Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

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Mr. BEASER. Mr. J. Jerome Kaplon.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you swear that the evidence you are about to give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. KAPLON. I do.

The CHAIRMAN. I want to welcome a fellow New Jersey citizen here. Thank you for coming.

Will you state your full name and address, for the record?


Mr. KAPLON. J. Jerome Kaplon, and my home address, 78 Edger Road, Summit, Union County, N. J. I am an attorney and I am the chairman of the juvenile delinquency committee of the Union County Bar Association.

The CHAIRMAN. You practice in Elizabeth?

Mr. KAPLON. I practice in Summit. I was given the information yesterday that I was a member, appointed a member by Governor Meyner, of the newly appointed joint legislative committee known as the Juvenile Delinquency Study Commission, along with Mr. Simon J. Falcey of Trenton, Hon. John J. Rafferty, former member of the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Brunswick.

The CHAIRMAN. Former member of the House Assembly, too?

Mr. KAPLON. Correct.

Judge David A. Nimo, judge of Hudson County Court, and myself. I am not a legislator. I hold no political office, no governmental office.

The Union County Bar Association is merely acting in its capacity as one of the subordinate elements of the New Jersey State Bar Association who some 8 months ago, about the time your committee was organized, Senator Hendrickson, decided that New Jersey wanted to do something about juvenile delinquency also.

The CHAIRMAN. I might say for the record at this point that New Jersey has done something about it, too. Your committee is evidence of that fact.

Mr. KAPLON. We are happy, if I may digress from the main argument of what I hope to bring out today, the fact that we think in New Jersey, thanks to Mr. Fitzpatrick, of course, and his very fine work in connection with the report that his committee has gotten out, with the appropriation that they had within the limitations they were working ─

The CHAIRMAN. Do you happen to know, Mr. Kaplon, what appropriation they did have, the amount of it?

Mr. KAPLON. I believe it was something like 15 or 20 thousand dollars the first year, and they have been continued.

Our present commission in New Jersey, I am sure, has no appropriation. I know of none. All of the members of it, including myself, will serve without reward or compensation. It has been that way right from the very start when I, as an individual, felt that something should be done because the legal profession has a duty and obligation to the citizens.

We felt that as lawyers we should do our part in trying to probe for and find out the causes and the reasons and what could be done in the preventive field, in the field of juvenile delinquency.

I just read in our paper this morning, and I think it is worthy of note to call it to the attention of this committee:

Eight teeners held as cause of $2 million fire.

A teen-age tale of swimming in a forbidden area, stealing surreptitious "smokes” on a wooden pier, and making clumsy effort to put out the resultant fire with wet bathing suits, was drawn from 8 youngsters yesterday, according to police investigating Tuesday's $2,250,000 fire. The blaze put 125 firemen on the casualty list through injuries or smoke poison, touched off 100 explosions and threatened to engulf much of Edgewater before it was brought under control in one of the most spectacular fire-fighting efforts in years.

The youngsters are age 13 to 16, one of whom was a girl. I just bring this to your attention. It is so new that the ink is hardly dry on the Morning Newark Star and Eagle.

Mr. BEASER. You also have had experience with comic books, crime, and horror comic books?

Mr. KAPLON. We have had plenty of experience with comic books. Our committee has been diligently obtaining the evidence that has been offered today.

I don't think there is any exception in the State of New Jersey or Union County. I picked up something in Chicago only this Tuesday. Throughout the Nation we are having the same situation. It aggravates one greatly to hear the publishers cry and screech freedom of the press. They quoted so beautifully here from Justice Douglas. I don’t they bore in mind the fact there is another quotation from the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said in a controversy involving freedom of speech, that the right that a person has to say what he pleases does not give him the privilege or right to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater.

That surely puts those at rest who feel that there has been some kind of thought in regard to censorship.

Our committee is solely interested in the effort to ban the salacious, the lascivious, pocket-book comic books that come into the hands of juveniles.

We don't want to encroach upon the forbidden area of censorship. With that in mind a segment of our Union County Bar Association drew up, drafted, a proposed law which I shall offer in evidence here and, fortunately, because of the new streamlining of our courts and the new setup that has resulted in New Jersey since the inception of the new constitution in 1948, we were able to find a spot where we could put some kind of prohibitive force that would in time, we feel, dry up the very, very source of this trouble, which I feel and still feel lies in the hands of the actual publishers themselves.

