Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Julia Liss

Reader 2

Andre Wakefield

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This thesis details and analyzes the history of the Comics Code of 1954 and its impact on American comics as a whole. Included is the history of the anti-comics movement and an analysis of 20th century mass-culture debates. This thesis also argues that the underground comix movement was an unwitting successor to pre-code comics and was responsible for growth in the comics medium by working around the oppressive Code. The second argument is that the Code’s impact is still present in current comics, and issues of mass culture still hang over the medium’s head, resulting in stagnation and an ongoing dismissal of comics as legitimate art.