The Comics Code Authority revises the Code a number of times during the year. Initially "liberalized" on January 28, 1971, to allow for (among other things) the sometimes "sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior . . . [and] corruption among public officials" ("as long as it is portrayed as exceptional and the culprit is punished") as well as permitting some criminal activities to kill law-enforcement officers and the "suggestion but not portrayal of seduction." Also newly allowed were "vampires, ghouls and werewolves . . . when handled in the classic tradition such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and other high calibre literary works written by Edgar Allan Poe, Saki, Conan Doyle and other respected authors whose works are read in schools around the world." Zombies, lacking the requisite "literary" background, remain taboo.
March 20: Andries Brandt and Jan Van Haasteren's Aafje Anders makes its debut. After a few stories Robert Hamilton and Richard Klokkers take over the artwork. The series will run until 17 April 1973.
I came back into the field because of [convention organizer Phil Seuling]. I remember [him] calling me in New London, [Connecticut], where I was sitting there as chairman of the board of Croft Publishing Co. My secretary said, 'There's a Mr. Seuling on the phone and he's talking about a comics convention. What is that?' ... I came down and was stunned at the existence of the whole world. ... That was a world that I had left, and I found it very exciting, very stimulating. I went down to the convention, which was being held in one of the hotels in New York, and there was a group of guys with long hair and scraggly beards, who had been turning out what spun as literature, really popular 'gutter' literature if you will, but pure literature. And they were taking on illegal [sic] subject matter that no comics had ever dealt with before. ... I came away from that recognizing that a revolution had occurred then, a turning point in the history of this medium.
^ abThompson, Don & Maggie, "Crack in the Code" in Newfangles #44 (February 1971).
^McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 145. ISBN978-0-7566-6742-9. As the writer, artist, and or of the Fourth World family of interlocking titles, each of which possessed its own distinct tone and theme, Jack Kirby cemented his legacy as a pioneer of grand-scale storytelling.
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145 "Before Batman first encountered one of his greatest adversaries, Ra's al Ghul, he met his daughter, the lovely but lethal Talia [in a story by] writer Denny O'Neil and artist Bob Brown."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145: "Writer Denny O'Neil once stated that he and artist Neal Adams 'set out to consciously and deliberately to create a villain...so exotic and mysterious that neither we nor Batman were sure what to expect.' Who they came up with was arguably Batman's most cunning adversary: the global eco-terrorist named Ra's al Ghul."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146: "'Swamp Thing' was the name of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's start of the 20th century tale, and its popularity with readers led a modernized version of the character into his own series a year later."
^Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 481. ISBN978-3-8365-1981-6. When Swamp Thing debuted in this issue of House of Secrets as a "one-shot", no one could have known it would lead to an enduring hit franchise, least of all its cover model, future comics writer Louise Simonson.
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 144: "Although decreasing sales and inflation dictated a hefty cover price increase from 15 to 25 cents, [DC Comics Publisher Carmine] Infantino saw to it that extra pages containing classic reprints and new back-up features were added to DC titles."
^Levitz, p. 451: "Marvel took advantage of this moment to surpass DC in title production for the first time since 1957, and in sales for the first time ever."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146 "It was taboo to depict drugs in comics, even in ways that openly condemned their use. However, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams collaborated on an unforgettable two-part arc that brought the issue directly into Green Arrow's home, and demonstrated the power comics had to affect change and perception."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 147: "Believing that new formats were necessary for the comics medium to continue evolving, Kirby oversaw the production of what was labeled his 'Speak-Out Series' of magazines: Spirit World and In the Days of the Mob...Sadly, these unique magazines never found their desired audience."