I refer, therefore, to assembly bill 401, introduced April 12, 1954, in its exact form that it was turned over to Mr. Thompson of Mercer County. It is a very short bill. I would like to read it.

The CHAIRMAN. You have that privilege.

Mr. KAPLON (reading):

[Assembly, No. 401, state of New Jersey]

Introduced April 12, 1954, by Mr. Thompson. Referred to committee on revision and amendment of laws

AN ACT concerning the sale and distribution of printed publications or other articles in certain cases to minors, supplementing chapter 170 of title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

Be It Enacted. by the Senate and General Assembly of New Jersey:

1. Any person, who directly, or indirectly, acting as agent or otherwise, sells, gives or furnishes to a minor under the age of sixteen years, any book, pamphlet, magazine, or other printed matter, the cover of which or the content of which is devoted principally, or in part, to the exploitation or portrayal of lust in a manner which reasonably tends to excite or excites lustful or lecherous desires among minors, and which book, pamphlet, magazine, or other printed matter, for a minor, is obscene, lewd, or lascivious, is a disorderly person and shall be punished by fine of not more than twenty-five dollars.

The second section is to hit the publisher who is sending this stuff in as they claim they are not supposed to keep it, they don't have to keep it, but they don't tell us at the same time, they make it very difficult for any retailer to return this unwanted literature and many of them today are putting it aside and are returning it because─

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kaplon, do we have any publishers of this type of literature in New Jersey?

Mr. KAPLON. I think we do not have any of these types of publishers in New Jersey. They may print it in New Jersey.

I had occasion to speak to the president of one of the typographical unions living in Hillside. He told me that he blushes when he has to set into type some of the material that is given to him by the higher ups.

Now, the second portion of this act 401 assembly bill:

2. Any person, firm, or corporation, or any agent, officer, or employee thereof, engaged in the business of printing or distributing for the purpose of resale through retail outlets, any book, pamphlet, magazine, or other printed matter, the cover of which is devoted principally, or in part, to the exploitation or portrayal of lust in a manner which reasonably tends to excite or excites lustful or lecherous desires among minors, and which book, pamphlet, magazine, or other printed matter, for a minor, is obscene, lewd, or lascivious, is a disorderly person and shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars.

Then the final conclusion is this:

3. Any book, pamphlet, magazine, or other printed matter, the sale of which to a minor under the age of sixteen years, was the basis for conviction under paragraph 1─

That is where the little retailer has been caught selling something that he shouldn't have sold ─ that particular book:

shall be deemed obscene, lewd or salacious and contributing toward the delinquency of minors for the purpose of prosecution under section 2 of this act,

which is the act that gets at the publisher or the distributor, the man that is in New Jersey.

We have distributors in New Jersey, even though we do not have publishers.

This act, I am informed by Mr. William R. Vanderbilt, as of yesterday, was introduced, had its first reading.

Next Monday, June 7, it will be, I hope, I understand it will be taken out of committee, the committee of law enforcement, and committee of our legislature, and will have a second reading.

On June 14, which unfortunately is the concluding day of our present legislature, it should have its third reading unless we have another sit down strike like we had in the New Jersey Legislature last week when our Democratic friends sat down for some reason or other ─ I don't mean to place that in the record as being derogatory to the Democrats, but there was some other controversy involved and the State's business was held up.

I am assured that on June 7 this bill will have its second reading and then its third reading on the 14th. I am hopeful that this bill will have a dilatory effect, it will stifle the sending in of the salacious type of literature to the retailer.

If it does that, we can get 10 or 15 percent of that sort of thing happening, I think we will have accomplished something.

I am very much interested in following through the first prosecution in a major State court of this act. I hope to be a part of it.

I know that there are recalcitrant dealers who do not cooperate. I have checked my own little home town in Summit. As an outgrowth of the Union County Bar Association's work here we formed the New Jersey News Dealers Association.

The CHAIRMAN. Before you pass on that, Mr. Kaplon, have you given any thought to the constitutionality of this bill?

Mr. KAPLON. I have consulted with special counsel to the Governor, Mr. Comerford, who looked it over several weeks ago. He was concerned as you and I, as lawyers, are concerned, about censorship. He feels that on the standard for obscenity for adults, we have laws on our books as you know, that you can in some way or other tie in or obtain a conviction if the periodical is obscene under our indictment laws.

