Comics Code Authority is dead – Boing Boing

Comics Code Authority is dead – Boing Boing
It’s not yet confirmed that the Comics Code Authority will still continue in some form; presumably not, as its membership was representatives from the very publishers that submitted to its authority.

While some will look at the practice of the CCA as "censorship," the dividing lines are not as clear: publishers had to right not to submit their comics for Code approval, in fact Dell/Western proclaimed their standards were more stringent than the Code, thus why sully their reputations buy putting the seal on their covers.

But when the Code was first adopted in the 1950s, other publishers that tried going without it quickly found that distributors would not rack their comics if they weren’t Code approved. Those that couldn’t adapt went out of business. Bill Gaines canceled all his comics, made MAD into a magazine, and thrived.

So that’s an example of censorship by the free market. One can argue that’s even more egregious than censorship by self-appointed committee. Most movie chains still won’t book a film that doesn’t carry an MPAA rating, and we’ve seen how the movie rating board thinks a movie full of gory violence can be PG-13, but if that same movie shows a sex scene, or uses a common word for sex, it’s an R. Or consider that Nat King Cole had a variety show on NBC for over a year; that finally closed down because no national sponsor could be signed, and TV stations in the South refused to clear it.

That’s your free market at work.

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