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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Ah, that's good.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...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...........

In all my years standing upright on the Earth, I never was bothered by the fact that Archie stayed relatively the same all those years. If anything it was kind of comforting. Every now and then I do buy an Archie double digest at the drugstore checkout, just for the thrill of doing something I did in my younger days.

I had bought early issues of LIFE WITH ARCHIE. It's an okay concept and a lot better approach to change than what the big two have done. But I mainly bought that mag to support Norm Breyfogle who deserves more work. I dropped the mag only because I had decided to quit going to the LCS every month--and even buying one mag would have made me keep doing that.

While I accept that Archie has to do what it can to keep the wolf from the door, I would be just as happy if there never was any change to Archie (the character). 

Still, during all these years, it never occurred to me that Archie's unique status was due to the Comics Code. I always thought it was sound business practice. Archie is a kind of broad market thing--not something that needs to be cloistered in a comic book shop.

But if it turns out it was the Comics Code that made that happen--then that's one point for the Comics Code on my score card.

My point was that he hasn't stayed the same all these years.  People think he has, but there was more bite to those comics in the early years.  As I said before, a bit more edge.  The essentials were the same - the stories have followed just the same handful of plots, really, and all standard stuff, the kind of "screwball comedy" material the Cap'n mentioned - but in later years everything just became very bland.  Some of the more recent changes are the result of I guess misplaced political correctness - Moose is no long stupid, he's dyslexic.  Miss Grundy (now Ms. Grundy no doubt) is no longer a hideous old crone, and Jughead's "woman-hater" ways were explained away by a broken heart he suffered years earlier.  Even the introduction of gay characters seems like more of a desperate sales gimmick than anything.

It may be that the Code never had anything to do with any of this.  But it might be at least partly responsible for the fact that Archie never really dealt with a lot of problems that teenagers in past decades had to deal with.  Ask anyone who went to school in the fifties, or even forties, and high school kids were boning as much as today, and teen pregnancies happened.  Underage drinking.  All that stuff.  But Archie rarely ever touched on any of that.  The earliest stuff at least hinted at these things - one of those from the forties has Veronica naked under a sunlamp calling Archie for a date.  Stuff like that.  Pretty tame, but it was something.

Jimmm Kelly said:

In all my years standing upright on the Earth, I never was bothered by the fact that Archie stayed relatively the same all those years. If anything it was kind of comforting. ...But if it turns out it was the Comics Code that made that happen--then that's one point for the Comics Code on my score card.

...Jim , as far as Riverdale being a " nicer world - if less funny " , yes , even from some time in the Seventies on , I think , in comparing new stories and Archie's endlessly rotating reprints , Archie's world changed !!!!!!!!!!!

  For some:

  Yes , it is " Big " Ethel no more and though not drawn as a standard RiverBabe , she is less a Lena the Hyena-type caricature and she sometimes even gets a chaste " dare " of sort (really more " escorting ",  perhaps , but still) with Jughead ! Basically , she's " the heroine's goofy GF who can't get a man " now , the Rhoda Morgenstern archetype I suppose this occured to me once when I was looking at a 21st Century Stan Goldberg drawing of her (Prior to Stan's being dumped by Archie a few years ago - SNIFF - I suppose they may STILL have unpublished back stock stories by him I suppose Archie tends to work that way), so , but , STILL...)

  Moose , aside from being dyslexic , is maybe " threatening "/grumpy...But , basically , does not put people in the hospital anymore !!!!!!!!!!! I't implied/offstage , and he doesn't - much - do anything really bad...And , a possibly even more pivotal point to this is , since much of Moose's , um , " strong reactions " are against perceived poaching on Midge...is that , in modern times , any walking " On Moose's sacred ground " as regards Midge tends to be (1) An honest/comedic mistake or (2) Someone overstepping the bounds of propriety - Giving Midge Christmastime kisses , mistletoe-style , in an inappropriate manner , say...In days of yore many of the " Moose beats you up " situations were set up by someone having a friendly to romantic moment with Midge that was perfectly polite and appropriate and that could , even , be something that Midge agreed to in advance , meeting her at an appointed time and place for a date EVEN THOUGH she had to know that she had a spectacularly jealous boyfriend , the type that would be consided " a stalker/violently possessive " and the possible subject of a Lifetime TV movie - Because , um , and let's imagine we're talking in sort of archetypically " Fifties " terms here , NATIONAL LAMPOON or the pre-Hollywood " Grease " musical...Midge was a " b*tch/pr*ckt**s* " , bluntly , she was probably poorer than Archie's level , more working-class/" tuff " , ( And , actually , I think that modern-day Archie , in a map of Riverdale on their web site , confirms that Mooose and Midge - Perhaps , on the margins , Dilton too (With his family having a perhaps somewhat run-down/less prestiegous piece of property so that there's room for Dilton's workshop and some space away from the main house in case of any accidents:-)/some protection from neighbor/Zoning Board heat .) possibly some class resentment ?