But we are stepping this crime, so-called, down to merely making it a disorderly person. It is very trivial in its conviction. A $5 fine just like we have today in our State, a fine for anyone who sells cigarettes to a child under the age of 16.

That is where we found a place for this particular act. There had been no conviction under that act, although I understand in Linden about 8 weeks ago a merchant was hailed into court and fined $5 for selling a cigarette to a child under the age of 16. I think that this particular legislation will not cause a flurry of complaints and indictments. I do worry about that. There are zealots. There are individuals who are just waiting for an opportunity to grab hold of the Newark News and claim that the picture of a woman wearing a brassiere in an advertisement is obscene and that if a sale is made to a child under 16 there may be an infraction of the law.

I had that on good authority. My hometown editor tells me that he has been called on the telephone, that an ad that appealed in one of the big department stores advocating the sale of a brassiere was immoral to this particular individual.

So we do fear zealots, and we ask for reasonable interpretation of this law.

But I do feel that once a dealer who is not cooperative, Senator, and who say ─ and I know there is at least 1 in my town out of the 11 who have told me so ─ that "This is my bread and butter, and I will sell what I please," there should be an example made of him and once he knows that he is going to be fined $5 he is going to cooperate. He is going to be sending back this stuff that is junk, as Mr. Fitzpatrick says. Once he does that it will be a long time before that distributor will take a chance sending other stuff of similar nature to him.

Mr. BEASER. Will your statute get at the crime and horror comics, or is it aimed at a broader thing?

Mr. KAPLON. The work that we have been working on has not been on crime and horror. I started off 8 months ago when I wrote a letter and I feel I would like to say, as in this letter to the Elizabeth Daily Journal, October 8, it says here:

Let us assist in the great work to be done by the recently appointed Senate Committee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency whose counsel is Herbert J. Hannoch, Esq., of Newark. He needs your suggestion and help in a hearing shortly to commence. Perhaps a way can be found through legislation to control the incubation of juvenile delinquency which feeds on the rotting of the soul of the weakened mind and spirit stimulated by an indiscriminate circulation of questionable and easily accessible books.

They printed that letter. I have other matters in here that might prove interesting, but we feel, our committee has felt, and I think I can speak on their behalf, that the type of literature that is coming through in torrents in the form of mental aphrodisiac, just as cigarette will spoil and harm the physical well being of a child under 16, under the police power we have a right to have such a law passed.

We feel that the constant bombardment of the young mind by this, type of literature can disturb the moral fiber of the child.

I read very carefully Dr. Wertham's book, extractions from it. I was here at the time this committee heard him on it, and I feel confident in my own mind that while comic books, books that are sex stimulators, girlie books, are not the sole cause of juvenile delinquency; they at least are a contributing factor.

I have always felt in accordance with a biblical expression if you can save the life of only one person, you are considered as if you had saved the whole world.

Let us make some progress at least, a small percentage. If we can just get this constant torrent of filth brought down to a point where it does not pay a man to spend $30,000 to get 300,000 copies out, then we will have accomplished something. They will think twice before they will go into a venture which might run afoul of the law in our State.

Mr. BEASER. Do you think the answer lies through legislation, cooperation, or community effort?

Mr. KAPLON. I feel that community effort is an important thing. We have felt that the problem is not so much the juvenile delinquent, but the juvenile in delinquent society.

I feel that delinquent society can no more be better ably planned than by some of the publishers who are getting out this type of thing for the one sole purpose, for the money influence that comes out of it. It is a business. It is a mass industry and that is one of the first things we have found mass industry is used to impair the morals of a child and that is criminal in our State, too.

You can't put your finger on these things so easily.

I would like to offer also in evidence the seal of the New Jersey News Dealers Association and its pledge card, which takes a positive attitude. If I may read just about seven lines or so, the purpose for it incorporation:

To inculcate the highest ideals of American citizenship in the youth of our country by promoting the publication, distribution, and sale of that type of literature that will morally and spiritually build the youth of New Jersey and of our Nation into substantial American citizens, to encourage the interest and participation of all citizens of New Jersey in affording clean, wholesome and exemplary literature for juveniles. To promote the basic concepts of our Founding Fathers as portrayed in the Constitution of the United States by advancing that type of literature which will furnish these principles and ideals.

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, these exhibits will be made a part of the record. Let that be exhibit No. 81.

