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The Comics Code Authority - a few questions

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Writer Marv Wolfman's name was briefly a point of contention between DC Comics and the CCA. In the supernatural-mystery anthology House of Secrets #83 (Jan. 1970), the book's host introduces the story "The Stuff that Dreams are Made of" as one told to him by "a wandering wolfman". (All-capitals comics lettering made no distinction between "wolfman" and "Wolfman".) The CCA rejected the story and flagged the "wolfman" reference as a violation. Fellow writer Gerry Conway explained to the CCA that the story's author was in fact named Wolfman, and asked whether it would still be in violation if that were clearly stated. The CCA agreed that it would not be, as long as Wolfman received a writer's credit on the first page of the story; this led to DC beginning to credit creators in its supernatural-mystery anthologies.

Thanks guys, interesting stuff - I'd had no idea that the Big Two dealt with such adult themes in their later CCA-labelled comics.  Not being allowed to say the word 'Wolfman' in one decade, and mentioning kiddie porn the next - the CCA really must have been diluted to a huge extent.

Bad City Blue:
In 1971, Stan Lee was asked by the government to do a story warning of the dangers of drugs, because a lot of teenagers read hid comics. As a result, Amazing Spider-man 96 contained an anti drugs message when a character reacts badly to a hit.

Thing was, the Comics Code (a self governing, voluntary body, nothing to do with the govt) didn't allow drug references, and so said it wouldn't get the seal. Not having the seal was assumed to be a kiss of death for an issue, as stockists may refuse to put it on the shelves. Stan argued that the government of ths Unites States had asked him to do this, but they wouldn't change their mind.

Well, Spider-Man was so big at that time that the lack of a seal made no difference whatsoever, and the issue sold as well as ever. Whilst the seal reappeared after this, it was an important moment, as it showed that this awful, bullying authority that no one ever wanted was not nearly as powerful a thing as when it was first introduced.

I have a copy of the issue, which is not that valuable, as to me it marked a really important moment in comics history.


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