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.
Rifleman #10, Dell Publishing, Jan-Mar 1962
No Sleepy Censor series would be complete without the classic Rifleman “Woody” cover from the good wholesome people at Dell Publishing. Dell was so squeaky clean that they didn’t even have to get a Comic Code Authority to print comics. Printing Chip and Dale does have its fringe benefits.
This cover is all about positioning and facial expressions. Chuck Conners has got the “yeah, that’s right” look about him and to tell you the truth I don’t even what to think about what’s going through the kids mind. The whole thing is too staged for it to be considered coincidence!