(The documents referred to were marked "Exhibit No. 31," and are on file with the subcommittee)

Mr. KAPLON. There should be more of the Horatio Alger, Tom Swift books we had 25 or 30 years ago.

On that point may I add another shot, and that is the results of the Kinsey book.

Senator HENNINGS. Why do you say Horatio Alger and Tom Swift?

Mr. KAPLON. Horatio Alger books, if I recall correctly, and may I just quote:

What we need is a fewer Aly Khans and Rublrosas and more Daniel Boones and Horatio Algers.

The governor made this statement:

The modern ideal of feminine perfection seems to be a punk actress with platinum hair and an overstuffed bosom.

That was our governor.

And that, Mr. Chairman, is why I feel there should be positive effort and it can be done. That came to one of my dealer merchants that I dealt with from a publisher, the Dell Comics.

Here is proof positive that good comics far outsell all others.

I feel that your committee is accomplishing great work here and that this is proof positive that your work is bearing fruit when they realize that 22 of the leading 250 magazines on the newsstand, 44 percent of your top sellers and big profit makers, are Dell Comics.

When they know they have to go out of their way to censor themselves you know very well that your work has not been in vain.

I want to pay compliment to this group here. I have felt from the very beginning the work has been much needed. It is grand relief from the reckless talk and blabbering we hear from other investigating committees. I am hopeful you can take this law, if it is passed, and send it on to the other States and let them model it in the same way.

Mr. Fitzpatrick has told me that he hopes this very same law may become part of their statutes, too. He realizes they have fallen short of what they hoped to do. He is very much interested in this gimmick or device ─ better call it that ─ which will enable us to get our foot in the door at least, anyhow.

It will not be censorship because that same storekeeper can handle the most vicious type of literature that might be indictable as long as he does not sell it to a minor.

I am confident that no storekeeper who is that vicious will welcome repeated lines in court, taking away from his profits, until he reaches the point where he will place his hands in the air and say, "To hell with all this kind of trash. I don't want it around here."

I wrote a letter to Dell Comics and I told them about the work that is being done here in trying to have them become interested in our New Jersey News Dealers Association, which is a nonprofit organization working on no budget, no appropriation, and sorry to say, that I personally am out the money for the seals and for the pledge cards and for the labor and work.

It is a job of love. This is not the responsibility ordinarily by the bar association. We have been practically in every town in Union County. We have pictures taken of storekeepers cooperating, and the editor of the Elizabeth Journal had a lead editorial 2 weeks ago in which he congratulated one of the storekeepers, Mr. Sullivan, whose business has jumped marvelously since he placed in his window and signed a pledge card to the effect, "I pledge to sell only clean literature to children."

As a result of that kind of community effort we are going into Rahway this week; we are going into Linden; we are going to have pictures and seals going on the windows. People are becoming alert. We have addressed the following: Catholic War Veterans of Union County, at Linden; Knights of Columbus, at New Providence; Youth Guidance Council, at Rahway; Union County Grand Jurors Association, at Elizabeth; Catholic Daughters of America, at Trenton; Holy Name Society, at Roselle; and a YMCA forum in Summit.

We have had 8 or 9 or 10 evening engagements in recent times on this subject, the harmful influence of the comic books on the youth of our country.

If people are awakened and realize what is going on, I think they will rise up in arms and they will support and they will boycott - I do not like to use that word "boycott"; it has been used before and it is a harmful word to use, but I think if it is necessary, if a man is absolutely uncontrollable as a news dealer and refuses to exercise decent, fair judgment, there should be some measure of retaliation by his customers and he will lose business thereby.

I touched on the Kinsey book before I went into this thought on the New Jersey News Dealers Association. I was amazed to find out that in Formosa there was a news item only appearing 10 days ago ─ I am not concerned whether Formosa is in the Nationalist camp or otherwise; they banned the Kinsey report because it exerted an undue psychological influence on students. Those are the words.

There was a five-line press report. If they can do that in Formosa, they can certainly exercise a better discretion in our own country.

Senator HENNINGS. Have you read the Kinsey report?

Mr. KAPLON. I have read excerpts from it.

Senator HENNINGS. Is it in your judgment a fallacious presentation?

Mr. KAPLON. It is a grand treatise for doctors. It makes spicy reading for adults. But it is a disgrace if it gets in the hands of minors.

