Comics and Comic Strips in the Rock Era

1954

Peanuts comic strip begins... Comic books reach peak popularity with 650 titles available--selling over a billion copies a year... Senate Subcommittee hearings investigate charges that comic books are responsible for juvenile delinquency... Marmaduke begins long career in comics... Comics Code Authority formed. Authorized by Congressional legislation. Some of the self-regulating code taboos are: (A-2) No comics shall explicitly present the unique details and methods of crime; (A-5) Criminals shall not be presented as to be rendered glamorous; (A-6) In every instance good shall triumph over evil; (A-7) Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited; (A-8) No unique... methods of concealing weapons shall be shown; (A-11) The letters of the word "crime"... shall never be appreciably greater... than the other words contained in the title; (B-1) No comic magazine shall use the word "horror" or "terror" in its title; (B-5) Scenes dealing with or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism and werewolfism are prohibited; (C-4) Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities... 26 publishers agree to eliminate obscene, vulgar and horror comics from their lists... In his book, Seduction of the Innocent, Dr. Wertham begins a long-standing controversy by seeing a direct link with homosexual fancies in Batman and Robin; while maintaining that comic books were the roots of much juvenile delinquency... As "The Lone Ranger" departs from the radio airwaves, he leaves behind his 160th comic book, along with books, films and a multitude of paraphernalia... Artist Robert Rauschenberg gains notoriety using comic strip pages from newspapers as background to his abstract "paintings"... Comic books now have greater circulation than Reader's Digest, Life, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's and Better Homes and Gardens combined...

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