Friday, September 25, 2015

Censorship in Comics for Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week (September 27 through October 3, 2015) is the book community’s annual opportunity to celebrate the freedom to read, and draw attention to those who hinder that right. Intellectual freedom is a core value of our mission; and the freedom to read is as integral to that value as the freedom to publish. 

This year's theme is Young Adult fiction—one of the most regularly challenged categories of books in libraries and schools across the country. We don't publish young adult fiction, but we are launching a new comic book studies series called
 World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction Series with Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González as series editors. The series will include monographs and edited volumes that focus on the analysis and interpretation of comic books and graphic nonfiction from around the world. Books published in the series will bring analytical approaches from such fields as literature, art history, cultural studies, communication studies, media studies, and film studies, among others to help define the comic book studies field at a time of great vitality and growth.
More info

The Association of American University Presses is an official sponsor of Banned Books Week. To join the conversation, we're posting an excerpt from a recent issue of The Velvet Light Trap dealing with censorship in the comic book industry. To read Shawna Kidman's piece in full, you can access it through Project Muse, visit your local library, or purchase a single issue of The Velvet Light Trap on our website.

Contribute to the banned books conversation on social media with the hashtags #bannedbooks and #bannedbooksweek.

"Self-Regulation through Distribution: Censorship and the Comic Book Industry in 1954"
By Shawna Kidman

In the early 1950s, comic books boasted a readership of over seventy million Americans, each of whom consumed an average of six comics a month. There were two comic books published for every one book, with each copy likely passed on to more than three readers. And then, quite suddenly, the market crashed. Between 1954 and 1955, sales plummeted by 50 percent, from eighty million copies each month to just forty million. By 1956 more than half of the extant publishers had closed their doors, and two-thirds of the six hundred titles appearing monthly on newsstands had vanished.1 Just like that, comic books went from being one of the most popular forms of entertainment in America to a medium struggling for its survival.2

At the very same moment, as the comic book market was beginning its dramatic decline, the medium was undergoing a crisis in the political sphere. Psychiatrists, church officials, members of PTAs, and local politicians had for years been trying to link comic books to juvenile delinquency, illiteracy, and moral corruption. Finally, in the spring of 1954, the government got involved, and the Senate Judiciary Committee held televised hearings on the comic book industry and its alleged corruption of America’s youth. Pressured by this public relations disaster and the threat of local and state censorship, the major comic book publishers joined forces to form the Comics Magazine Association of America (CMAA). This trade organization drafted a code of self-censorship and created an administrative body to enforce it known as the Comics Code Authority (CCA). Like the Production Code Administration (PCA) created by Hollywood twenty years earlier, the CCA would issue a seal of approval to those titles it deemed morally appropriate. Heavily promoted by the industry, this response seemed to satisfy government officials and consumers alike; within the year, interest in the controversy had faded almost entirely from public view.3 But the dramatic decline in sales was already well under way.

Most writers have characterized the anti-comics crusade and the simultaneous market crash in primarily cultural terms, drawing a causal link between these two events. The episode has been sensationalized in many journalistic accounts, which create a hero and villain respectively in the figures of EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines, an innovator responsible for “some of the best comic books ever published,” and Fredric Wertham, an “insane” psychiatrist who told “apocalyptic” lies about the dangers of mass media.4 In this version of the story, the Senate or “EC hearings” are recast as a trial on taste, Bill Gaines is understood as their “principal target,” and Wertham is accused of censoring Gaines right “out of existence.”5 Scholars meanwhile tend to point to social trends, blaming the controversy on McCarthyism; seething generational battles; culture wars rooted in class, money, religion, and politics; and fundamental struggles over “who had the right and the responsibility to shape American culture.”6 With a focus on comic book content or the cultural milieu, many of these descriptions marginalize the market crash itself, which is depicted as merely a side effect of censorship. Some have even argued that the anti-comics crusade was “almost solely responsible for the drastic decline in sales and the near death of the industry during the 1950s.”7

