After yesterday’s news that DC Comics was dropping the Comics Code, leaving Archie the last surviving member of the Comics Code Authority…comes word that Archie has also dropped the Code, starting with books on sale in February. The move will have no effect on content:
But Pellerito said Archie’s decision has nothing to do with content, and there will be no editorial change when the code leaves the front of the Archie books.
“The code never affected us editorially the way I think it did other companies,” he said. “You know, we aren’t about to start stuffing bodies into refrigerators or anything. We have to answer to Archie fans.”
Currently, everything Archie Comics publishes is “all ages.” And Pellerito said that, if Archie comic ever skews to an older audience, the publisher will let the readers know.
Archie had made the decision to drop the code a year ago, but only announced it when asked in the wake of the DC announcement.
Thus ends the last clinging particle of darkest days in comics history, an era that did its best to choke the life out of an artform — but didn’t succeed. Created in the paranoid days of the commie scare — a period much shorter in its reign than the current post 9/11 world — the Comics Code was for a time a very real chain around the neck of the American comics industry. It wasn’t until the underground comics and alternative publishers of the ’70s that it became clear that comics without the seal of approval would find an audience without scarring the nation forever. And the nation is all the better for it.
Good-bye, and good riddance. Let the code live on only as a zuvembie, shambling through history.