29 September 2011

[comics] Comics Code Authority Seal Now Belongs To The Good Guys

2708.The unassuming little mark you see illustrated hereunto is the seal of approval of the Comics Code Authority, and as of today, it's switched sides.

Back in the day when self-censorship was essential to stay in business (as William Gaines found to his travail - fortunately, that guy never would lay down) The CCA stamp was a powerful thing. Having it meant advertisers would like you, and if they liked you, the money would follow.

Times have changed. More channels exist; Marvel and DC have their own ratings systems, and even Archie comics have given up using it. The Comics Code Authority has died with not just no bang, but not even a whimper.

Through legal means I'm certain I have no means of understanding, the stamps new owners are the CBLDF - The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, standing for First Amendment rights for creators:
(CBLDF Executive Director Charles) Brownstein adds “It’s a progressive change that the Comics Code seal, which is yesterday’s symbol of comics censorship, will now be used to raise money to protect the First Amendment challenges comics face in the future. That goal probably would have been unimaginable to the Code’s founders, who were part of a generation of comics professionals that were fleeing a witch-hunt that nearly trampled comics and any notion that they deserved any First Amendment protection.”
So now the stamp has changed sides, and it's not at all a bad thing.

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