Your Comics Code at Work: LOVE SECRETS #48

Here’s a post that you can credit (or blame) entirely to Mark Waid. Mark sent me these two old Quality Comics releases with instructions to read a particular story inside each one. And now I’ll share that story with all of you–another example of how the Comics Code of America was protecting the corruptible youth of our nation from the evils of comic book stories.

This story first saw print three years earlier, in LOVE LETTERS #17 in 1952. The GCD hasn’t tracked down a credit for the writer, but the artwork was done by John Forte and Bill Ward. By 1956, Quality Comics was on its last legs as a publisher, and soon would sell off its remaining properties to DC/National Comics and get out of the game. So in their final years, they saved some money on expenses by repurposing old stories from teh past. Only by 1956, those stories–which had appeared earlier and caused nobody any harm, needed to be sanitized by the Comics Code for everyone’s protection. This first page gets out pretty much unscathed, save for the fact that skirts seem to have been added to the two girls in the bottom panels

Again, not much to see here. A few of the ladies get covered up a bit more, but that’s about it.

Nothing substantial gets changed here. Just a single cleavage line in the third panel, looks like.

Lost a little bit of cleavage from the girl in the top tier, but that’s about it.

This page appears to be intact.

Again, no overt changes.

And then BAM! The last three panels of the story are completely rewritten, and a new final panel image inserted. And why? So as to make abundantly clear that it’s not enough that Patty turns over a new leaf, she needs to suffer for her relatively-harmless misdeeds and be appropriately chastised for her behavior. It’s adding in a moral where no moral is called for (and a different message than, really, what the original story had been attempting to convey–one more in line with the feelings of whomever at the Comics Code mandated these alterations.)

5 thoughts on “Your Comics Code at Work: LOVE SECRETS #48

  1. On page 5 panel 3, they gave her a slip to wear under her robe, to make sure no cleavage would entice anyone in a domestic setting.

    On page 6, she gets to wear her sexy gown, but as we go into a close-up on page 7, it grows lace trim to cover up her décolletage (and her gloves turn white in sympathy).


  2. My favorite code altered story is Mr. Aqua. when it is reprinted in Plastic Man #63: The Menace of Mr. Aqua](Table of Contents: 1)Plastic Man / comic story / 7 pages(report information)Script
    Bill Woolfolk
    Jack Cole
    Jack Cole
    US from Plastic Man (Quality Comics, 1943 series) #25 (September 1950)
    Indexer Notes
    This story was revised from the original, likely because of the Comic Book Code. Here, Woozy spills a pitcher with the villain Aqua in it. In the original, and the reprint in issue #44, Woozy drank Aqua!!!


  3. I have always thought John Forte was an underrated artist. His work has often been described as “stiff” but I like his style. He did nice work on some of the early Legion of Super-Heroes stories, and he drew very beautiful women. Forte definitely did a good job on this story.


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