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26 April 2011 @ 11:02 pm
What did Bill Gaines think about censoring sex?  

Back in the mid-’80s, I wrote seven Ethics columns for The Comics Journal, which proved to be a very cathartic experience. But two additional columns were never published, both bounced by TCJ.

One of them, about my relationship with Jim Shooter, was in retrospect so personal that it was probably best that no one other then me and Gary Groth ever read it. The other, about a case of advertising censorship at The Comic Buyer’s Guide, was so of its time that it’s probably no longer of interest.

But one small part of that latter column shouldn’t vanish, and that’s a letter I received from Bill Gaines, publisher of MAD magazine. I wrote to ask what he thought about the banning of the word “sex,” considering that he once plastered it on one of his own covers, and this is what he had to say.

Gaines wrote:

“Well, I deplore it—but can understand CBG’s desire to avoid controversy. If, in fact, they followed their ad policy of censoring ads, you pays your money & takes your chances! Personally, I wouldn’t advertise there!”

My apologies to Bill’s ghost for not letting this quote out into the wild until now.

Oh, and in case you’re not familiar with MAD, this is the cover I was referring to in my letter.

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

Steven desJardinsstevendj on April 27th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
That's a nifty rubber stamp. I remember seeing Mad strips which referred to Gaines's extensive rubber stamp collection; it's interesting to see how he actually made good use of them.