Via PR, confirmation that Image is adapting a ratings system based on DC’s ratings, which are similar to manga and video game ratings system implemented over the years.
With the death of the Comics Code, publishers are now voluntarily submitting to labeling systems, perhaps reflecting the widening audience for comics in bookstores and chain stores.
The brief PR makes no mention of who will implement these ratings: the creators or someone on the Image staff. We’ve fired off an email to Image and will report any responses.
According to am Image spokesperson, this is the procedure for ratings:
Ratings are assigned by Image, in cooperation with the creators.
If a question of reconsidering the rating of a particular title comes up, we’ll look over the material and base our judgement on the guidelines and make changes if necessary. We think the criteria is pretty clear though, so there wouldn’t be a lot of room for difference of opinion.
Hm, pretty optimistic if you ask us!
Image Comics titles will soon adopt a rating system consistent with that instituted by DC Comics in January of this year. This rating system will be used for both print and digital releases.
Beginning with July 2011 titles, all Image titles will use the following rating system:
E – EVERYONE (all ages, may contain minimal violence)
T – TEEN (12 and up, may contain mild violence or mild profanity)
T+ – TEEN PLUS (16 and up, may contain moderate violence, moderate profanity use and suggestive themes )
M – MATURE (18 and up, may contain nudity, profanity, excessive violence and other content not suitable for minors)
“Retailers have been asking us to more clearly define which audiences our various comics are aimed at for some time, and we’re pleased to finally comply with those requests,” said Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. “It’s been nearly a decade since the comics industry began the process of abandoning the Comics Code Authority, but during that time there hasn’t been one consistent rating system. The system DC employs is by far the clearest, so it makes sense to go with that.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.