Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Juvenile Crime and Comics

Before they had video games, before they had rap music, before they had rock music and Hollywood to blame for the corruption of youth ... they had comic books.

In the 1950's, juvenile crime was on the rise. When they were caught doing crime, they often had comics in their possession. Therefore the correlation was made that comics needed to be stopped. Of course, at the time comics were the most popular entertain for teens. They were cheap, entertaining and their parents hated them. In 1952, the US Senate launched the Hendrickson Committee to investigate juvenile crime and comics.

To avoid censorship, the comics industry came up with their own code the CCA. If you are like me, the comics that you grew up with had this symbol on it:

The Comics Code seal

The industry policed itself with this code which prevented a lot of gore and sex, among other things, from being in comics. It put a lot of comics out of business for a lot of distributors wouldn't carry comics that didn't have this stamp. The genre of crime comics almost disappeared. The whole industry turned upside down ... oh ya ... imagine this: juvenile crime continued. Censorship solves nothing.