Marvel's unilateral decision to withdraw from the CMAA (Comics Magazine Association of America) and the Comics Code (see 'Marvel Drops the Comics Code') has brought forth strong statements of support for the organization from its other members.  DC Comics released the following statement, 'The CMAA's Comics Code and DC's own editorial standards for identifying which of our titles are suggested for different age readers continue to meet the needs of retailers, distributors, readers, and, in particular, the parents of our youngest readers.'  Archie Comics President Michael Silberkleit told ICv2 that he would do all he could to support the CMAA, while a Dark Horse spokesman told ICv2 that his company would continue to use the CMAA to get code approval for all its newsstand titles.


Holly Munter Koenig of the CMAA told ICv2 that she would welcome Marvel back, and that membership in the CMAA 'continues to be available to all publishers who wish to participate in this trade.'  Ms. Koenig expressed disappointment in the fact that Marvel decided to leave the organization.  'The meeting last Thursday was set up in advance by all parties with the expressed purpose of revising the code.  But before we could get down to business, Marvel stated that it wouldn't be happy with any form of 'third party' approval.' Ms. Koenig pointed out that in television, the movie industry, the music industry, and the video game industry all the ratings are done by third parties (whose salaries like those of the officials in the CMAA are paid by the industry they are rating).  She feels that the American public is naturally suspicious of an individual company rating its own products.


Archie President Michael Silberkleit was saddened by Marvel's decision, but refused to criticize Marvel's Bill Jemas, stating that 'Jemas has to do what he thinks is best for his business.'  But Silberkleit did take exception to Jemas' speculation about the industry being better off if there had been no Comics Code back in the 1950s.  'I lived through that era, and I heard my father talking about the very real danger to our livelihood.  I believe if it hadn't been for the Code, the industry wouldn't have survived.  Enough people lost their jobs as it was, but it could have been much worse.  At the height of the hysteria retailers were refusing to carry even Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck comics.'


According to Holly Koenig, the CMAA will carry on as before, 'The Comics Code is not about the comic shops, it's about the newsstand market.  We hope Marvel will come back, but we will go on.  I just received a new batch of comics today, including some from Bongo Comics.'  Marvel is now faced with the task of coming up with its own rating system, and getting it accepted by the major wholesalers in the newsstand business. Will Marvel make its code public?  How long will it be before Marvel starts rating its own books?  Will there be an interruption of the flow of Marvel comics to the newsstand? It should be very interesting to see how this story develops.