Page 7: Conclusion

Jumbo Comics was already dead when the the Comics Code Authority (CCA) imposed tighter regulations on comic book publishers in an attempt to protect young readers from undesirable material.  As discussed on Page 5: The Decline of Fiction House, the last issue of Jumbo was published in April 1953, with a one-shot 3D Sheena following a few months later.  The CCA was created in 1954 as part of the Comics Magazine Association of America (CMAA), and was stimulated by the publication of Dr Frederick Wertham's book, Seduction of the Innocent (1954).  Wertham stirred up public ire against comic books by arguing that comic books were a bad form of popular literature that contributed to juvenile delinquency.  He targeted the graphic depictions of violence and gore in crime and horror comics, but also the sexual innuendo of the comics depicting Good Girl Art (see Page 4: Fiction House Comic Artists).  Wertham specifically targeted one of Fiction House's creations in his book, which claimed that the cover of Phantom Lady No. 17, by Matt Baker, glorified bondage (Wikipedia).

There is definitely a change in the level of modesty of Sheena's leopard skin outfit that occurs between issue No. 126 (Aug 49) and No. 127 (Sep 49).  This change predates the CCA by a good five years, which is interesting, because I had always believed that the CCA was responsible for the sanitisation of Sheena's costume. Bill Black's essay in The Comic Book Jungle explains that censorship groups had pressured Fiction House to tone down Sheena's costume.  There was obviously a groundswell of public opinion against titillating comics and the introduction of the CCA was it's zenith.

Black goes on to say that without maximum cleavage Sheena can be almost boring.  He has a point.  Fans of jungle girls do enjoy the danger and excitement of the exotic adventures the genre presents, but the principle reason for the fascination is the opportunity to ogle muscular gals in primitive, revealing clothing.  Sheena has been providing that service admirably for over 65 years.  She served her apprenticeship within the pages of Jumbo Comics and is still going strong.  Long live the queen!

Click on the image below to view a complete set of Jumbo and Jungle Comics covers, and examples of other Fiction House titles:

Wikipedia online encyclopedia
The Comic Book Jungle, by Bill Black, Paragon Publications, Mar 99

• Maurice Whitman cover of Jumbo Comics No. 157
is from a CD-Rom of comic covers in my private collection
• Read a lengthy review of Dr Frederick Wertham's book, Seduction of the innocent at Dan Patanella's essay pages

SHEENA © is the property of Sony Pictures Corporation
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Sheena material is copyright © 2006 Paul Wickham