After yesterday’s announcement that DC Comics kicked the Comics Code Authority to the curb, the lone holdout in support of the archaic rules and regulations was Archie Comics. Today, that changed with the announcement that Archie Comics would be leaving the CCA in February.
In an interview with Newsarama “Pellerito told Newsarama the decision to drop the Code from all Archie comics was actually made a while ago, and the organization hasn’t submitted comics for approval for “a year or more.”
So there you go – good riddance to bad rubbish!
And if you are wondering how bad the code was for creativity, take a look at the 1954 Code
- Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
- If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
- Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation.
- In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
- Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
- No comic magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title.
- All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
- All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
- Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
- Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
- Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
- Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
- Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
- Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
- Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
- Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
- Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
- Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
The Code was modified in the ’70s to allow for more violence, and in 1989, the ban on references to homosexuality were lifted.
While this all seems well and good, with radical groups always on the lookout for other people’s children, and considering the gaming industry’s “We’ll regulate ourselves” policy is currently on shaky ground with many state and federal groups, how long before the comic industry goes through another round of regulators?