The Comics Code Authority, a self imposed guideline for publishing that was a direct reaction to Fredrick Wertham’s “The Seduction of the Innocent” and the media and judicial scrutiny that followed, is seemingly on its way out.  Under Joe Quesada Marvel had stopped using the comics code approval stamp, electing to rate their own books for content.  Now DC Comics has gone the same route.  In a letter from Jim Lee published on DC’s blog:

As of January 2011, DC Comics titles will no longer carry the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval. In 2011, DC Comics will employ a rating system consistent with that of the rest of the industry, as well as with our digital releases, which already utilize a rating system. As for our Vertigo comic books, they will not utilize the rating system, because they will continue to be labeled as “For Mature Readers”.

Beginning with our April 2011 titles, all DC comic book covers will utilize the following rating system:

E – EVERYONE

Appropriate for readers of all ages. May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.

 

T – TEEN

Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.

 

T+ – TEEN PLUS

Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.

 

M – MATURE

Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers.

Jim and Dan

This signals a close to a symbol of a dark period in comics history. While it no longer meant the same thing, the direct lineage of this stamp is unavoidable.

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