Figure 1. Comics Code Authority Seal, 1954. For more than three decades, this seal from the CCA would grace the cover of the majority of comic books sold in America.
Too often left out of these historical accounts is the way in which both censorship and shrinking audiences are fundamentally also industrial, economic, and political occurrences. Censorship in particular often seems like an issue that is primarily value-based and culturally contingent. However, in the context of mass media, the regulation of content necessarily involves vast and powerful infrastructures of enforcement capable of containing the inherent disorderliness of popular culture. So while we should not give up on analyzing the texts and ideologies at the center of media censorship, it is equally important to consider the material foundations that support systems of both restriction and circulation. More broadly, as Philip Napoli has noted, it is possible to use the political economy of media as a useful “foundation of knowledge for a wide range of important scholarly inquiries into the behaviors of media industries, as well as the broader political and cultural ramifications of these behaviors.”8 A better understanding of the industrial context in which most media is produced and initially circulated can lead to a more profound insight into all aspects of culture, including its active consumption, transformation, and recirculation by audiences and fans, the latter of which has been a particular interest of comic book studies.9

Of special interest here is one particular sector of media economics: distribution. For a medium like comic books, which had to physically traverse the country, sometimes multiple times over, access to reliable distribution networks and strong representation along those routes was critical; a comic book, no matter how brilliant, was valueless if it could not first reach its audience. While distribution has been cited as a contributing factor in some of the struggles comic books faced, the extent to which distribution practices actually organized the rest of the industry has been widely overlooked. Indeed, distribution has been too often overlooked throughout media studies. As digital convergences are bringing more attention to the importance of media’s circulation, however, distribution has increasingly been recognized as a more important area of study. This article seeks to contribute to the topic, approaching it as an expansive subfield that, as Alisa Perren recommends, should include within it all of the “crucial space in between production and consumption.”10 These diverse functions range from money lending and promotional activities to the physical and technological transfer of texts.11 In the specific context of the 1950s-era comic book industry, this article takes as its focus the sectors of that business commonly referred to at the time as distribution, wholesale, and retail.12

These areas constituted a critical part of the business and generated a considerable amount of the industry’s revenue, pointing to a tendency that has long dictated mass media economics. Entertainment conglomerates often make “their money by controlling avenues of distribution and exhibition,” which, along with financing, are the “critical hubs” of the industry.13 This has been true since cinema’s earliest days. According to Scott Curtis, the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC), an organization of early manufacturer/producers, made control of distribution a priority in its agenda to standardize the industry and capture a larger share of revenue for itself; it successfully formed its own distribution arm in 1908.14 This strategy has persisted through today, as vast media conglomerates continue to prioritize control over distribution, buying up both major and formerly independent outlets.15 Though distributors are often thought of as mere middlemen, these subsidiaries often account for the bulk of media employees and, through modern accounting practices, can generate a large share of the revenue.16 Perhaps even more importantly, they give their parent companies the kind of market power that can be worth more than the sum of their subsidiaries’ parts.

Nonetheless, within comic book studies, which tends to focus on texts and cultural contexts, there has been far too little research into distribution practices; indeed, there has not been enough analysis in general of either the political and economic institutions that supported comic book texts and cultures or the routine operational mechanics that brought them into being. This article begins to address that scarcity by examining everyday distribution practices as they related to censorship and the market decline of comic books in the fifties. In so doing, it is able to uncover an alternative explanation for who and what was responsible for comic books’ near collapse, suggesting that market problems may have actually helped bring about censorship, instead of vice versa.

Figure 2. Crime Does Not Pay #133, April 1954. Lev Gleason/Comic House. A favorite target of local censors, Lev Gleason’s Crime Does Not Pay was one of the more reviled comic books in publication at the time, in large part because it was so popular, selling millions of issues and spawning dozens of equally disturbing imitations.
More specifically, I argue that while the plummet in sales is most commonly attributed to the comic book controversy, public concern was really just one problem among many. And the implementation of self-regulation in response to it, far from further damaging the medium, helped to stabilize it—not because it quelled the controversy but because it allowed the biggest publishers and distributors to take control of the industry. These major players used censorship as a basis for aggressive self-regulation that allowed them to further marginalize their lesser competitors and put the business on stronger economic and political footing. Distribution, which had driven the industry’s early success and subsequently caused many of its biggest problems, became the primary mechanism of this process. Furthermore, control over distribution turned out to be what separated the minor publishers from the major ones and thus also determined who would survive the decade and who would falter.

