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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That's true to this day. Archie still sends its digests to various convienence stores but you never see the "more popular" DC or Marvel ones!

 

Whatever about EC and Archie comics having a crossover market, EC's horror line is part of a definite ghastly sub-genre of kid's entertainment.  Roald Dahl's grotesque, unsettling stories for children were so popular in the 80's and 90's that compilers of top ten children's books for newspapers simply left them out, or it would have been the same books dominating every week.

 

Terry Deane's gruesomely graphic 'Horrible Histories' were a huge breakout success in the 90's too.

 

I've seen it argued that Gaine's horror comics wouldn't have had long to run at the time anyway.  There's only so much you can do with short 8-page chillers-with-twist-ending before you start ot repeat yourself.

That's true to this day. Archie still sends its digests to various convienence stores but you never see the "more popular" DC or Marvel ones!

I think that's a matter of the cost of distributing there, which Marvel and DC don't want to pay. Archie used to have a lot of upfront slots by the checkouts at grocery stores, but those cost a huge amount, and they probably stopped paying for them.

I think it's likely that back in the 1950s, Archie would be glad to see restrictions put on any other comics, even if they thought they weren't eyeball competition. Spinner racks only have so many slots, and distributors only put so many comics in a bundle. And distributors were a real bottleneck for reaching the audience.

Marvel tried that back in the 1970s when they flooded the market with reprints, hoping to get more facings than DC had without paying much money to publish the comics.

That doesn't work so well today, but it's starting to return, on another level. I think retailers take a hard look at 15 Thor comics in a month and decide how to allocate their money among them rather than take a huge amount away from other publishers to afford to stock all those Thors in depth.

-- MSA

 



Mr. Silver Age said:

That's true to this day. Archie still sends its digests to various convienence stores but you never see the "more popular" DC or Marvel ones!

I think that's a matter of the cost of distributing there, which Marvel and DC don't want to pay. Archie used to have a lot of upfront slots by the checkouts at grocery stores, but those cost a huge amount, and they probably stopped paying for them.

I think it's likely that back in the 1950s, Archie would be glad to see restrictions put on any other comics, even if they thought they weren't eyeball competition. Spinner racks only have so many slots, and distributors only put so many comics in a bundle. And distributors were a real bottleneck for reaching the audience.

Marvel tried that back in the 1970s when they flooded the market with reprints, hoping to get more facings than DC had without paying much money to publish the comics.

That doesn't work so well today, but it's starting to return, on another level. I think retailers take a hard look at 15 Thor comics in a month and decide how

 

 

...Where I'm at ( San Francisco ) , re Archie digests in mass/non-comics shop venues:

  Archie digests were carried in Rite Aid stores here , and not in Walgreen's .

  Then , all of the RAs sold out to Walgreen's here , and the now-Walgreen's also dropped the Archies .

  Safeway stores had tended to carry Archie digests , however , recently , one Safeway I saw had only , maybe , one rack for Archie digests in the whole check-out counter area --- Yeah , maybe Archie cut down on the " co-op " money they were paying for check-out placements , also , the Safeway was devoting a dairly large percentage of thespace inits check-out space for smaller-sized items ( Not the Enquirer o rPeople , say . ) to lower-priced DVDs !!!!!!!!! They didn't even have The Reader's Digest at all in the check-out space , that I could see . (!)

  Meanwhile , the Life With Archie Married Years magazine has been showing up at some of those Walgreen's .

  Also , re " regular " comics , one Walgreen's near me has been carring Secret Avengers - just that one Marvel 32-page title , no other , and I think that it's Secret Avengers , not Young , Old-School , or Chocolate-Enchanced:-)...and , one time when I gave in and bought a copy there ( paying the " dollar extra " tariff for a newsstand Marvel :-( ) , I noted that the receipt from the register referred to the magazine as " Marvel Icons " , or something like that .

  By contrast , IIRC , I bought an issue of Spin at the same time and the receipt simply referred to it as " Spin "...Is Marvel running some retailer program for getting a few , perceived as top anyway , titles on the stands monickered " Marvel Icons " ?

"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."

 

It wasn't just Republicans who supported the war in its early phase, when "Blazing Combat" was published (1965-66). The Democrats were gung ho, too. LBJ and McNamara were Democrats. It took a few more years for opinions to change.

 

I've read that the military itself banned the magazine from PX's after a couple of stories took a critical (or at least ambivalent) attitude toward the Vietnam War. Soldiers were then a major consumer of comics, so Warren took a big sales hit. And there are stories of distributors refusing to handle the magazine in civilian markets.

Yes, that's essentially what the foreword to the Blazing Combat collection said, which I was trying to summon from memory (as Newsboy above). I'm at work yet again, and still can't look it up, but that's the gist of it: Distributors killed Blazing Combat by refusing to deliver it, because it was perceived as insufficiently patriotic and/or anti-war.

Re "Blazing Combat":

 

This apparently wasn't the first time a war comic was blackballed. Roy Thomas has told an anecdote about Stan Lee going ballistic over a perceived anti-Vietnam War joke in the first issue of "Not Brand Echh" (1967). After Stan calmed down, he told Roy that Marvel/Atlas' war comics were banned from military bases during the Korean War for a perceived anti-war sentiment. He was afraid the same thing would happen again.

 

And I've read that the military was not happy AT ALL with EC's war comics.

Nostalgia.........

Hopefully Archie will drop it too, it would be nice to see a return to the Archie I'm reading in the Archives series.  Still pretty clean cut but compared to the comic of today there's a bit more edge.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

I think Archie is the final hold-out.

...Jim , the Code did in fact join the Choir Invisible/pop its clog/trudge ahead into the Undiscovered Countrys about the time of the main body of this piece , Archie DID drop the Code...........

Jim King said:

Hopefully Archie will drop it too, it would be nice to see a return to the Archie I'm reading in the Archives series.  Still pretty clean cut but compared to the comic of today there's a bit more edge.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

I think Archie is the final hold-out.

I hadn't though to phrase it that way, but I agree with you, Jim -- there was a bit more of an edge to the 1940s Archie. I've always kind of looked at those comics as being in the spirit of the screwball comedies of the time, which were aimed at adults. Is that your assessment?

And I think Archie is getting a bit more experimental, with the twentysomething Life with Archie, the straight-out horror of Afterlife with Archie, and various other tinkerings that would have made the ultra-conservative publishers of the '70s and '80s blow their tops.

Yes, at least it is now - I liked them for other reasons when I was a kid, I guess.  Also, it's interesting to see how it took them a while to nail down the formula - a luxury modern comic often don't have.

Captain Comics said:

I've always kind of looked at those comics as being in the spirit of the screwball comedies of the time, which were aimed at adults. Is that your assessment?

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