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.
Archie Comics #271, Archie Publications, June 1978
This comic has become a cult classic. The “Pearl Necklace” issue always sells for multiples of guide at the conventions and on eBay.
The rather harmless sounding “pearl necklace” makes its sexual connotations perfect for innuendo. ZZ Top did a song about it and Archie had a cover devoted to it! Subtle little visuals like the guy behind the counter playing “pocket pool” and the other guy on the escalator looking over and smiling make it appear that they are in on the joke.
The whole Archie, Betty and Veronica love triangle make the Archie Comics fertile ground for content that may seem at times inappropriate. Sleepy Censors has a nice stash of just such comics and we just can’t wait to share them with you.