My only experience has been that I went to the public library and I asked the librarian there what the story is on the Kinsey book.. I was amazed to find out. He says only yesterday three high-school girls came in and wanted the Kinsey book.

Free speech. Freedom of the press. The librarian says, "What do you want it for?"

The children say, "We are studying glands."

You can find much more than glands in that book. I hope the press does not publicize any more than they have publicized it already.

But the real harm is due entirely to the psychological twist. The Kinsey book has been perverted to the point where they are selling a synopsis of this book in our very city in New York under the guise of sex habits of American women for 35 cents.

Now a child does not have to make an excuse to the librarian that she is studying glands; she does not have to even go in a store and blush while she asks for the Kinsey book; and I know in my hometown a young man was turned down by a legitimate bookstore with $8 in his hand. He wanted the Kinsey book. All they need is 35 cents.

You will be amazed, too. It gives a very fine synopsis of the Kinsey book that is being sold in our best drugstores. Certainly it is good literature. You can't censor that sort of thing to an adult, but it is easily accessible for the price of an ice-cream soda to a child who wants to learn something, and there is no child and probably no man here who has not tried to find out in his youth probably what some of the dirty words are. He can find them out right here.

Then the thing that probably is most aggravating, gentlemen and, this I shall say, it has not been touched upon, either ─ one of the best sellers this country has had in many years, and made into a wonderful moving picture, I think it is grand, From Here to Eternity. More smut appears in this book that you wouldn't find in a toilet, in a flop-house, in the Bowery, and not for $3, but for seven-fifty.

I am hopeful that papers will not pick that up, because it will zoom from here to eternity.

Also, it is a shame to the author to think that he could not have completed a book like that without the insertion of the vulgarity that is in there.

To make it all the more aggravating, those of you who are here, you can find out for yourselves, the paper-book edition, on page 447; and I shall not repeat the words here because they are not proper to repeat before an assembly of gentlemen even ─ they italicize the most vulgar word; it is not of the English language - the most vulgar word you could not really find in a toilet, in a flophouse, in the Bowery.

If an adult wants to read it, it is perfectly all right, but I certainly wouldn't want my 17-year-old daughter to actually see a word that you know is forbidden to see, right in front of her.

What is the actual sense of that when she knows she sees it there, she can repeat anywhere, it is common knowledge? It is literature; it will become a classic 10 years from now.

I don't know whether I am committing libel or slander. I am speaking on behalf of myself now. Personally my sensibilities for our children are hurt to know that they had to have that sort of saying in a book, paperback edition.

I wanted to call your attention to one item that appeared ─ I made a photostatic copy of the Sex Habits of American Women ─ the change in attitude toward virginity. Among the group of middle-class married women, where they get their dope from, I don't know, but that doesn't make a bit of difference to a child who is beginning to blossom into womanhood, before 1890: Not virgin at marriage, 13 percent.

Skip down to 1910 or later: Not virgin at marriage, 68 percent.

I have always felt that people followed the sheep. When you see something hike this in there ─ where they got their dope from, I don't know ─ I feel that any boy's mind could be very quickly turned where the tables are evenly balanced.

Our work has been principally on this type of literature rather than on the crime comics. The psychological effect ─

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kaplon, in that connection, as I recall it, you said this bill that is pending in the New Jersey House Assembly did not provide any enforcement provisions for the crime comics.

Mr. KAPLON. It did not. We were afraid to go out whole hog at this time. We wanted to get this thing through with as little bickering as possible.

Crime comics, there has been argument on both sides. I am convinced it has an effect on the child.

The CHAIRMAN. You said that bill was pending in the committee?

Mr. KAPLON. It is pending in the committee on revision and amendment of laws. Mr. Vanderbilt told me yesterday that it is expected to be moved out of the committee on June 7 when it will have its second reading.

The CHAIRMAN. Your committee does not think it advisable to cover crime comics in this legislation?

Mr. KAPLON. If we could cover crime comics it would be delightful, but I am hopeful to get at least a portion of it in now. It is almost too late to try to get the crime comics element into this bill.

The CHAIRMAN. Would it be bold of the Chair to suggest that you might contact Bill Vanderbilt and ask him if he could not have a committee print written up so as to cover crime comics?

