Comics Code Authority

Comics CodeComics Magazine Association of AmericaCodeComic CodeComic Magazine Association of AmericaCCAComic Book CodeComic Code AuthorityComic Magazine AssociationComics Code Authority (CCA)
The Comics Code Authority (CCA) was formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America as an alternative to government regulation, to allow the comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States.wikipedia
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American comic book

American comic bookscomic bookAmerican
The Comics Code Authority (CCA) was formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America as an alternative to government regulation, to allow the comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States.
The 1950s saw a gradual decline, due to a shift away from print media in the wake of television and the impact of the Comics Code Authority.

Fredric Wertham

WerthamDr. Fredric WerthamFrederic Wertham
The CCA formation followed a series of Senate hearings and the publication of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent.
Wertham's work, in addition to the 1954 comic book hearings led to creation of the Comics Code, although later scholars cast doubt on his observations.

Seduction of the Innocent

homoeroticism between Batman and Robinbearing the same titlebook
The CCA formation followed a series of Senate hearings and the publication of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent.
Subsequent to the publication of Seduction of the Innocent, the Comics Code Authority was voluntarily established by publishers to self-censor their titles.

Archie Comics

ArchieMLJ ComicsMLJ
By 2010, only three major publishers still adhered to it: DC Comics, Archie Comics, and Bongo Comics. However, Code administrator Leonard Darvin "was ill" at the time of the Spider-Man story, and acting administrator John L. Goldwater (publisher of Archie Comics) refused to grant Code approval because of the depiction of narcotics being used, regardless of the context, whereas the Deadman story had depicted only a wholesale business transaction.
(The Comics Magazine Association of America is best known to comic fans for its Comics Code Authority.) Goldwater was also a national commissioner of the Anti-Defamation League.

Association of Comics Magazine Publishers

Comics Magazine Association of America
The Comics Code Authority (CCA) was formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America as an alternative to government regulation, to allow the comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States.
It was a precursor to the Comics Magazine Association of America, and the ACMP Publishers Code served as the template for a more detailed set of rules enforced by the CMAA's Comics Code Authority.

Crime comics

crimecrime comiccrime drama
This code banned graphic depictions of violence and gore in crime and horror comics, as well as the sexual innuendo of what aficionados refer to as "good girl art".
Crime and horror comics, especially those published by EC Comics, came under official scrutiny in the late 1940s and early 1950s, leading to legislation in Canada and Great Britain, the creation in the United States of the Comics Magazine Association of America and the imposition of the Comics Code Authority in 1954.

DC Comics

DCDC EntertainmentDC Comic
By 2010, only three major publishers still adhered to it: DC Comics, Archie Comics, and Bongo Comics. DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and other CCA sponsors began publishing comics intended for adult audiences, without the CCA seal, and comics labeled for "mature readers" under imprints such as DC's Vertigo and Marvel's Epic Comics, and DC Comics imprints Helix and WildStorm were not submitted to the CCA.
Illegal drug use, banned by the Comics Code Authority, explicitly appeared in comics for the first time in Marvel Comics' story "Green Goblin Reborn!" in The Amazing Spider-Man #96 (May 1971), and after the Code's updating in response, DC offered a drug-fueled storyline in writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams' Green Lantern, beginning with the story "Snowbirds Don't Fly" in the retitled Green Lantern / Green Arrow #85 (September 1971), which depicted Speedy, the teen sidekick of superhero archer Green Arrow, as having become a heroin addict.

Marvel Comics

MarvelMarvel ComicMarvel.com
By the early 2000s, publishers bypassed the CCA and Marvel Comics abandoned it in 2001. Around this time, the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare approached Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee to do a story about drug abuse. DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and other CCA sponsors began publishing comics intended for adult audiences, without the CCA seal, and comics labeled for "mature readers" under imprints such as DC's Vertigo and Marvel's Epic Comics, and DC Comics imprints Helix and WildStorm were not submitted to the CCA.
However, the industry's self-censorship board, the Comics Code Authority, refused to approve the story because of the presence of narcotics, deeming the context of the story irrelevant.

Gold Key Comics

Gold KeyWhitman Comicscomics featuring Disney characters
However, two major publishers of comics – Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics – did not display the seal, because their output was subject to a higher authority: their licensors which included Walt Disney and the producers of many TV shows aimed at children.
Like Dell, Gold Key was one of the few major American comic book publishers never to display the Comics Code Authority seal on its covers.

Tales from the Crypt (comics)

Tales from the CryptCrypt KeeperThe Crypt Keeper
Publisher William Gaines believed that clauses forbidding the words "crime", "horror", and "terror" in comic book titles had been deliberately aimed at his own best-selling titles Crime SuspenStories, The Vault of Horror, and Tales from the Crypt.
With the subsequent imposition of a highly restrictive Comics Code, EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines cancelled Tales from the Crypt and its two companion horror titles, along with the company's remaining crime and science fiction series in September 1954.

Mad (magazine)

MadMad MagazineMad'' magazine
These restrictions, as well as those banning vampires, werewolves and zombies, helped make EC Comics unprofitable; all of its titles except Mad were cancelled in the year following the code's introduction, and attempts by EC to launch code-friendly replacement titles were unsuccessful.
The switchover induced Kurtzman to remain for one more year, but the move had removed Mad from the strictures of the Comics Code Authority.

