Amidst all the current OMG political news (revolution in Egypt, more Bush illegality, etc.) has appeared what is, for some of us, a small triumph. One of the most iconic of the anti-first amendment forces has shriveled into inconsequentiality. This month Archie Comics, that hotbed of revolutionary fervor, will be dropping the Comics Code Authority seal of approval. It is the last major comic publisher to do so. With that action the Authority becomes pointless.
The Authority, formed in 1954, after Frederic Wertham’s paranoid clap-trap Seduction Of The Innocent caused a panic among the unwashed, was a major proponent of censorship as a means of controlling and indoctrinating youth. In one of it’s finest (not) moments it tried to prevent publisher William Gaines from using the story Judgment Day because it centered around a black astronaut. Gaines fought the Authority and thankfully won. In one of it’s silliest moments comic writer Marv Wolfman ran afoul of the code because of his name. Werewolves were among the code’s ridiculous taboos.
So, like the Hayes Office, the Comics Code Authority has become a dark, sordid and not overly important footnote to American history. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people.