The next section discusses the necessary link between distribution and censorship. The sections that follow examine the critical role that distribution played first in establishing the comic book business with low barriers to entry, next in generating market problems, and finally in systemizing an industry shakeout that made the medium inaccessible to new entrants.

Distribution as a Mechanism of Censorship

Over the years, the anti-comics crusade and the 1954 Senate hearings it inspired have been characterized as a censorious witch hunt executed in the same vein as the Hollywood blacklist, yet another example of a culture war dedicated to eradicating subversiveness.17 This characterization is very much in line with the way history remembers the Cold War more generally—as a time when fear of Communism pushed the nation to root out any potential cultural threat until social conformity was the only option. But, as Herbert Schiller has pointed out, the most significant feature of anti-Communism, which was becoming “a permanent feature of the American landscape,” was actually aggressive support of big business and the enthusiastic embrace of a free market model opposed to government interference in private enterprise.18 To the extent that the Senate investigation into comic books is representative of Cold War culture then, it is as much in this latter sense—as a prime example of midcentury probusiness politics—as any other. Indeed, the primary event in this historical episode consisted of three long days of congressional testimony that was almost administrative in nature. The subcommittee questioned twenty-five speakers, mostly representatives from the comic book industry who testified in depth on the ins and outs of their business, discussing shipments, returns, and credits.19

Notably, these hearings took place during the exact same three-month span as the Army-McCarthy hearings, which initiated that senator’s decline in public favor and provoked increasing disapproval of government intrusion in private life. Even the popular press, which had helped fuel the anti-comics controversy, had grown less alarmist; intellectuals and reporters continued to show concern about the potential threat comic books posed to children, but many were just as concerned about the creation of committees tasked with censorship and wanted to avoid government interference where it did not belong.20 This ambivalent attitude about how to deal with mass media was reflected in Congress’s ongoing examinations of several media industries—comic books being only the first—conducted during the fifties and sixties. According to Shawn Selby, these investigations were not about censorship but rather were about the pursuit of a core “belief in the regulating power of a capitalist system.” Their goal was only ever to find a way to help industry help itself; they were in search of a laissez-faire approach to elevating culture.21 Industry had been responding slavishly to consumer demand in a kind of rush to the bottom, and the senators were hoping that the same competitive approach could be used to improve upon the product’s level of taste and moral turpitude.

Figure 3. Sheena, Queen of the Jungle #4, Fall 1948. Fiction House. Sheena was the most famous of Fiction House’s scantily clad women, so famous, in fact, that she got her own television series in the midst of the comic book crisis. Running for twenty-six episodes on ABC, the series outlived the publisher itself, which could not survive the hostile environment in publishing.
That members of the subcommittee believed such an approach would be possible is a credit to the successful implementation of the Production Code two decades earlier. Since 1934 Hollywood had been regulating itself quite aggressively and effectively through the PCA. Far from being an immediate success, though, this impressive regulatory achievement had taken decades to build. A number of factors contributed to early failures and eventual adoption, including, critically, achieving industry buy-in and, somewhat less critically, growing intensity in external pressures to censor. Another key piece of this puzzle was control of film distribution, which actually enabled enforcement, as it would later in the comic book industry. It was not until all of these elements were in place that Hollywood had any real success with self-censorship.

While seldom recognized as such, that final factor, distribution, had often functioned as a linchpin in national censorship campaigns. In cinema’s early years, local governments had enacted piecemeal restrictions on the new medium based on “public nuisance” legislation, with results showing only “varying degrees of rigor, predictability, and frequency.”22 Before any kind of broad censorship campaign could succeed, the federal government had to invoke its abilities under the Commerce Clause to limit the distribution of products across borders. As Lee Grieveson has noted, this approach dated back to at least 1876, when the government authorized post office censorship by declaring all obscene matter to be “nonmailable.” The Sims Act, passed in 1912, briefly extended these same authorities to mass media by restricting the interstate transportation and national circulation of the Jack Johnson–James Jeffries fight film. In all of these instances, “legislation focused on the disciplining of circulation,” pointing to the importance of control over distribution, which had both economic and political advantages.23