Underground comix

underground comicsundergroundunderground comic
In the late 1960s, the underground comics scene arose, with artists such as Robert Crumb creating comics that delved into graphic subject matter banned by the Code.
They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use, sexuality, and violence.

Dell Comics

DellDell comic books
However, two major publishers of comics – Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics – did not display the seal, because their output was subject to a higher authority: their licensors which included Walt Disney and the producers of many TV shows aimed at children.
When the Comics Code was formed in 1954 in reaction to Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, Dell again refused to join and instead began publishing in its comics a "Pledge to Parents" that promised their editorial process "eliminates, rather than regulates, objectional [sic] material" and concluded with the now classic credo "Dell Comics Are Good Comics."

Warren Publishing

WarrenWarren PublicationsWarren Comics
So Warren Publishing published horror stories as magazines and never submitted its stories to the Comics Code Authority.
Such a format, Warren explained, averted the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, the comic-book industry's self-censorship body:

Stan Lee

Stan [LeeLeeOrigins of Marvel Comics
Around this time, the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare approached Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee to do a story about drug abuse.
In doing so, he pioneered a more naturalistic approach to writing superhero comics in the 1960s, and in the 1970s he challenged the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, indirectly leading to changes in its policies.

Deadman (comics)

DeadmanBoston BrandBoston Brand / Deadman
The CCA had approved at least one previous story involving drugs, the premiere of Deadman in Strange Adventures #205 (Oct.
Deadman's first appearance in Strange Adventures #205, written by Arnold Drake and drawn by Carmine Infantino, included the first known depiction of narcotics in a story approved by the Comics Code Authority.

United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency

Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile DelinquencyCongressional hearings1954 Senate subcommittee hearings on the dangers of comic books
The Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings in April 1954, which focused specifically on comic books, had many publishers concerned about government regulation, prompting them to form a self-regulatory body instead.
Because of the unfavorable press coverage resulting from the hearings, the comic book industry adopted the Comics Code Authority, a self-regulatory ratings code that was initially adopted by nearly all comic publishers and continued to be used by some comics until 2011.

The Vault of Horror (comics)

The Vault of HorrorVault of HorrorVault-Keeper
Publisher William Gaines believed that clauses forbidding the words "crime", "horror", and "terror" in comic book titles had been deliberately aimed at his own best-selling titles Crime SuspenStories, The Vault of Horror, and Tales from the Crypt.
The industry avoided outside censorship by creating the self-regulatory Comics Magazine Association of America (CMAA) and a Comics Code Authority (CCA) that placed severe restrictions on violent comic book genres.

John L. Goldwater

John GoldwaterMr. [John] Goldwater
However, Code administrator Leonard Darvin "was ill" at the time of the Spider-Man story, and acting administrator John L. Goldwater (publisher of Archie Comics) refused to grant Code approval because of the depiction of narcotics being used, regardless of the context, whereas the Deadman story had depicted only a wholesale business transaction.
In the mid-1950s he was a key proponent and custodian of the comic book censorship guidelines known as the Comics Code Authority.

Swamp Thing

Parliament of TreesSaga of the Swamp ThingThe Green
DC comics published their own zombie story in Swamp Thing #16 (May 1975), where the deceased rise from their graves, while a soul-devouring demon appears in Swamp Thing #15 (April 1975).
The Saga of the Swamp Thing was the first mainstream comic book series to completely abandon the Comics Code Authority's approval.

Spider-Man

Peter ParkerPeter Parker / Spider-ManPeter Parker/Spider-Man
Lee agreed and wrote a three-part Spider-Man story, portraying drug use as dangerous and unglamorous.
An early 1970s Spider-Man story led to the revision of the Comics Code.

Vertigo Comics

VertigoDC VertigoDC/Vertigo
DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and other CCA sponsors began publishing comics intended for adult audiences, without the CCA seal, and comics labeled for "mature readers" under imprints such as DC's Vertigo and Marvel's Epic Comics, and DC Comics imprints Helix and WildStorm were not submitted to the CCA.
It was created in 1993 to publish stories with more graphic or adult content that could not fit within the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, thus allowing more creative freedom than DC's main imprint.

EC Comics

ECE.C. ComicsEducational Comics
These restrictions, as well as those banning vampires, werewolves and zombies, helped make EC Comics unprofitable; all of its titles except Mad were cancelled in the year following the code's introduction, and attempts by EC to launch code-friendly replacement titles were unsuccessful.
They formed the Comics Magazine Association of America and its Comics Code Authority.

Zuvembie

To get around this restriction, Marvel in the mid-1970s called the apparently deceased, mind-controlled followers of various Haitian supervillains "zuvembies".
In the 1970s Marvel Comics used the term in place of "zombie", which had been banned by the Comics Code Authority.

Epic Comics

EpicEpic AnthologyLawdog
DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and other CCA sponsors began publishing comics intended for adult audiences, without the CCA seal, and comics labeled for "mature readers" under imprints such as DC's Vertigo and Marvel's Epic Comics, and DC Comics imprints Helix and WildStorm were not submitted to the CCA.
Co-edited by Al Milgrom and Archie Goodwin, the imprint also allowed Marvel to publish more objectionable content (sometimes explicit) without needing to comply with the stringent Comics Code Authority.