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Bowdlerise / Comic Books

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  • The Animorphs graphic novels:
    • Most of the Family-Unfriendly Violence is left intact, but The Invasion omits the Taxxons eating Elfangor's remains.
    • The hillbillies in The Visitor are drinking soda instead of beer, and they're played more comically.
  • Tintin was bowdlerized a lot.
    • "Tintin in Africa" originally took place in the Belgian colony Congo. In the current album edition all references to Congo have been replaced to general references to "Africa".
      • In the same album Tintin hunts down a lot of animals. In one scene in the original book he kills a rhinoceros by drilling a hole in its back, then dropping a dynamite stick inside, whereupon the animal explodes. Scandinavian publishers thought this scene was too violent and asked Hergé to change it. In the modern version, which other countries also adapted, a rhinoceros passes by when Tintin is sleeping and accidentally fires off his gun, whereupon he runs away scared.
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    • In "Tintin in America", Tintin hears a baby crying and thinks it's Snowy, his dog. In the original version the mother and her child were Afro-American. American publishers made Hergé change them into Caucasians.
      • Later, a bank employee says "a few fellers" were hanged in response to a bank robbery, and a radio broadcast announces that 44 hobos have been lynched. In the original, let's just say the word wasn't "fellers" or "hobos", but certainly rhymed with "hobos".
    • Similarly, in "The Crab With the Golden Claws", Captain Haddock is beaten by a Caucasian man, while in the original album this man was black, again fulfilling a request of the American publishers.
      • When Haddock discovers beer bottles in "The Crab With the Golden Claws", he starts drinking them. In the original version the reader sees him drinking each bottle. At the request of the publishers, the drinking scenes themselves were removed. Now Haddock simply becomes drunk without the audience actually seeing him drink each bottle.
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    • "The Shooting Star" was probably the most bowdlerized album in the entire series. Hergé drew this story while he lived under the Nazi occupation. An anti-Semitic gag with two rabbis enjoying the predicted destruction of Earth, because then they wouldn't have to pay back their debts, was removed. The villain in the story is an American banker who was originally called Blumenstein. After the war Hergé changed Blumenstein's country of origin into that of the fictional state Sao Rico and his name Blumenstein into "Bohlwinkel", because it sounded less Jewish. Unfortunately he later found out "Bohlwinkel" was also a very common Jewish name.
    • The Belvision animated version of Tintin attempted to bowdlerise Captain Haddock's drinking problem to sleeping drops in his coffee, and Alan's Opium running to diamond smuggling.
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    • The Nelvana animated version did two notable changes:
      • In The Broken Ear, Tintin at one point dresses up in blackface and poses as a member of the ship's crew. In the Nelvana version, he instead has a fake moustache and a black wig (the same uniform he used in The Calculus Affair).
      • In The Red Sea Sharks, the slavery plot is still kept in - however, rather than tricking African muslims into trying to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, instead they are refugees trying to find asylum in America. This actually makes the "Slavery" plot even darker - especially since there were plenty of wars going on in sub-Saharan Africa at the time.
  • Older albums of Suske en Wiske have been bowdlerized as well, mostly to remove scenes, dialogues or jokes that refer too directly to post World War II news and society or Flemish culture in general.
  • The lead character of the French comic book Sillage is Nävis, a teenage girl who, as the only survivor of a wrecked starship, has grown up alone except for an animal companion on a jungle planet. Volume 1 of the original comic depicts her naked except for a pair of briefs, with white bars tattooed on her arms, legs, face and breasts. The U.S. edition is retitled Wake, renames the character Navee for the sake of pronunciation, and censors her nudity by painting her chest tattoo solid black.
  • Another French comic about a girl raised in the wild, Pyrénée, might never see publication in English because the kid is starkers.
  • Mocked in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2's supplementary material, where the last page contains a note from the "H.M. Office of Bowdlerisation" ordering readers to "detach and destroy all scenes of an unsavory nature".
  • When Disney Adventures ran a few chapters of Bone (which is itself a highly nonsensical decision), they gave it a nice heavy scrubbing. A couple of scenes were entirely removed, and all references to beer were changed to soda. Since this meant that Phoney Bone's Oh, Crap! reaction when he realizes how royally he's screwed the pooch by threatening the musclebound bar owner over an economic misunderstanding had to be changed, too, they chose to give him some random-ass comment about being lactose intolerant, which doesn't make sense no matter how you butter it. What makes this silly is that Disney itself never used to be averse to depicting the consumption of beer (or similar beverages) in its cartoons.
  • In Elektra Vol. 2 #3, Elektra is nude, censored by shadows and word balloons. Another printing redrew her wearing underwear.
