Monday, January 24, 2011

End of an Error (Updated)

I emerge from seclusion to emit a Nelson Muntz-esque "HAW HAW!" in the general direction of the Comics Code Authorty, which finally died a long overdue death earlier this week as DC and Archie comics decided to stop paying for the "privilege" of the Code's seal of good clean family values on dead teenagers and all-American squeaky-clean teens, respectively.

The most secretive of agencies, even a die-hard comic nut like myself had no idea what really went on in the CCA offices.  I've always pictured a dusty, sepia-toned warehouse office filled with mean old ladies wielding red pencils and "CENSORED" stamps. And feeding comics into the furnace on their cofee breaks, of course. In recent years, I can only imagine that it was a one man operation, rubber-stamping whatever came through the door to keep the membership dues rolling in. Since the Code started as a way to put EC Comics out of business and was generally seen as setting comics art back for decades, I'll shed no tears for the Comics Code Authority.

Updated 1/24/11: Looks like the Comics Code Authority has been defunct since at least 2009 and was just cashing the checks without reviewing the comics for several years before that.


joe bloke said...

see, now I have to disagree with a whole lot of people on this one, Brian. yes, the Code was started for all the wrong reasons, but, you know what? ALL of my favourite comics were written while the code was fully in force ( sixties/seventies ). as odious as the idea of a Comics Code might be to some people, I think that, in it's own way, it was a force for good. while the Code was in force, writers and artists were challenged to find ways around it, they were forced to. . .well, tell stories, if you like. the restrictions that the Code placed on creators forced those creators to be imaginative in their story-telling, unlike these days when it seems pretty much anything and everything goes. I keep harking back to that moment in Marvel's Siege when the Sentry tore Hercules in half. bloody awful, in every way. & THAT'S what we'll be getting more of, I'm afraid.

s'pose it's just as well I don't buy anything new, isn't it?

diana green said...

There are a couple excellent books on the Code. One, a paperback published in the mid-60s, is written by one of the Code administrators and deals with the internal workings of the Code. Another, a history of the Code by Nicole Freim, is an academic study, long out of print and a tad pricey but worth searching out.
You can also see staged newsreel footage of a Code administrator at work in the Tales From The Crypt documentary on EC books.

Kid said...

I have to agree with Joe Bloke. While I pretty much enjoy a lot of things written by Alan Moore within the parameters of the code, when he's allowed to do anything that takes his fancy, he becomes far too self-indulgent. Result - I lose interest. I'm sure this applies to quite a few writers.

I'll miss that little box in the corner.