Favorite Quotes

"The fact that you think you are a person is a socially induced hallucination. There is not such thing as a person."
- D. Chopra, Playboy March 2011 interview

Friday, January 6, 2012

Clean Up By Comics Czar Follow-up

Last week (December 29) I posted various articles on the enactment of the comics code on comic books and Judge Murphy's press conference.  In those articles, he said that the comics would be "circulated in the next few weeks." 

So I wondered, how soon might the comics be on the stands and if all the publishers complied right away?  How soon after the press conference did the code comics hit the stands might be hard to determine, but I got lucky. 

I found Dodo And The Frog from National/DC with a B-1-6 on the cover, which probably is the date it was on the newsstands.  Looks like today in 1955 was the day the code seal started appearing.
Dodo And The Frog #83 (March/Apr 1955) [National Comics Publications]

I also found Hopalong Cassidy #99 (March) from National/DC with T 1/18/55 written on the cover.

Hopalong Cassidy #99 (March 1955) [National Comics Publications]

Since these are both March 1955 cover dated books, these are probably among the earliest comics out with the code seal on them.  On both titles, this is the first time the code seal appeared on their covers.

Atlas/Marvel was all over the place, as Combat Kelly #29 was February and it had the seal, while the monthly Battle #38 was March but it didn't have a seal.  And Western Tales of Black Rider didn't get it until May (#28).

Combat Kelly #29 (February 1955)

Battle #38 (March 1955)

 Western Tales of Black Rider #28 (May 1955)

So, what about other publishers?  Did the seal appear on their March 1955 books?  Some yes and some no.  DC was pretty consistent as most of their titles dated March had the code on them.  For Archie Comics, some of their March issues did, while others didn't get the code until May.  For bi-monthlies, that's not a big difference. 

Ace did not have any code seals on comics until April with most being May and even July.  ACG, which is related to DC, was right away like DC.  While Charlton only had a handful that were March and most were April.  Most of the rest of the publishers were April/May cover dates where the seal first showed up.

Then there was Quality.  The first issue of Plastic Man that had the seal was June 1955 (#54) while T-Man had it in April.  Quality seems to be one of the later ones to adopt the seal.

So looks like most everyone who was going to comply, did so by their May cover dated books.

In the article, Murphy said that the CMAA had gone over 440 comics and found more than 5,500 "lurid drawings" and 126 "unsuitable" stories which had been censored.  So, is there anyone who wants to look at those comics from the Mar-May time period and try and guess what was changed?

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