  • The Marvel Comics reprints of Fish Police removed most of the heavier profanity (the originals use "fuck" and "shit" a few times) to correspond with the release of the Animated Adaptation.
  • The 2010s Marvel reprint of the Alan Moore era of Miracleman left all the nudity, sex, and incredibly graphic violence uncut, but asterisked out the comic's two uses of the word "nigger", once used by Evelyn Cream in his internal monologue to refer to himself when he worries about falling into superstition, and the second time when Bates insults the African-American hero Huey Moon during the final battle.
  • A pair of issues of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye included with the Generations toys of Trailcutter and Hoist edit out references to guns, death and alcohol, a single "damn" said from Sunstreaker and the in-universe explanation about why Trailbreaker changed his name to Trailcutter (the last one because Hasbro couldn't use the Trailbreaker name at the time).
  • The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics produced years ago in Italy are often edited in reprints. Usual victims are: references to alcohol, mild profanities, references to death, references to smoke, references to eating meat and wearing animal furs and outdated grammar.
    • In later years, many stories were blatantly edited even before their first publishing, as Disney's policies became so strict that made illegal showing things like characters smoking, drinking alcohol, eating meat, using guns or fishing (an infamous example is a comic about Fethry Duck becoming a pro fisherman that was changed into one about photography: the climatic scene of the comic was going to be Fethry trying to hook up a giant marlin, which is too strong for him and drags his boat around ultimately wrecking it. In the edited panel the marlin isn't hooked up, but somehow the boat is still dragged around and destroyed - they added a line that implies that the marlin destroyed the boat by repetedly headbutting it, but the scene still makes no sense)
  • Archie Comics has censored reprints for being too violent, sexual, or too outdated. For example, one issue of Betty and Veronica had the girls say that perfume "turns [me] on". The reprints replace the line with them saying it "drives [me] crazy".
  • Zipi y Zape: Inverted and downplayed — while Escobar's comics were mostly curse word-free, characters were prone to dropping the occasional mild curse in the Ramis-Cera age.
  • In Spider-Man #16 in which he teams X-Force to stop Juggernaut's rampage, Todd Mc Farlane's original artwork when Shatterstar stabs Juggernaut in the eye with his sword was much more graphic, we actually see the sword piece his eye and he pulls it out with blood dripping from the wound, the editors forced him to change it so we don't see the action, in the final printed version we see the sword heading towards his eye and a panel of blood splashing against a wall.
  • In Universe X: Spidey #1, a slanderous message against Bob Harras was hidden on the book spines of a bookshelf in one panel. Subsequent printings made the wording illegible.
  • The Warriors "manga" avoid blood and death. The books themselves are exceedingly violent. They contain cats being disembowled, cats mawled by dogs, cats having their throats slit, kits drowning, three moon old kits being killed in battle, etc. In one scene in the books Scourge injures Tigerstar so badly that he bleeds out from bloodloss and he loses all nine of his lives at once from the graveness of the injuries. The manga depiction? Barely any blood at all. TokyoPOP has enforced this, such as making one of the artist's censor a dead rabbit because they thought it was too unnerving for kids.
  • Patsy Walker was known as Hellcat by the time Spidey Super Stories featured her, so the comic used her older, more kid-friendly alias of The Cat instead.
  • One old Desperate Dan comic story had him win a bunch of cigars from a 'Test Your Strength' machine. When the story appeared in an annual from the 90's, the cigars were changed to bars of toffee.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): The short story "Ascension" featured in Issue #11 — in which princess Sally Acorn immerses herself in the Source of All to receive its guidance — was subjected to mild Bowdlerization when it appeared in the Sonic Select Book series and Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia. In the original print, Sally spends most of the story completely clothesless, and while she is already an Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal to begin with (wearing nothing but a pair of boots and an open vest), this particular instance marked the only time where the context presents her lack of clothes as if she were genuinely nude. The reprints later edited each panel to show Sally still wearing her vest while being barefoot, most likely to lessen the awkward implication of a female character skinny dipping on-panel.
  • The cover of one issue of Action Comics originally showed Clark and Pa Kent leaning on a fence outside the Kent farm, drinking beer. The book was actually recalled by DC, destroyed and reprinted to show them drinking bottles of soda pop. Understandable, perhaps, in the Silver Age when the Comics Code Authority reigned supreme, but this was in 2008!
  • The packaging copy for early Spawn action figures as well as the SNES Spawn video game and its manual referred to Hell as "the Darklands".
  • Brazilian comic Monica's Gang has had in republications of older stories dialogue and art changes to fit current political correctness standards. Minor swear words are swapped with generic interjections, native Brazilian women are given leaf bras to conceal their exposed breasts, parents threatening physical punishment are removed, and firearms in particular are censored in often ridiculous ways, such as a machine gun replaced with a lobster.