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SECRET ORIGINS OF DC's SILVER AGE MASCOT
Meet Johnny DC

This issue we reveal the roots of DC'searly Silver Age mascot, Johnny DC. You're probably familiar with DC's current logo (below, left), its predecessor (below, center) and it's earliest ancestor (below, right). You may also have seen the "Romance Group" variation.

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In the 1950s, comic books were attacked as harmful to kids, and as a result entire companies folded overnight. Particularly hard-hit was the Entertaining Comics line, known as EC Comics. The EC line featured lurid and outrageous stories and art that depicted subjects no other comic publisher dared portray, such as addictive drug use...
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This cover seen below, featuring a severed head and bloody axe, was Exhibit A in a United States Congressional Iinvestigation into the depravity of comic books...
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A man named Fredrick Wertham wrote a book called "Seduction of the Innocent" that explained how comics were slowly destroying American youth with their startling and shocking contents...
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As a result of all this, comic books became a symbol of creeping depravity. Lawmakers and officials across the country began condemning their "shocking" contents in public...
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The comic industry's solution was to create a self-policing entity known as the Comics Code Authority. Similiar to the Motion Picture Board's rating system, the code was a supposed to be a guarantee of wholesome, good clean fun.

Many years later, it was revealed that the entire "code" operation was essentially a face-saving sham. It had neither offices nor staff, and in reality the code seal was slapped on every title the major companies published, without exception.

Nevertheless, look at the ad below, listing all the important people DC claimed to have on its editorial board. Impressive, ain't it?
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In addition to hiding behind the Comics Code, DC made a major effort to emphasize that its entire line of books was SAFE. The company sought to turn its "DC" circle logo into a brand parents could trust. Regardless of what OTHER companies were doing, the DC logo guaranteed "the best in comics entertainment" -- "now more than ever!"

Since every team needs a mascot, DC decided to turn their circle logo into a person. They gave him a head, arms and legs, plus a college cap to symbolize his intelligence. They named him Johnny DC...

Johnny DC debuted in the 1962 ad above, then turned up in many DC in-house ads, introducing himself, then giving out DC's latest sales pitch...
Johnny had an especially prominent role in introducing a brand new title, featuring random superhero team-ups, named "The Brave and The Bold."
Johnny DC also had a habit of spring pop-quizes on readers...
As time passed, Johnny DC began changing his head-gear to reflect whatever title he was currently plugging. These two ads show him in a baseball cap...
At Christmas, Johnny broke out the old Santa cap, and added a pair of boots for good measure. Here is is selling DC's four-issue bundled "Comipac."
Johnny's Sana-hat served double-duty when he had to sell DC's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Giant Annual (1962)...
Where's Johnny in the Batman ad shown below? Hiding out in the lower left corner!
Johnny DC made a rare latter-day appearance in this 1971 filler by Bob Rozakis.
Whatever happened to Johnny DC? Well, according to writer Mark Evanier and artist Sergio Aragones, as told in Sergio Aragones Destroys the DC Universe, Johnny turned against the DC heroes and quit the company. Here's how it went down...
Goodbye, young Johnny DC. We hardly knew ye. But telling your origin story has inspired me to create a mascot for Dail B for Blog! And you just KNOW what his name must be. Collector's item alert! Readers, it's time to meet...
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The original promo (below, left) used to create the DBB ad (below, right).
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