The Comics Code Seal of Approval, adopted on this day on 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America, is an instantly recognizable image to generations of comic readers. Its modest black-and-white brand adorned the covers of countless mainstream comic books for the better part of six decades, assuring buyers that the contents of their favorite title had met with some not-entirely-clear standards of suitability, and serving as a lingering reminder of an era when comics has been considered a serious threat to society.
comics code authority
Q: Why was the Silver Age awesome? -- @sackobooks
A: Never before in the history of this column has there been such a complicated, open-ended question that could be answered with a picture of Superman with a lion head. I mean, let's be honest with each other here: That pretty much covers it, and if you can look at Superman, cursed with the head of the most noble of beasts, lamenting about how his girlfriend must forever be condemned to date a lion-man now, and not think that it's at least a little bit awesome, then there's not a whole lot I'm going to be able to tell you to change your mind.
But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to try.
Conservative comics creators Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche have written a piece for the Wall Street Journal titled, “How Liberalism Became Kryptonite for Superman: A graphic tale of modern comic books’ descent into moral relativism.” While beating familiar conservative drums like jingoistic nostalgia and referencing a lot of incorrect information, these two experienced pros manage to paint a picture of an industry tottering on the edge of moral collapse to an audience that knows little about what’s actually going on.
The goal here, of course, is to sell comics. By complaining to a conservative audience about how liberals have taken over the medium, Dixon and Rivoche attempt to persuade non-comics readers to buy their new book, an adaptation of Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man, as a bit of political activism.
Like many conservative comics fans, Dixon and Rivoche bemoan the lack of conservative comics being published today, and a perceived liberal bent of the industry, while limiting their definition of comics primarily to super hero books published by Marvel and DC. The problem is not with their politics; it’s with their misrepresentation of the industry and its history to an outside audience.
Craig Yoe is the venerable author, designer and comics archeologist behind such works as Dan DeCarlo's Jetta, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-creator Joe Shuster, and Bob Powell's Terror: The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics...
Nary a tear was shed when the Comics Code Authority sputtered out earlier this year following its thorough abandonment by the publishing industry. Depending on your leanings, the CCA was either a necessary evil that "saved" comics from people freaked out over horror content in the '50s or a manifestation of creative repression that quashed progress in the medium for more than 60 years (or a little of both)...
This week, DC Comics announcd that they were no longer going to be abiding by the Comics Code Authority. Instead, they'll be doing something similar to what Marvel quietly did a few years back, instituting their own in-house system with ratings like T (for teens), T+ (for older teens) and that ol' standby, M (for mature).
Yes, finally, after 57 years of mandatory censorship, DC will finally be able to explore previously unprintable subjects like rape, extreme violence, sexual content, erectile dysfunction, drug use, urophilia, and of course, zombies. And it's about time, too. The Code was seriously holding them back.
After nearly sixty years, DC Comics has decided that none of its publications need carry the Seal of Approval of the controversial Comics Code Authority. The announcement was made in a communique to direct market retailers, which also included the news that DC will employ a new ratings system of its own design...