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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Image Adopts New Rating System

Perhaps the first issue of Butcher Baker didn't really need
a rating to identify this was a Mature title.

Following in line with what other publishers have chosen to do to inform concerned consumers about the content of their books, Image Comics is adopting a new rating system. I was surprised to learn that Image did not already use a rating system since they have such an enormous variety of books that run the gamut of topics, and so many are creator-owned titles (as opposed to properties that possess some frame of reference). A reader typically learns he or she is reading a mature book when the page is turned and two topless prostitutes are lying in a pool of blood while their murderers sing karaoke next to lines of coke (Undying Love).

While this content is actually my cup of tea, I can see why this would be frustrating to retailers who really don’t know what types of books the independent publisher is releasing. Similar to DC’s recently adopted rating system, Image’s four ratings are as follows:

E - EVERYONE (all ages, may contain minimal violence).
T - TEEN (12 and up, may contain mild violence or mild profanity).
T+ - TEEN PLUS (16 and up, may contain moderate violence, moderate profanity use and suggestive themes).
M - MATURE (18 and up, may contain nudity, profanity, excessive violence and other content not suitable for minors).

Now, I can easily decide what would be an appropriate read for the bus ride home—Super Dinosaur, and not Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker.

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