a

child-eating vampire with metal teeth.''

While it is true that some people at the time did attribute this

incident to ''horror comics,'' he might have added that they did so

without a shred of evidence. As David Cornwell and I have tried to

demonstrate in our contribution to the book, Monsters with Iron Teeth

(Sheffield Academic Press, 1988), such ''hunts'' by children are by no

means uncommon. Furthermore, no-one has come with any comic featuring a

vampire with iron teeth; however, such monsters are to be found in

respectable places such as the Bible (Daniel 7.7) and ''Jenny wi' the

airn teeth,'' a poem found in the anthologies for schoolchildren.

The point is not a trivial one, for the Gorbals Vampire incident

featured prominently in the arguments of those campaigning for the

censorship of children's publications, and the case was quoted in the

House of Commons during the debates preceding the passing of the

Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act.

Kenneth Wright considers that ''some of these comics probably deserved

a little mild suppression,'' but can we ever take censorship as lightly

as that? It is one thing to express the view that something is

unpleasant; it is quite another to institute legal procedures to ban

what you consider unpleasant.

To justify that move, those involved in the moral panic of the time

tried to show that what was ''unpleasant'' was also ''harmful.'' The

Gorbals Vampire hunt was one of their favourite bits of ''evidence.'' It

is worth noticing just how weak that evidence was.

Sandy Hobbs,

414 Crow Road,