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The CCA is still my favorite of the governmental media censoring organizations. Founded in 1954 to save the youth of Amerika from the craven immorality that is the comic book. The hysteria was sparked by infamous psychologist and author Frederic Wertham . His book “Seduction of the Innocent” was the first, but certainly not the last, publication to claim that Batman and his live-in boy-toy Robin were in the BatCloset. He also claimed Wonder Woman to be a man-hating lesbian, but Mr. Wertham didn’t mind that sort of thing as long as he was allowed to watch. This was one of the earliest “OMG! That fictional character aimed at children is totally queer!” campaigns. Tinky-Winky was late to the party.
In its original form, the Code prohibited depictions of gore, sexuality, and excessive violence; required that authority figures were never to be ridiculed or presented disrespectfully, and that good must always win; and prohibited scenes with vampires, werewolves, ghouls or zombies. The code also prohibited advertisements of liquor, tobacco, knives, fireworks, nude pin-ups and postcards, and “toiletry products of questionable nature”.
The comics code seriously impeded creativity and fun in comics, not that writers and artists didn’t find ways to sneak around it. The funniest one I can remember is how in old Spectre comics The Spectre would turn people into plants or trees before burning them as to bypass the Authority’s silly “no burning people” policy. It’s crazy to think of how many would-have-been good stories were adversely affected by this. It’s just a relief to see major imprints such as Marvel seeing the code for the creativity-stifling censorship that it is and dumping it in favor of a much more reasonable “we’ll put whatever we want in our books, slap our own rating on the cover and let people decide for themselves” rating system.