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Comics A.M. | Archie Drops Comics Code, Marking End of Era

Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval

Publishing | Thursday’s news that DC Comics will replace the nearly 60-year-old Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval with its own rating system was followed on Friday by an announcement by Archie Comics that it, too, will drop the Code. The two were the last publishers to abandon the CCA — Marvel withdrew in 2001, Bongo just last year — which means that as of next month, the once-influential self-regulatory body created by the comics industry in the wake of the 1954 Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency will cease to exist.  Before a series of revisions in 1971, the Code prohibited even the depictions of political corruption, or vampires and werewolves, and the use of the words “horror” or “terror” in titles.

Christopher Butcher wonders whether DC’s decision to drop the Code was made with an eye toward the bottom line, while Johanna Draper Carlson offers an overview of the CCA’s history. Elsewhere, Mike Sterling asks whether any retailers ever “experienced any kind of real-world impact of the Comics Code Authority?” And Tom Mason makes some tongue-in-cheek recommendations for DC’s new rating system, including “G – GREYING MAN-BOYS” and “R – REFRIGERATOR.” [Newsarama]

Publishing | Calvin Reid spotlights Tor Books’ graphic-novel joint venture with manga publisher Seven Seas Entertainment. [Publishers Weekly]

Dark Horse

Publishing | Dark Horse has promoted Sierra Hahn and Dave Marshall to full-time editors. [press release]

Retailing | Murfreesboro, Tenn., comics store Outer Limits lost all of its contents Saturday morning in a fire. Owner Chuck Cagle, who had insurance, said he plans to reopen in another location. [The Daily News Journal]

Creators | Collaborators Phil Hotsenpiller and Rob Liefeld discuss their apocalyptic graphic novel Armageddon Now: World War 3. [CNN Belief Blog]

Best of the year | Shawn Huston wraps up his two-part look at the best comics of 2010. [PopMatters]

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Comments

12 Comments

Who is/was the Comics Code Authority? Was it a board? How many members? I am very curious as to who was sitting on this thing for the last 56 years? Any info to direct me would be helpful.

I thought earlier reports noted that Bongo was still using it.

Naw, they dropped it a while ago without any fanfare, so no one even noticed.

But who is the Comics Code? No website…no names…nothing…

Marc C, the Comics Code is all of US! As long as we continue to believe in it, it will never die…

ROTFLOL :-P

@Marc C- A good book to read about the comics code’s history is the ten cent plague

I guess now Archie fill finally be able to put out those sex and gore comics they always wanted to.

1954 code:

(4) Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.

1971 code:

(2) Females shall be drawn realistically without undue emphasis on any physical quality.

1989 code:

Costumes in a comic book will be considered to be acceptable if they fall within the scope of contemporary styles and fashions.

. . . discuss.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Comic_book_code_of_1954

http://www.reocities.com/Athens/8580/cca2.html

http://www.reocities.com/Athens/8580/cca3.html

I sometimes wonder how the history of comics would’ve turned out if William Gaines had simply said to the Senate, “Gentlemen, yes, my comics may contain violence and horror but they’re aimed at adults, not children, and they sell well. I’m a successful American businessman not a Communist, my comics contain no political messages, and I believe my right to publish them is protected by the First Amendment. If you disagree, should you attempt to censor them, I’ll take my case to the Supreme Court.”

Comics could’ve and should’ve ditched the Comics Code back in 1968, when Marvel was at its sales peak, Joe McCarthy was a decade dead and Hollywood abandoned Production Code censorship.

Good riddance to an unConstitutional and infantilising relic of the Cold War!

…Except the code has been pretty much null for decades now. And without it, superhero comics have degenerated, as it’s easier to show graphic violence or “controversial” stuff than to come up with actual ideas (as John Byrne once pointed out). Obviously, comics like Marvel Max should not be bound by it, but why does the average superhero comic need decapitations or rapes? And I’m VERY doubtful that any self-imposed codes will do any good.

Since superhero comics no longer have anything to do with real time, real consequences and the real world, ultraviolence is the only way left to seem ‘significant’.

Oliver, read the book, “the ten cent plague” in it, the writer gets into how Gaines made such a fiasco of his defense of ec, and comics in general, at such a critical moment, in comics history.quoting page 269-270, “”Gaines later explained ,”Dexedrine keeps you hyper,but when it wears off,it leaves you like a limp rag.halfway through,it wore off,and I sat there like a punch drunk fighter,getting pummeled”So, IF he had managed to do without his dex on top of no doz, maybe, fans wouldnt have had to endure the code for 56 years,or at least, had such a stringent one forced on the industry.Ironic huh?

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