The ACMP Publishers Code

The Association of Comic Magazine Publishers (ACMP) was unsuccessful precursor to the Comic Magazine Association of America (CMAA), who would administrate the Comics Code Authority. The association was founded in response to public criticism that comic books were detrimental to youth and contributed to rising rates of juvenile delinquency. In 1948 the association issued the below Publishers Code, modeled on the Hollywood Production Code or Hays Code. Lack of uniform participation or standards for its use rendered the code ineffective.

The ACMP Publishers Code reads:

  • Sexy, wanton comics should not be published. No drawing should show a female indecently or unduly exposed, and in no event more nude than in a bathing suit commonly worn in the United States of America.
  • Crime should not be presented in such a way as to throw sympathy against the law and justice or to inspire others with the desire for imitation. No comics shall show the details and methods of a crime committed by a youth. Policemen, judges, Government officials, and respected institutions should not be portrayed as stupid, ineffective, or represented in such a way to weaken respect for established authority.
  • No scenes of sadistic torture should be shown.
  • Vulgar and obscene language should never be used. Slang should be kept to a minimum and used only when essential to the story.
  • Divorce should not be treated humorously or represented as glamorous or alluring.
  • Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible.