Not to kick a code when it’s down, but just out of curiosity…has anyone reading this experienced any kind of real-world impact of the Comics Code Authority? I don’t mean the behind the scenes stuff, where maybe the publisher altered some art at the CCA’s request, or they objected to some content and the publisher just put out the book anyway, sans approval stamp. I’m sure that happened all the time.
What I’m talking about is people running shops or newsstands who explicitly said that they would not carry comics without the Comics Code stamp on the front cover. Or parents who specifically looked for the stamp on the cover before allowing their children to read it. That sort of thing.
As I can recall, I’ve only run into it once in my century or two of comics retail, where a parent told her child to just look at the comics with the stamp on the front. However, I don’t think that counts, since I’m pretty sure we told her about the CCA stamp. She was getting pretty antsy about her kid’s interest in funnybooks and we reassured her that so long as the code was on the front cover, there probably wasn’t anything objectionable inside…so relax and enjoy!
Anyway, if any of you folks have any stories like that, I’d be interested, particularly if it’s from the last, oh, decade or so. But if some of you out there have…experienced more of life, and have got any tales of CCA woe from the ’50s or ’60s, I’d be curious about that, too. Please drop ‘em in the comments if you’ve got ‘em. It doesn’t even have to be anything drawn out and complicated…even if it’s just “my mom wouldn’t let me read non-code books,” that would be fine. I’m just kind of curious what sort of actual impact the CCA had in the marketplace, especially in recent years.
In the meantime, let’s congratulate DC and Archie on finally reclaiming that extra square quarter-inch of cover space!