Polygon Daily: Off Topic Bat Baby! (Mon 20/5)

Today's header comes to you from Tre L.

Welcome to Polygon Daily. What is this thread you ask? It's your daily Community Off-Topic thread where you're given the floor to talk about anything that's caught your eye over the past 24 hours. Just be sure to stick to the Polygon Community Guidelines, and we'll be golden folks.

Monday time! I'm not sure what to write here seeing as it always gets ignored. Perhaps a secret...

NEWS

Trials Evolution custom map is crazy physics meets M.C Escher by Emily Gera

Kevin Conroy is involved with Batman: Arkham Origins, according to voice actor by Jenna Pitcher

Nintendo Direct focused on Smash Bros., 3D Mario game, Mario Kart Wii U titles airing before the start of E3 by Jenna Pitcher

Denis Dyack addresses backers and responds to allegations by Jenna Pitcher

Australian Bureau of Statistics releases a free strategy game that uses real census data by Jenna Pitcher

Terry Cavanagh's new project is Halting Problem, a 'proper, meaty puzzle game' by Jenna Pitcher

American McGee's new Oz game revealed as OZombie by Jenna Pitcher

Ubisoft confident in Nintendo Wii U's future by Jenna Pitcher

Guild Launch releasing thousands of Dragon's Prophet closed beta keys into the wild by Jenna Pitcher

Call of Duty: Ghosts clip offers a brief look at the game in progress, teases reveal by Megan Farokhmanesh

FEATURES

Anatomy of a Cosplayer by Alexa Ray Corriea

Born Unequal: The Story of Incredipede by Tracey Lien

Unity of Command: The unlikely origin of a modern wargame by Charlie Hall

REVIEWS

Metro: Last Light

Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move

StarDrive

SPEED RUN

FORUM POSTS

What is the best looking console? by mattwhite924

Feelings on Halo 4: 5 months after launch by The Didact

The Wii U is going to pull a 3DS. by Gudgel

Revolurt's Eastern Game Report 5/13 Edition by Revolurt

Soviet Videogameland: Perestroika by xMP44x

Most Impactful Games This Generation by Rathorial

COTD

Exactly. In this day and age the Code is pretty worthless. I remember first reading the revised Comics Code that was printed in Maurice Horn’s The World Encyclopedia of Comics, the original version from 1976:

51xbpsfkkll

Even with the revisions involving drug use, bad cops and comic titles it was still pretty stringent. Funnily, when the original Daredevil 168 and 169, drawn by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, and written by Roger McKenzie was rejected over shown drug use (a teen was shown getting dusted, which the Code objected to), then EiC Jim Shooter originally yanked the issues and replaced them with Miller’s first writing credit, which was the first appearance of Elektra.

There was talk of making the issues as a "graphic album" (old vernacular for a graphic novel), which The Comics Journal made a big to-do over, before Marvel published them as issues 183 and 184 with just enough changes to slide by the Code (sad that Shooter in 1980 didn’t have as big a pair as Lee in 1970 where the code was concerned).

But the ORIGINAL Code…hoo-boy. No references to drug use, no depictions of devils/demons, no "Terror", Horror", "Crime" in the titles of comics (there were a buttload of other publishers who used those titles, not just EC), cops and public officials HAD to always be depicted as good, upstanding individuals, etc.

Borrrriiingggg.

And this is also what Miller was forgetting about. Virtually EVERY publisher, except maybe DC, which was as whitebread as can be in the late 40s-early 50s, had a number of titles that had Terror, Horror, Crime and other later-forbidden words on the cover. When the Code came down on them, all of these companies took heavy financial hits; not just EC. Hell, Marvel (then called Atlas) hired many of the ex-EC people like Jack Davis, John Severin, Al Williamson and Bernie Krigstein and even with the Code, put out stellar stories.

But when the latter half of 1957 hit, Atlas had a RIF that virtually closed the company. According to an interview with Jack Kirby, he said he found Stan Lee in a nearly empty office crying over the nearly-complete shutdown. Nearly all the artists and writers were let go, and in September I think of that year Atlas went from nearly 40 titles to two.

Atlas did continue, but with 8 titles, as per an agreement with DC that allowed Atlas to use their printing facilities (the agreement ended in 1968, when Marvel was fully back on it’s feet financially).

And Atlas/Marvel was one of the luckier outfits. Most of the companies pretty much vanished overnight. Fox, St. John, Holyoke, Ace, Standard, etc., gone immediately or within a year of the Code. So EC certainly was not alone in the pain, as Miller suggests.

But as you point out, it wasn’t censorship since the government pointed out there was no need for it. And the publishers themselves created the Code, not because of the government but because of rabble-rousers being disingenuous with their followers. i09 did an excellent article on Fred Wertham and how he twisted the facts to reflect his point of view for his book Seduction of the Innocent: http://io9.com/5985199/how-one-mans-lies-almost-destroyed-the-comics-industry

But as we’ve seen so many times before (and we’ll certainly see again), logic and reason will always get shouted down by mindless drones driven by rabble-rousing idiots.

The Relic | 3 Recommends (and a history lesson!)

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