Press release today...

 

 


Thursday, January 20th, 2011
By Jim Lee

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”.

Beginning with our April 2011 titles, all DC comic book covers will utilize the following rating system:
E – EVERYONE
Appropriate for readers of all ages. May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.
T – TEEN
Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.
T+ - TEEN PLUS
Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.
M – MATURE
Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers.

Jim and Dan

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I think Archie is the final hold-out.

My first thought: "Good."

 

My second thought: "About time."

I didn't know they were still using it...
Is the Comics Code still a useful guide for parents -- for anybody -- to the content of any given comic?
No.
According to Newsarama, only Archie and Bongo still carry the seal.

With merchandising and other media opportunities, it's in the major companies' best interest to have an internal control over their books' contents. That doen't mean censorship or dumbing down comics, it means subtlety and ingenuity. Excessive profanity, violence, sexual situations and vice aren't needed in every story!

I doubt my parents ever knew what the comics code was. In practice, it may have worked more as a signal to retailers that it was safe to carry an item.

 

These days, the people buying comics items who might need this kind of signal would be parents looking for comics for their younger kids, or librarians buying collections.

The original power of the Comics Code Seal was as a signal to distributors. Without the Seal, books might sit on docks in New York and never make it to the Peoria Mom & Pop. Distributors killed EC. Distributors killed Warren's Blazing Combat. Distributors were a tremendous power until the late 1970s, when as a testament to their power (they were favoring magazines over comics), the industry was dying -- until Phil Seuling had his bright idea about the direct market and made return-model distributors irrelevant.

Why would distributors have in in for a War mag?
They thought Blazing Combat was too anti-war at a time when the Vietnam War was a hot issue. Most distributors were Republican (or were afraid of angering Republicans), and Republicans supported the war, so they refused to carry Blazing Combat.It died with its fourth issue.
I know its flogging a dead horse etc, but I made a comment on a random 90's comic cover and the code here, on Travis's Comic a Day thread..

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