I read an article just now called, "An Audience Worth Fighting For!" by Zach Smith.
While I generally agree with the author's statements, I do disagree with the
statement that "Comic books were originally created for kids." While kids have
been the main readers of comic books since their inception, the realities are
that comic books were created to make money, which is why they aren't targeted
to kids anymore. The people who have money now and are willing to spend on comic
books are fans who grew up with the books, which is why they are targeted to
EC (and Harvey for that matter) did horror comics that many adults read, not
because they wanted to destroy young minds, but because they were making money
at it, and they enjoyed doing them. Sure, there were companies out there
concerned about such things as whether you are warping kids' minds (i.e. Archie)
and that's why they helped initiate the Comics Code, but also "Archie" didn't
sell half as well as those old horror books, so there was some personal interest
vested in getting a Code established.
That's like saying, "Animated cartoons were originally created for kids." I've
watched enough animation documentaries to confirm that most animation was
created by animators to entertain themselves. They really didn't care who was
watching it, and as long as they got their paycheck, they continued to put out
product. Since most "responsible" adults especially from the Great
Depression/WWII era considered spending any money on "frivolous junk" i.e. comic
books, it fell on the kiddies who had no concept of "saving money for a rainy
day", and would eagerly spend, so the books were geared towards them as a
Nowadays, since adults are very willing to spend hundreds, even thousands on a
single book, why print up a cheap 10c book for some kid to read and trash, when
you can print it in a deluxe hardback on glossy paper and charge a big price for
it! The content then has to follow suit so the Comics Code is more of a
formality than anything else.
It is the harsh realities of the industry.