Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Seal of Approval on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code [Paperback]

Amy Kiste Nyberg
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 33.95
Price: CDN$ 24.70 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 9.25 (27%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually ships within 3 to 5 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $10.64  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $24.70  
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

June 27 2002 Studies in Popular Culture
For most of the past century the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self-regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure.

This book examines why comic books were the subject of controversy, beginning with objections that surfaced shortly after the introduction of modern comic books in the mid-1930s, when parents and teachers accused comic books of contaminating children’s culture and luring children away from more appropriate reading material.

The legacy of the comics code is that it continues to define the comic book medium as essentially juvenile literature. While the code offers protection against those who attack the media (and not just comic books), it also reaffirms the public perception of comic books as children’s fare. As a result, the comic book has yet to achieve legitimation as a unique form of expression that blends words and pictures in a way that no other medium can duplicate.

In tracing the evoluti


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The audience for comic books in postwar America was much different from what it is today. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
In Seal of Approval (The History of the Comics Code), Amy Kiste Nyberg takes the reader through a narrowly focused but essential part of the history of comic books and, therefore, part of the greater history of popular culture in general. Much of the basic story will be familiar from other histories of comic books but this author provides new insights into the foundation for the movement to censor comic books as well as providing a run down of the evolution of the comics code after the mid-fifites Senate hearings, an evolution very rarely discussed. The author also makes valuable use of sources little used by other authors such as the minutes of the Comics Magazine Association of America. All in all, a nice piece of research and a valuable contribution to the history of pop culture.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars a bright study of a dark subject Sept. 12 2000
Format:Paperback
This is one brilliant book. She has taken a subject of much heated debate and passion among collectors and boiled it down to it's essence. I don't agree with everything she claims but it is thought-provoking nonetheless. If you collect comics and you want to gain a deeper understanding of how our hobby has been shpaed then buy this book.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Hardcover
This insightful and well-researched work carefully places the Comices Code Authority with in the context of American culture. Rather than taking the traditional view, that the code came a a result of the repressive attitudes of the 1950s and was the downfall of the industry, Amy Kiste Nyborg convincingly shows the Code to be a pioneering effort in industry self-regulation in response to public pressure -- a logical forerunner of motion picture ratings, recoard warning labels, TV advisories, and the V-chip. Parental and community outcry against commic books in the 1940s and 1950s virtually mirrors the "protect our kids from the Internet" efforts of 1998. The unexamined role of economic factors such as industry distribution patterns on the Code is examined here for the first time. The Comics code is shown to have made fundamental changes in how the comics industry has operated over time, and in SEAL OF APPROVAL, Amy Kiste Nyborg demonstrates that it is still very relevant today.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Comics Code in the context of Popular American Culture Aug. 26 1998
By David K. Taggart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This insightful and well-researched work carefully places the Comices Code Authority with in the context of American culture. Rather than taking the traditional view, that the code came a a result of the repressive attitudes of the 1950s and was the downfall of the industry, Amy Kiste Nyborg convincingly shows the Code to be a pioneering effort in industry self-regulation in response to public pressure -- a logical forerunner of motion picture ratings, recoard warning labels, TV advisories, and the V-chip. Parental and community outcry against commic books in the 1940s and 1950s virtually mirrors the "protect our kids from the Internet" efforts of 1998. The unexamined role of economic factors such as industry distribution patterns on the Code is examined here for the first time. The Comics code is shown to have made fundamental changes in how the comics industry has operated over time, and in SEAL OF APPROVAL, Amy Kiste Nyborg demonstrates that it is still very relevant today.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of a complex issue May 25 2008
By Don McGowan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Seal of Approval" was recommended along with David Hadju's "Ten-Cent Plague". I have read them both. To my mind this one is better, but I may be approaching this from a different perspective than most. I work in an industry that is currently confronted with many of the issues that the comics industry confronted in the 1950s - the video game business - and so I'm looking specifically for something that will be instructive and not just descriptive.

Unlike Hadju's book, "Seal of Approval" is written by an academic (Nyberg is a professor at Seton Hall) and it shows. It's a very balanced historical overview coupled with an analysis of the Code and its various iterations over time. It speaks to the cultural context to the original Code but also to the way the companies governed by the Code adapted themselves over time, as well as the fact that not all publishers were governed by the Code and yet some managed to stay in business (Dell being the most significant). It's very well-researched (15 pages of bibliography) and it's definitely worth picking up.