  Mrs. Lodge , Ronnie's mother , has been , in modern-modern-day (Um...last 15 years??) Archie , a pretty major presence in the universe , and that rather contrasts with my early Bronzish younger reading years (Which included , given Archie's reprinting habits , manymanymany Silver stories , I'm sure .)...in which a spouse for Mr. Lodge was so little referenced , let alone shown , that one could easily imagine Mr. Lodge as one of the many widowed fathers of that era's kid-oriented entertainment !!!!! Really , I am not sure that I remember more than 1 , maybe 2 , stories I saw back then that showed or even referred to Mrs. Lodge and futhermore , what I saw more or less (A)made it clear that , if not literally " estranged " , they were not very close...and Hiram got into something of a (Conway Twitty) " Baby...I miss the days when we were crazy in love " mood:-) , having a flashback - illustrated - to a pre-riches time when Daddy , coming back to a humble apartment where his family was , was greeted by a young Romnnie running to his arms And Mrs. Lodge (2) was illustrated , IIRC , as the " overweight Margaret Dumont type " silly society woman archetype , clearly caring most about Mousier Henri and the right gaals going off...Today , she's presented as a " sensational silver fox/woman of a certain age "...Say , it occurs to me that one of the LIFE WITH ARCHIE storylines could try " killing off " (Cough , cough ~ Plane crashed , nothing found , you know what I mean ???) Mr. Lodge and then show ,a fter a suitabe interveral (Um , considering that LWA shows Jughead's sis Jellybean as a 14-15ish?? " able to due innocent dates " type , not...younger , as I think she'd be extrapolating her normal Archie continuity...But , of course , LWA rather assumes the Archie gang marrying practically straight out of college , more a pattern of middle-class-ish Americans of the Fifties/early Sixties !!!!!!!!!!!

  I've only really said two/three FULL things here , but time's running out , that's all for now .

...That Moose and Midge live in an era less upscale than , not only the Lodges and the mantles , but the " hard-working middle-class " Andrews and Coopers !!!!!!!!!!!


...Have you considered US Mail-subscribing (If you're not American substitute "____ Mail ".) to LWA , Jimm ??? I've been thinking/writing about postal mail subs to comics here .
Jimmm Kelly said:

In all my years standing upright on the Earth, I never was bothered by the fact that Archie stayed relatively the same all those years. If anything it was kind of comforting. Every now and then I do buy an Archie double digest at the drugstore checkout, just for the thrill of doing something I did in my younger days.

I had bought early issues of LIFE WITH ARCHIE. It's an okay concept and a lot better approach to change than what the big two have done. But I mainly bought that mag to support Norm Breyfogle who deserves more work. I dropped the mag only because I had decided to quit going to the LCS every month--and even buying one mag would have made me keep doing that.

While I accept that Archie has to do what it can to keep the wolf from the door, I would be just as happy if there never was any change to Archie (the character). 

Still, during all these years, it never occurred to me that Archie's unique status was due to the Comics Code. I always thought it was sound business practice. Archie is a kind of broad market thing--not something that needs to be cloistered in a comic book shop.

But if it turns out it was the Comics Code that made that happen--then that's one point for the Comics Code on my score card.

...Oh,and I was suggesting a " The Widow Lodge as  a ' cougar ' " storyline in LWA!!!!!!!!!!!

I've started buying it again myself , my last ish was (Not immediately handy and Comics.org doesn't have a cover up yet :-( .)...#30?? It ended with some cliffhangers , are the books published in standard " collecting-6-issues " format ?????????

One of the things I was surprised to see in the early Archies was not only cheesecake beyond good taste of the time, but jokes about middle-aged men losing their minds over seeing it. Mr. Weatherbee was shown to  become a drooling idiot over his own female students! Code-covered comics never showed the adults doing aaaa-OOO-ga pop-eyes at Betty & Veronica, but the pre-Code stuff did it in spades.

Since we're talking about Archie, it occurs to me that I never read an explanation of the "S" on Jughead's sweater. Was he originally supposed to be from another High School?

There apparently is no official explanation for where it came from. There as a story that addressed that oddity, but it came long after the fact: http://iwasben.com/2009/01/08/the-mystery-of-jugheads-sweater/

I don't know that the Code tamed Archie (although now I have to go check out some of those early stories Cap mentions, as none of the ones I've seen showed that side to the Bee), but at some point, Archie had defined its brand well enough that the Code was superfluous. They could have dropped it long before they did with no problem.

I agree with Jimmm that reading stories as late as the mid-1960s can be fun because the writing had more bite to it. Betty in particular was a much more interesting character back before butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.

I did a column about how she needed to return to her sarcastic, tomboy roots, because otherwise, the notion that Archie prefers Veronica can only be explained because he's a gold-digger. There's not a single thing Veronica is better at than Betty, so the cliched "Betty vs. Veronica" debate isn't even a discussion.

-- MSA

In my 20-some years of writing Jughead, I've given a least two explanations for the "S" sweater, and I can recall several other reasonings from other writers. So for what it's worth, I'd say any official explanation is lost stolen or strayed, and the current answer is whatever quick and easy punchline fit the situation at the time. I don't know if it ever got into a story, but my own theory of the moment was that Jughead had a closet full of "S" sweaters, and each of them stood for something different.
As for Betty vs. Veronica, there's no doubt that on paper Betty looks like the better catch if we leave money out of it, but matters of the heart aren't so tidy.

That's a good point.
Mr. Silver Age said:

I did a column about how she needed to return to her sarcastic, tomboy roots, because otherwise, the notion that Archie prefers Veronica can only be explained because he's a gold-digger. There's not a single thing Veronica is better at than Betty, so the cliched "Betty vs. Veronica" debate isn't even a discussion.

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