In the mid 1950s the U.S. Senate forced comic book publishers to adhere to the guidelines of a Comic Code Authority. The ‘Code’ was brought in to protect America’s youth from what was then deemed disturbingly graphic and blatantly sexual content in comic books.
Post ‘Code’ comic books were produced with quite severe content restrictions. No longer did artists and writers have license to create anything they wished. Artists being artists and writers being writers these talented people soon began looking for creative ways to express themselves beyond the constraints of the ‘Code’. Suggestive art and wordplay was now being covertly added into comics.
Our Sleepy Censors articles will expose many comics that deserve a closer look. Some will be so obvious you’ll think “how’d they let that through” while others will be tamer. We hope all the posts will be entertaining and we encourage your feedback and suggestions of comics you think caught the censors sleeping.
Brave and the Bold, Page 8, Panel 5, DC Comics, March, 1982
This is a harmless enough looking issue. On the cover you have Batman raging against his dead parents with the Huntress secretly looking on. No harm in that. As we read on we get to a panel where Bruce Wayne is wishing a Mister Randolph (Bruce’s dad’s former accountant) the Season’s Greetings. Mr. Randolph returns the gesture but is more interested in the pretty young lady standing by the fireplace.
Have a closer look at her facial expression as she stares transfixed. What’s she staring at? A sight line check reveals she’s staring at the old man’s erection. Did I just say erection? Yeah, that really looks like a chub and she really looks surprised to see it. Her look really is out of context with the dialogue.
Such a thing would look to obvious so the artist employs another phallic looking ornament to the left to set up the old man’s hard on! Take a look at the top picture again. Nice work!