The strongest part of this book is the way that it puts the crusaders in their social, cultural, and professional context. Fredric Wertham, who seems to have been the Jack Thompson or Carrie Nation of this issue, is often caricatured as... well... just like Jack Thompson or Carrie Nation. In Nyberg's presentation we learn that Wertham was a social scientist of some note before he got to this issue. He may well have gone off the deep end when he got to comics but it's interesting to see how he got there and explains why he got the exposure he did

The most cogent criticism I'd give of the book is one that's common to books written by academics: except for social scientists who are used to doing interviews most academics don't like to get out and deal with people in their work and so they end up relying on source materials where source interviews might be more helpful. I don't know whether Nyberg did do interviews or not, but the sections on how the review process actually worked over time and still work today read like they're assembled from materials. They could have used some perspective on how the business actually is done. As the guy who often does content review for Microsoft games, I know that a policy manual is tough to work with because of the edge cases and the subjective nature of reviewing, and if you went only from written documents you'd miss the flavor of the exercise.

But seriously, this is a good book on its own merits.

As a source for consideration about whether and how the games business might develop "Seal of Approval" is also helpful. Although not perfect for the reasons I mention, the sections dealing with life under the Code and the changes to the Code over time have been instructive. Nyberg isn't Niall Ferguson either but I'll be recommending this book to colleagues anyway.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Narrowly Focused, Nice Addition to Comic Book Studies Dec 22 2001
By Ricky Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In Seal of Approval (The History of the Comics Code), Amy Kiste Nyberg takes the reader through a narrowly focused but essential part of the history of comic books and, therefore, part of the greater history of popular culture in general. Much of the basic story will be familiar from other histories of comic books but this author provides new insights into the foundation for the movement to censor comic books as well as providing a run down of the evolution of the comics code after the mid-fifites Senate hearings, an evolution very rarely discussed. The author also makes valuable use of sources little used by other authors such as the minutes of the Comics Magazine Association of America. All in all, a nice piece of research and a valuable contribution to the history of pop culture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On censorship in America Sept. 13 2010
By Steve Reina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Maybe because it's about such a supposedly trivial thing, this is a very important book.

Ostensibly the story of a crusade against inappropriate material in comic books, this book hints at the deeper story of America's periodic fascination with censorship.

In a thoroughgoing fashion Professor Nyberg (of Communications) tells the story how comic books came to the main entertainment source for children through the end of the depression and until television in the early 1950s came to replace them.

In that brief window that existed between his election to the Senate (in 1948 from Tennessee) and the rise of television as a maintstay of children's entertainment, Estes Kefauver -- the once and future presidential candidate -- set up very public hearings to essentially scare the comic book industry into "cleaning up its act" and eliminating supposedly inappropriate material.

If this scenero sounds familiar, then the reason is because similar public outcries attended the first newspaper comics, early cinema and then later the talkies themselves (in that last particular resulting in the creation of the Hayes Code which was actually the model for the code eventually approved by the comic book industry).

Along the way, William Gaines (later of Mad Magazine) stood alone in the wilderness crying against censorship. His humble point was that cutting edge stories could still serve greater artistic and cultural purposes. One such story was called "The Whipping." In it, a white father was dead set against his daughter's involvement with a young hispanic man whose family had moved into the community. Taking the law into his hands, the white father and several of his friends supposed stole the young man from his family, put him in a bag and began to beat him until supposedly he died. Of course, the bagged figure turned out to be none other than the white man's own daughter...killed by her father's own hatred.

While history can now easily side with Gaines on such matters, in the 1950s Senator Kefauver won the day and eventually forced the comic book industry to shed such "smut" from its pages as stories like "The Whipping."

However laughable the merits of a full fledged Senate investigation into the contents of comic books now seem, the full on rush to censor is -- as Professor Nyberg points out -- an often all too American phenomenon and one that we would do well to bear in mind the next time sometime someone points an accusing finger and calls for the censor's eraser.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Advocacy, but History and Analysis July 5 2006
By Charles Hatfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Don't believe those one and two-star reviews!

Nyberg's SEAL OF APPROVAL is a responsible, deeply researched, well-documented scholarly history of the Comics Code. It's essential for anyone doing in-depth study of the history of American comic books after the early 1950s.

Contrary to what some other customer reviews have implied, Nyberg does not endorse the Comics Code. Nor does she condemn. SEAL is a work of media history and analysis, not of advocacy. Its treatment of the Code, its nature and its history, is subtle and avoids overstatement.

While Nyberg reaches certain conclusions that differ from my own, and unfortunately neglects the underground comix of the 60s as a response to the Code, SEAL is an excellent book, not to be judged solely on the basis of one's gut reaction to the Comics Code.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback