Thursday, June 07, 2007

"And The Question is----"





It seemed like an easy enuff question to put to several people that I considered pretty much authorities on comic books. It was a question regarding The Comics Code Authority.

As any hardcore comic book fan knows, in 1954 the CCA was formed to eliminate such things as excessive violence, sex, horror, etc. from the pages of comic books by those who had the "frame of mind" that viewing such things in the four-colored pages would lead to juvenile delinquency.

"The Code" pretty much destroyed E.C. Publications whose main stay was titles which contained horror and crime stories (as well as "other" things the CCA frowned upon), and forced all but a very few companies, notably Dell (who had their own standards and family guidelines) and Gilbert Publications (publishers of such titles as Classics Illustrated, The World Around Us and Classics Illustrated Junior) to submit all pages of their comic book stories to the CCA for their approval. Upon either approval or editing of anything they deemed unfit, their comics were then given permission to display The Comics Code of Authority Seal of Approval stamp on their covers.

By March of 1955 almost every comic book displayed such a stamp in the top right-hand corner of the cover of the title. But, to get back to my question, what was the first comic book (or, comic book title) to display the CCA stamp?

The earliest I can find is a copy of Archie's Joke Book (Archie Publications) #16, which is dated Winter, 1954-55. I'm not saying it IS the earliest comic to display the stamp; merely the earliest one I can find.

So...if someone can locate a comic that was published with an earlier date sporting The Code, I would certainly like to hear from you, just out of my own curiosity.

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