Faced with local and federal attempts to censor, the film industry tried to rein in film content through self-regulation very early on, first via the National Board of Censorship (established by the MPPC in 1909) and later by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA).24 By the time of this organization’s founding in 1922, Hollywood had begun its move toward vertical integration and, with it, total control of distribution and the hope of increased stability. As Leonard Leff and Jerold Simmons note, this transition required capital from Wall Street and, accordingly, fewer scandals both on-screen and off. This motivated the president of the MPPDA, Will Hays, to embark on a decade-long campaign to improve content.25 According to Richard Maltby, though, censorship had long posed a much greater problem for exhibitors than for producers and distributors, and the MPPDA was designed to protect the interests of the latter, who had established a functioning oligopoly. For those players, concern over the threat of antitrust legislation was thus “much more important than censorship.” The issues and motivations behind the MPPDA’s self-regulation efforts were thus “determined more by economic considerations than by matters of film content.”26 Not surprisingly, considering these motivations, a decade later the MPPDA still had not solved the immorality problem. Under increasing pressure from religious organizations, along with uneven state and local legislation and threats from the newly elected Roosevelt administration (which had severed Hays’s previously affable relations with Washington), film studios finally gave in and decided to get behind a real effort at self-censorship.27

With full industry support, the MPPDA was able to create an immensely powerful and effective code of content. Despite a general understanding that nobody was “compelled to produce motion pictures in accordance with the Code regulations,” the organization had a powerful means of enforcement. The establishment of the PCA in 1934 brought a new set of rules, one that barred films without the seal of approval from exhibition in theaters run by MPPDA members and another that fined violators $25,000.28 The major studios had “made the Production Code Seal the passport that a film needed to enter the largest and most profitable theaters in America.”29 Notably, though, this approach would not have worked had the major producers, distributors, and exhibitors not already been vertically integrated. With 95 percent of domestic box-office receipts, the eight major studios used their control over distribution to put “a lock on the movie business.”30 Independents who lacked such distribution and access to first-run theaters inevitably found their market extremely limited.31 With oligopolistic and vertically integrated power behind it, the PCA thus had the ability to hinder any “quick-buck producers and bandwagon jumpers” not just from producing but also from distributing or exhibiting racy material that could threaten the rest of Hollywood.32 In short, compliance with the PCA was total, at least in part, because there was no outside; to be a contender in the studio system of the 1930s, filmmakers had to play ball with the majors and follow their rules.

A closer look at censorship in the comic book industry reveals similar mechanics; there too distribution functioned as a point of enforcement, with distributors, wholesalers, and retailers refusing to accept comics that lacked the seal of approval. And there too the major players represented by the CMAA seem to have been motivated more by economic considerations than by matters of content. In contrast to Hollywood, however, comic book publishers were only just beginning to create the vertical integration, oligopolistic power, and stability in 1954 that the studios already had in place in 1934. Accordingly, the motives behind the implementation of the CCA were rather different from those behind the PCA, as was the eventual outcome of its execution. In coming together to design and enforce the code, the CMAA deliberately shaped a response to external calls for censorship that could also reshape the structure of the business, giving larger publishers increased power over smaller ones. Distribution played a critical role in this strategy.

A number of historians have pointed out the eventual repercussions of this approach. Amy Nyberg has recognized that the CCA “forced a reorganization of the industry,” and Jean-Paul Gabilliet has analyzed the very uneven impact of the market decline on publishers of varying sizes. He attributes the industry-wide crisis to state legislation against the medium, wholesaler conflicts, the rise of television, and a decade-long deterioration in public interest, all of which contributed to the crash, but none of which accounts for its disparate impacts. To explain that, he points out that the smaller publishers looking to “cash in” on a booming business “churned out second rate fare” and “questionable content” that left them in a “precarious financial balance.” The big publishers, meanwhile, “easily adjusted to the Comics Code Authority’s demands,” which they had personally crafted through the CMAA.33 Randy Duncan and Matthew Smith similarly attribute the crisis’s disproportionate consequences to the industry’s “natural boom-and-bust cycle,” explaining that only the more established publishers, by relying on proven characters and innovative genres, could weather the downturn of the 1950s.34

Reports on the comic book industry written at the time, though, indicate that editorial decisions about content may have played a secondary role to pure market power in what was becoming an industry-wide shakeout. Several smaller publishers quoted by the Wall Street Journal stated that “this is the kind of business you must be in in a big way or not at all,” since “no one but the bigger fellows is making any money.”35 A closer look at the industry infrastructure reveals that what actually separated the “bigger fellows”—those few publishers who took the power to regulate everyone else— from the small ones, as much as market share and quality of content, was control of distribution. The importance of this sector of the business was nothing new. From the beginning, distribution was a primary driver of the industry’s basic structure, its early successes, and, eventually, its failures.

