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.
Betty and Me #16, Archie Publications, 1968
Ahhh. Archie comics in the 1960’s. The success of the Archie comics over the years had brought forth a number of spin-off titles to help satiate the hungry consumer’s need for wholesome, good-hearted family fun. And of course, what better way than to poke light at the romance between Betty and Archie.
On this cover:
This cover really speaks for itself. In the background of the comic, we see three guys slumped over in water up to their waist all in a pretty miserable mood.
However in the foreground we find our courageous hero, Archie, carrying off the damsel in distress, Betty, in his arms.
The ever gracious Betty happy, but still concerned about Archie’s well being asks him “Archie, did you have any trouble rescuing me?”
To which the triumphant Archie proudly replies “I sure did Betty! I had to BEAT OFF three other guys!”
Well now! The term “Beat off” refers to male masturbatory exploits. Implied is that Archie gets to take Betty home with him, now that he has fulfilled not just one but THREE guys needs.
This comic is quite sought after in the collecting community. The “Beat Off” issue of Betty and Me is a perfect edition to our Sleepy Censor library.