DC Comics, one of the last American comic book publishers to submit their titles for approval to the Comics Code Authority, has announced as of this month none of their publications will carry the once-ubiquitous CCA Seal of Approval.
DC Entertainment co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio announced the move in a letter to direct market comic book retailers. DC has established its own rating system, closely resembling the system used by the videogame industry.
In recent years, fewer and fewer DC Comics were submitted to the Comics Code Authority, with only all-ages titles like Tiny Titans and select DC Universe series, including Batman and Superman, displaying the seal on their covers.
Marvel Comics also abandoned the CCA and implemented their own ratings system in 2001, shortly after X-Force #116 was denied approval. This move leaves Archie Comics and Bongo Comics as the only publishers still submitting their releases to the Comics Code Authority.
The Comics Code Authority was established in 1954 as a response to increase attention and criticism towards violent and sexual content in comics. It was inspired in large part by Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent, which posited that reading comics led to juvenile delinquency.
The full text of DC's letter to retailers follows...
FROM THE CO-PUBLISHERS...
by Jim Lee
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.