. . .
To read Shawna Kidman's piece in full, you can access it through Project Muse, visit your local library, or purchase a single issue on our website.

Shawna Kidman earned her PhD in critical studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in December 2014. Her dissertation examines the history of the comic book industry and its gradual incorporation into twentieth-century mass media infrastructures and taste cultures. Her work has been published in the International Journal of Learning and Media and the International Journal of Communication.

1. Publishers at the time generally reported their sales to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Figures were analyzed by the following sources: J. Howard Rutledge and Peter Bart, “Comic Books: Slight Sales Recovery Leaves Volume below Pre-Clean-Up Days,” Wall Street Journal, October 5, 1955; Peter Bart, “Some Comic Book Men Pine for Sin, Sex as Their Sales Skid,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 1959; “Brief History of the Development of the Comic Book Industry,” in Interim Report of the Committee on the Judiciary: Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency, S. Rep. No. 84-62 (March 14, 1955). Readership statistics come from market surveys and government [End Page 33] reports conducted at the time and reported on by Norbert Muhlen, “Comic Books and Other Horrors,” Commentary 8 (January 1, 1949): 81; Bradford W. Wright, Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 57.

2. Comic books fall under the broader category of print media (which include newspapers, magazines, and books) but within that designation represent a discrete form. Differentiated by distinctive visual and narrative modes and an industry that rose up and functioned alongside of but separate from that of magazines and newspapers, comic books are thus referred to here as a medium in and of itself.

3. Bart Beaty, Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005), 160–65; Shawn Selby, “Congress, Culture and Capitalism: Congressional Hearings into Cultural Regulation, 1953–1967” (PhD diss., Ohio University, 2008), 88.

4. For quotes, see Grant Geissmann, Foul Play! The Art and Artists of the 1950s EC Comics (New York: Harper Design International, 2005), 16–17; Howard Rodman, “They Shoot Comic Books, Don’t They?,” American Film 14, no. 7 (May 1989): 34–39; Brian Siano, “The Skeptical Eye: Tales from the Crypt,” Humanist, March 1994. See also Franklin Harris, “The Long, Gory Life of EC Comics,” Reason 37, no. 2 (June 2005): 64–65; Barbara Carlson, “To Him, the Comics Aren’t Mickeymouse,” Hartford Courant, February 17, 1973; Chris Kaltenbach, “A Comic Book Kingdom: ‘Up, Up and AWAYYYY,’” Sun, December 4, 1983.

5. Mark Gauvreau Judge, “Holy Censorship, Batman! Guess Who’s Banning Comic Books,” Washington Post, June 9, 1996; Max Alexander, “Seriously, It’s Comics: From Superman to Today,” New York Times, June 11, 1989, Sunday edition, sec. Arts & Leisure; John F. Brodsen, “Tempo: It’s Alive! Comic Terror Is Back from the Crypt,” Chicago Tribune, February 15, 1984, sec. 5; Jim Trombetta, The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read! (New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2010), 79; Paul Lopes, Demanding Respect: The Evolution of the American Comic Book (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009), 51–52.

6. The quote is from James Burkhart Gilbert, A Cycle of Outrage: America’s Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). David Hajdu describes a deep-rooted generational battle and culture war in The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, 1st ed. (London: Picador, 2009), 6–7. For other descriptions focused on social trends, see M. Thomas Inge, Comics as Culture (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1990), 117; Lopes,Demanding Respect, 30, 58–59; Trombetta, The Horror! The Horror!, 23.

7. Jeffrey A. Brown, “Comic Book Fandom and Cultural Capital,” Journal of Popular Culture 30, no. 4 (1997): 18. See also Shirrel Rhoades, A Complete History of American Comic Books (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), 58.

