Friday, January 21, 2011

It's dead, Jim.

In 1954, (due in part to Fredric Wertham's book, Seduction of the Innocent, and partially due to the Senate subcommittee hearings on the matter of violence in comics) the comicbook publishers of the US formed the Comics Code Authority. Over the years it was the CCA’s responsibility to “keep comicbooks safe for kids” as it were, well back in May, June and July of 1971 Stan Lee wrote three issues of Amazing Spider-Man (#s 96–98) that had a subplot dealing with drugs  that was rejected by the CCA, Well, Stan felt that the storyline was important enough to include so, in defiance of the Authority, he published the comics anyway. A few short months later, DC published Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85 (Sept. 1971) that also had a drug reference, but this comic was approved by the code (as it had been altered to allow the depiction of drugs addiction in a negative light).

In 2001 Marvel finally broke with the code, adopting an internal rating system to identify the content of their books, well this January, DC followed Marvel’s lead and abandonded the CCA.
As of January 2011, DC Comics titles will no longer carry the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval. In 2011, DC Comics will employ a rating system consistent with that of the rest of the industry, as well as with our digital releases, which already utilize a rating system. As for our Vertigo comic books, they will not utilize the rating system, because they will continue to be labeled as “For Mature Readers”.
This leaves only Archie Comics that submits their books to the Authority for approval.


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