SUMMARY Á Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code (Studies in Popular Culture)


971 and again in 1989 The legacy of the comics code is that it continues to define the comic book medium as essentially juvenile literature While the code offers protection against those who attack the media and not just comic books it also reaffirms the public perception of comic books as children's fare As a result the comic book has yet to achieve legitimation as a uniue form of expression that blends words and pictures in a way that no other medium can duplicate In tracing the evolution of the controversy and the resulting code Seal of Approval examines important issues about children media effects and censorship It is the first booklength scholarly study of this period of comic book history Amy Kiste Nyberg is a professor in the Department of Communication at Seton Hall Universit. I tried Honest I did I believe that nonfiction and academic texts can be intriguing This book however is not amongst the interesting onesI made it approximately one third of the way through the book before I just couldn't take it Worst part I still don't know uite why I can't finish it I just find my attention sliding everywhere else after less than a minute of readingPerhaps something to try again in a year or two

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Seal of Approval The History of the Comics Code Studies in Popular CultureFor the past forty years the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure This book examines why comic books were the subject of controversy beginning with objections that surfaced shortly after the introduction of modern comic books in the mid 1930s when parents and teachers accused comic books of contaminating children's culture and luring children away from appropriate reading material It traces how in the years following World War II the criticism of comic books shifted to their content and the reading of comic books became linked with the rise of juvenile delinuency This resulted in attempts at the local state and national level to ban or license comic book sales A major. Seal of Approval is a dryly academic book about a colorful and contentious topic the sort of thing you get when your passion project has to make it past a review board or a thesis adviser It is nevertheless a deeply researched and informative book and worth reading if you are serious about learning about the history of the Comics CodeThe book covers the controversies that lead to the creation of the original Comics Code and then its various revisions through the decades Unfortunately it is now out of date as shortly after this book was published Marvel Comics withdrew from the Comics Code Authority A few years later DC Comics and Archie Comics also withdrew from the CCA leaving the Code after sixty plus years entirely defunct I would like to know Nyberg's thoughts on these developmentsIt is in fact not entirely clear what she thinks of the code overall While she bemoans the way its restrictions stymied innovation in comics for decades she also appears to wag her finger at those who insist we can get along without it But maybe I'm misinterpreting herNyberg also mounts a defense of sorts of Frederic Wertham the psychologist who was responsible for so much of the panic about comics Wertham is often criticized for his sloppy or simplistic linkages between comics and juvenile delinuency most popularly presented in his book Seduction of the Innocents Nyberg argues that Wertham wasn't trying to build a scientific case against comics per se but that he was advocating for a holistic radical program of limiting kids' exposure to mass media of any kind Seduction wasn't supposed to be science it was propaganda It's hard to see how that makes it better Or in any way excuses Wertham In a work this copiously researched and footnoted what doesn't get said can be uite deceiving Nyberg is uick to dismiss certain viewpoints but doesn't really back up her dismissals by digging into them so it is hard to know how valid they are Was the Comics Code a major factor in the near collapse of the comics publishing industry in the late fifties Nyberg says No but doesn't bother to delve into this much Since you could undoubtedly make a strong counter argument it would have behooved her to grapple with this in greater depth or at least to admit the ambiguitiesAt any rate there is a lot of valuable material here for a student of comic book history Just expect it to be a little dry

Amy Kiste Nyberg Å 1 SUMMARY

SUMMARY Á Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code (Studies in Popular Culture) Ô For the past forty years the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure This book examines whFigure in the crusade against comic books was the psychiatrist Dr Fredric Wertham While he played a significant role in the postwar attack on comics his accusations against the comic book industry have been misunderstood by comic book fans and media scholars alike They have accused him of being a naive social scientist who saw direct causal links between the reading of comic books and delinuency In fact Seal of Approval shows that Wertham's work is much better understood in the intellectual tradition of media criticism of the Frankfurt school and their critiue of mass culture The negative publicity aroused by the controversy coupled with fears that the government would pass censorship legislation led publishers to adopt the self regulatory code It has been changed only twice once in 1. I'm not going to write a big review on this because I wrote a huge paper on it but this is a thorough and fascinating look at how the industry was essentially bullied into developing the Comics Code by several forces that were somewhat uniue to the era It's particularly interested how the Senate subcommittee and Wertham were able to put such pressure on comics because it was viewed as a medium uniuely aimed at kids; this book helps expose how attitudes toward children and childhood can enable various adult authorities to leverage control over others I also appreciated Nyberg's complicated look at Wertham's research career and ideas about media's influence on childrens' psyche