8. Phillip Napoli, “Media Economics and the Study of Media Industries,” in Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method, ed. Jennifer Holt and Alisa Perren (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 162.

9. For exemplary descriptions of the important role of fans in the history of comic books, see Bill Schelly, Founders of Comic Fandom (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010); Matthew J. Pustz, Comic Book Culture: Fanboys and True Believers (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000).

10. Alisa Perren, “Rethinking Distribution for the Future of Media Industry Studies,” Cinema Journal 52, no. 3 (Spring 2013): 166.

11. Timothy Havens and Amanda Lotz, Understanding Media Industries (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 146–49.

12. Within film studies, distribution has traditionally been defined as separate from exhibition, which refers primarily to theaters. In the context of comic books, however, exhibition is more akin to retail, which might refer to newsstands and other venues of consumption that were often integrated with wholesale and distribution businesses.

13. Havens and Lotz, Understanding Media Industries, 145; Phillip Drake, “Distribution and Marketing in Contemporary Hollywood,” in The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry, ed. Janet Wasko and Paul McDonald (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), 75.

14. Scott Curtis, “A House Divided: The MPPC in Transition,” in American Cinema’s Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices, ed. Charlie Keil and Shelley Stamp (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 242–43, 251.

15. William Kunz, Culture Conglomerates: Consolidation in the Motion Picture and Television Industries (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007), 130.

16. Drake, “Distribution and Marketing,” 75–81.

17. For references to a witch hunt, see Les Daniels, Batman: The Complete History (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1999), 99; Teodora Carabas, “Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD: The Debunking of Spies, Superheroes, and Cold War Rhetoric in Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy,” Journal of Popular Culture 40, no. 1 (February 2007): 4–24; “Tales from the Crypt’s Father,” Los Angeles Times, June 3, 1990, Orange County edition, sec. TV Times, Television Desk. For broader characterizations, see Trombetta, The Horror! The Horror!, 23, 31, 79; Harris, “The Long, Gory Life”; Pustz, Comic Book Culture, 41; Lopes, Demanding Respect, 51–52.

18. Herbert I. Schiller, Culture Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 14–21.

19. Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) hearings before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the U.S., Eighty-Third Congress, second session, on April 21, 22, June 4, 1954.

20. See, for example, Robert Warshow, “Paul, the Horror, and Dr. Wertham,” Commentary 17 (1954): 596–604; Kingsley Amis, “A Threat to Our Culture,” Spectator, December 30, 1955; Muhlen, [End Page 34] “Comic Books and Other Horrors”; Munro Leaf, “Lollipops or Dynamite? Millions of Comic Books Devoured with Gusto by Children. With What Effect?,” Christian Science Monitor, November 13, 1948, sec. Weekly Magazine.

21. Selby, “Congress, Culture and Capitalism,” 66.

22. Richard Maltby, “The Production Code and the Hays Office,” in Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939, ed. Tino Balio, vol. 5, History of the American Cinema (New York: Scribner, 1993), 43.

23. Lee Grieveson, Policing Cinema: Movies and Censorship in Early-Twentieth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 131–35.

24. Stephen Weinberger, “From Censors to Critics: Representing ‘the People,’” Film & History 42, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 7–13.

25. Leonard J. Leff and Jerold Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code, rev. ed. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), 4–5.

26. Maltby, “The Production Code,” 41–43.

27. Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell, Film History: An Introduction (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2003), 216–17; Leff and Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono, xiv, 43.

28. Ruth A. Inglis, “Self-Regulation in Operation,” in The American Film Industry, ed. Tino Balio (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), 384–86.

29. Leff and Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono, xv.

30. Kunz, Culture Conglomerates, 129–30; Thomas Schatz, “Film Industry Studies and Hollywood History,” in Holt and Perren, Media Industries, 46.

31. Mae D. Huettig, “Economic Control of the Motion Picture Industry,” in Balio, The American Film Industry, 310.

32. Leff and Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono, xv.

33. Amy Kiste Nyberg, Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998), 156–57; Jean-Paul Gabilliet, Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books, trans. Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009), 44–49.

34. Randy Duncan and Matthew J. Smith, The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture (New York: Continuum, 2009), 40–48.

35. Rutledge and Bart, “Comic Books.”

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