Standards of the Comics Code Authority
for editorial matter
General Standards Part A:
- Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create
sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and
justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
- No comics shall explicitly present the unique details and
methods of a crime.
- Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected
institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for
- If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant
- Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered
glamorous or to occupy a position which creates the desire for emulation.
- In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the
criminal punished for his misdeeds.
- Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of
brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gun play, physical agony,
gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
- No unique or unusual methods of concealing weapons shall be
- Instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a
criminal's activities should be discouraged.
- The crime of kidnapping shall never be portrayed in any
detail, nor shall any profit accrue to the abductor or kidnapper. The criminal
or the kidnapper must be punished in every case.
- The letter of the word "crime" on a comics magazine shall
never be appreciably greater than the other words contained in the title. The
word "crime" shall never appear alone on a cover.
- Restraint in the use of the word "crime" in titles or
subtitles shall be exercised.
General Standards Part B:
- No comic magazine shall use the word "horror" or "terror" in
- All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome
crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
- All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be
- Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or or
shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in
no case shall evil be presented alluringly nor so as to injure the
sensibilities of the reader.
- Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking
dead, torture vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are
General Standards Part C:
All elements or techniques not specifically mentioned herein, but
which are contrary to the spirit and intent of the Code, and are considered
violations of good taste or decency, shall be prohibited.
- Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols
which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
- Special precautions to avoid references to physical
afflictions or deformities shall be taken.
- Although slang and colloquialisms are acceptable, excessive
use should be discouraged and wherever possible good grammar shall be employed.
Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never
- Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue
- Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is
- All characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably
acceptable to society.
- Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of
any physical qualities.
NOTE: It should be recognized that all prohibitions dealing with
costume, dialogue, or artwork applies as specifically to the cover of a comic
magazine as they do to the contents.
Marriage and Sex:
- Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor shall be
represented as desirable.
- Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at or
portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are
- Respect for parents, the moral code, and for honorable
behavior shall be fostered. A sympathetic understanding of the problems of love
is not a license for moral distortion.
- The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the
value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.
- Passion or romantic interest shall never be treated in such a
way as to stimulate the lower and baser emotions.
- Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
- Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
Code For Advertising Matter:
- Liquor and tobacco advertizing is not acceptable.
- Advertisement of sex or sex instructions books are
- The sale of picture postcards, "pin-ups," "art studies," or any
other reproduction of nude or semi-nude figures is prohibited.
- Advertising for the sale of knives, concealable weapons, or
realistic gun facsimiles is prohibited.
- Advertising for the sale of fireworks is prohibited.
- Advertising dealing with the sale of gambling equipment or
printed matter dealing with gambling shall not be accepted.
- Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall
not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never
be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or
- To the best of his ability, each publisher shall ascertain
that all statements made in advertisements conform to the fact and avoid
- Advertisement of medical, health, or toiletry products of
questionable nature are to be rejected. Advertisements for medical, health or
toiletry products endorsed by the American Medical Association, or the American
Dental Association, shall be deemed acceptable if they conform with all other
conditions of the advertising code.