7 Crazy Rules Under the Comics Code Authority

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7 Crazy Rules Under the Comics Code Authority

 

In the 1950s, a wave of hysteria was surrounding the American comic book industry. According to CBR, a website covering comics, movies, TV, and other resources related to popular culture, many things were seen in a bad light back then, and many suggested that censorship was the best way to fend them off. 

Hence, the Comics Code Authority was established in an attempt for the industry to self-regulate its own content. While that may, to some extent, sound reasonable, the CCA guidelines and rules were actually very restrictive for the artists of the day. Here are just some crazy rules artists were made to follow. 

 

Photo Credit via Jorge Figueroa on Flickr

 

No Sympathetic Villains

Many people loved “Maleficent” for its attempt to shed new light on what the character’s life must have been. It started off like any fairy tale, before promptly turning it on its head. As the story went on, viewers were able to see that Maleficent was once a loving creature who was also loved by everyone. She was powerful and kind, strong and intelligent, gentle and vulnerable. This was who she was before she became the kingdom’s big baddie. 

If we still lived in the era of the CCA’s reign, no story like that would even reach the public. That’s right; as described by video games, comics, and movie news website Entertainment Fuse, the CCA banned artists from creating sympathetic villains. Villains back then had to be bad, end of story. They had no backstory, no previous kind traits that got twisted up, nothing. 

 

 

Photo Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

Keep Off “Horror,” “Terror”

According to CBR, the CCA also banned words like “terror,” “weird,” and “horror” in what they thought would be an all-around attempt to discourage artists from discussing horror themes at all. CBR added that some comic books were also canceled or renamed when they had any such words in their titles. 

 

 

Photo Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

Bad Guys Lose -- Always

Not only were bad guys not given any kind of chance to be understood deeper, but they also just had a single fate in comics: being vanquished. Vanquishing evil was the only thing a hero could do to their villains back and day, which was also the reason why when the '80s and '90s rolled around, villains were more fleshed out and given the spotlight in “grim n’ gritty” comic books. 

 

 

Photo Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

No Supernatural Villains

CBR says that vampires, the walking dead, and werewolves were only allowed to be shown in comic books come the '70s. Even then, Entertainment Fuse reported that they were only allowed to be added into comic books if they were “handled in the classic tradition such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and other high caliber literary works written by Edgar Allan Poe, Saki, Conan Doyle, and other respected authors whose works are read in schools around the world.” 

 

 

Photo Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

Keep Weapons Visible

Weapons were also not allowed to be hidden or concealed in artful ways. The way it was worded was even more vague, as the rule read that no weapon was allowed to be concealed in “unique or unusual” ways. 

 

 

Photo Credit via imgur

 

No Sex or Depiction of Divorce

Why not? It’s a normal part of life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really common for people to talk or read about outright sex scenes in comic books. Sure, artists could try and find a way around this rule by “implying” sex but the CCA didn’t want any kind of “illicit” representation. 

Meanwhile, divorce was also not represented or shown in comics, especially if the act itself would be depicted in a humorous or desirable way. 

 

 

Photo Credit via Pixabay

 

No Sexy Characters

According to CBR: “Nudity on comic book covers continues to be a sensitive topic even in the wake of the CCA’s demise.” But the funny thing is, the CCA also prohibited any comic to be advertised with “alluring characters who are clothed” if they were even slightly sensual. CBR noted this action as “embarrassingly puritanical and reinforces the harmful idea that sex itself is something to be ashamed of.”

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