Authority Figures

Link to Today’s Comic.

Not much to comment on today, really. Except that my comics collecting phase coincided with the final death throes of the Comics Code Authority stamp. DC was one of the last to phase it out, so in my collection I have the exact moment in 2011 when it stopped appearing on covers.

Though the ‘rules’ of the code loosened and changed drastically over time as the readership of comics aged and the social mores shifted, it is really eye opening to read the rules as they stood in 1954. I’m no prude, but given the state of some comics I read early in The New 52, (which relied on more ‘shocking’ gritty sex than a orgy of mating camels,) I think it would be an interesting creative exercise to try and write a great comics story while following these rules. Rob Liefeld couldn’t do it. Geoff Johns probably could. Could you?

  • Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
  • If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
  • Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.
  • Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation.
  • In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
  • Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, the gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
  • No comic magazine shall use the words “horror” or “terror” in its title.
  • All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
  • All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
  • Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
  • Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
  • Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
  • Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
    Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
  • Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
  • Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Rape scenes, as well as sexual abnormalities, are unacceptable.
  • Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
  • Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
  • Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
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22 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “Authority Figures

  1. countoftowergrove

    Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden. Does that preclude the ad for x-ray glasses?

  2. The Dreamer

    why is Pete wearing a suit vest and tie? they are in an empty office working on comics! they don’t have any clients!

  3. Epicus Doomus

    More comic book nostalgia, maybe tomorrow he’ll do one where these two idiots reminisce fondly about those old-timey comic book staples. I mean at this point why the hell not, you know?

  4. erdmann

    He’s running home to get something? Please, dear God, let it be a gun. Of course, Dillweed and Dopey’s deaths and subsequent dismemberment can occur (just) off panel, in keeping with the mandates of the Comics Code Authority.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    Does Pete ever actually work? I can’t recall seeing him doing anything that resembles the writing process. Darin is regularly shown at his anachronistic drawing board but I’ve yet to see Pete depicted at a computer, a typewriter, or writing on a legal pad.

  6. billytheskink

    Is Chester back from lunch? Who cares, he’s the owner and can keep whatever hours he likes. Better question is whether Pete is back from lunch or not. Heck, is he even back from the lunch he took 4 years ago when working for Mega Comics?

    If the Comics Code had the authority to end this story arc, I would support it vociferously.

  7. spacemanspiff85

    Um, shouldn’t Pete be able to tell for himself if Chester is back from lunch yet? Is Pete’s office somehow on another floor of this otherwise empty building, which would make no sense? How does Pete know Chester left but not know if he’s back, and how would Darin know if Pete doesn’t? Did Pete somehow go out for lunch, by himself, after Chester left? The explanations for these questions would interest me far more than anything that’ll happen in this strip in the rest of this decade.

  8. Oh, no, Pete. Be careful. Someone has something you can never have: an idea. Ideas mean complaining about actually working instead of complaining about potentially working.

  9. In Batiuk’s hands, nostalgia is a mental disorder.

  10. bobanero

    Thank you, Harriet, for explaining the Comics Code Authority to this non comic collector, so that I may fully grasp the hilarity of today’s punchline.

  11. In his comic strip and in his blog, Batiuk has decried the Comics Code for creating a “toxic atmosphere surrounding the comic book industry” and “effectively handcuff[ing] the efforts of the industry’s artists and writers.” So why the fuck would reviving the Comics Code Authority stamp be Chester’s idea for “helping Atomik Komix”? If he just, as a nostalgic touch, wants to put the seal on his crappy comics’ covers, he could just pay some of his seemingly unlimited cash to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, who now own the rights.

  12. timbuys

    On Comics Code Authority Codes – The Batiuk Method

    + Lives shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the person, to promote distrust of the forces of disease and ennui, or to inspire others with any desire.

    +If life is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.

    +Band directors, high school English teachers, comic book writers and illustrators, and The Flash shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.

    +Characters shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation.

    +In every instance glum shall triumph over glee and the successful punished for their misdeeds.

    +Scenes of excessive happiness shall be prohibited. Scenes of brief joy, excessive and unnecessary enjoyment and diversion, physical pleasure, the glory and greatness of being alive shall be eliminated.

    + No comic magazine shall use the words “happy” or “fun” in its title.

    + All scenes of happiness, excessive antics, glorious or great lives, healthy hobbies, love, joyful singing, enjoyment of music of any kind shall not be permitted.

    + All lively, colorful, great illustrations shall be eliminated.

    + Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented as anything but the way the world is, so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.

    + Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with well developed characters, interesting plots, well drawn backgrounds and coloring, girls who aren’t drawn the same as boys just with longer hair, and wholesomeness are prohibited.

    + Profundity, observational, clever, or words or symbols which have acquired similarly undesirable meanings are forbidden.

    + Joy in any form is prohibited, as is elation or undue serenity.
    Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is not possible.

    + Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities. That is, by drawing them the same as males, but with longer hair.

    + Realistic relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Conversation scenes, as well as plot denouement, are unacceptable.

    + Resolution and follow up shall never be shown or suggested.

    + Happiness or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.

    + Enjoyment with meretricious purpose and joyful postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be happy or contrary to good taste or morals.

    • timbuys

      Oh man, I can’t believe I’ve found a new way not to enjoy Funky Winkerbean, but I have! I now am actually slightly upset with myself that I didn’t change ‘injure’ to ‘inure’ in the above. Plus I am proof reading a comment I wrote on a blog about Funky Winker Bean several hours after the fact…

      I guess that’s why I’m not cut out to be a great comic book (and/or strip) writer.

    • comicbookharriet

      Kudos on this! Had me chuckling for hours.

  13. hitorque

    1. Ah yes, the good old Funkyverse tradition… It doesn’t matter if you’re working your dream job for zillions of dollars with 100% flexible work hours and unlimited vacation at any time… When the boss is gone, you gotta talk lot of loud shit behind his back… These mooks are some lazy entitled ungrateful pieces of shit.

    2. “Is Chester back from lunch yet?” MOTHERFUCKER ALL OF THREE PEOPLE WORK IN THAT BIG-ASSED WAREHOUSE SO WHY DON’T YOU OPEN YOUR BEADY LITTLE EYES AND LOOK FOR YOURSELF??

    3. Is Hagglemore the first ever multi-millionaire to be on a first-name basis with his underlings? Do multi-millionaires even do ‘lunch’? I’d have thought Chester would have lunch brought to the warehouse so they could all work and eat?

    4. It’s funny because he’s the first-ever multi-millionaire who has to run all his own errands because he doesn’t know that personal assistants and staffers are a thing. It’s also funny because no matter what Chester the Molester is doing right now, a ‘regular’ multi-millionaire could have gotten it done with just a phone call…

    5. So where the hell is Mindy? Shouldn’t her desk be right next to theirs? Or at least within earshot? Or did Pete chop up Mindy’s corpse and throw it in the dumpster for the sin of being a woman and trying to actually DO shit in the men-only comics world?

  14. Le Chat Bleu

    What happened to Mindy? i’m afraid for her safety at this point.