Mr. KAPLON. I shall be very happy to contact Bill Vanderbilt and see if we can't get something through on that, and again copying the fine work of Assemblyman Fitzpatrick, to whom we are deeply indebted in New Jersey. If he would send the legislature a bill for the work that they have accomplished, I would really think that the legislature of New Jersey would be getting a good bargain.

The CHAIRMAN. I think the whole country is indebted to Mr. Fitzpatrick.

Mr. KAPLON. Of course, I mention your committee, too. Without your help, without the influence, the prestige of the Senate subcommittee hearing, we would not have gotten to first base. It has been an encouraging note from the very beginning. The entire country should be greatly obligated to this group of men who have toiled and worked as hard as you have worked in order to bring to the attention of the public at least the harm that is being done, the moral fiber of our youth being destroyed at the back door while we are trying desperately to fight communism through the front door, as we should do.

The CHAIRMAN. We wish to commend you for the fine work you are doing and the contribution you are making so unselfishly and so courageously.

Mr. KAPLON. Thank you. It has been a pleasure.

Senator HENNINGS. Mr. Chairman, I think it is very evident that Mr. Kaplon is a most public-spirited man and is animated by, I was about to say zeal, I don't mean zealot, by a righteous zeal to do something about this problem that confronts us, you realize the complexity of it, of course.

Mr. KAPLON. The complexity is a burden.

Senator HENNINGS. It is a tough problem.

Mr. KAPLON. No question about it. If we can hold the zealots in line who may want to prosecute any storekeeper who may be selling a magazine like Life, that occasionally has a rather interesting picture of a fully clothed woman, shall we say, but in a position that might raise a supercilious eyebrow ─ we cannot really be prudes altogether, but there are some people who will be and they can make a mockery of this law if they go into action. I am hopeful we can stem the tide in New Jersey.

The CHAIRMAN. So whatever law we have we will have to have proper safeguards in it.

Mr. KAPLON. Yes; that we are convinced of, Senator.

Senator HENNINGS. Have you not even heard of the prurient mind who turn pictures in all directions trying to see what they can make out of them?

Mr. KAPLON. I have enough confidence in the magistrates in our State who will act upon this when the complaint is brought in that they will use good judgment in not permitting the law to get out of hand.

A little prosecution, a little conviction here and there against a recalcitrant dealer, and a little more, shall I say, effort in getting all of our news dealers signed up, might operate and operate very well.

I think that I have been too lengthy. I know it is late.

The CHAIRMAN. You have been very helpful.

Mr. KAPLON. It is a disadvantage to be working at the shadow hour of 5 o'clock. I want to express my willingness to return at any time, any place, in order to give you any information that might be at all helpful.

The CHAIRMAN. We shall appreciate that very much. Thank you.

Mr. KAPLON. I would like to present to this honorable body the interim report of the Juvenile Delinquency Committee of the Union County Bar Association of New Jersey. This report is the result of several months of effort in trying to probe the reasons for juvenile delinquency and to endeavor to find preventative means of curbing juvenile delinquency principally by acting in that field which will ban the sale of salacious and lascivious literature by news dealers to minors under the age of 16.

I am grateful that the committee will accept this report.

The CHAIRMAN. That will be exhibit No. 32.

(The report referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 32," and reads as follows




It is a tradition of lawyers, as of all ritualists, to show a high disdain for the ordinary workaday details of life. Like the two maiden aunts in Marcel Proust, who carried on an elaborate conversation in which they sought to thank Swann for a gift, without mentioning the gift, which by their social code would have involved too vulgar a contact with ordinary life, lawyers, and judges stick to their code and mention social reality only by innuendo and indirection. And so, this report, too, is a departure from syllogisms, rituals, and abstractions in that it breaks with such tradition in its treatment of one of the many facets of an ordinary and workaday detail of life ─ juvenile delinquency.

No more alarming symptom of present-day lawlessness can be cited than the shocking spectacle of juvenile transgression now running rampant throughout our Nation. In the age group of 10 to 17, figures complied by the United States Children's Bureau released at the annual forum of the National Conference of Social Work last month in Atlantic City, revealed a startling increase of 45 percent in delinquency cases for the 5-year period, 1948─58, as compared with a rise of only 7 percent increase in population during the same period in this age group. It may be said that this revolting pattern of social decay has reached the serious proportions of a national epidemic. Through indifference or preoccupation with vexation and stress in a world in turmoil, we have shut our eyes to the present level of moral deterioration of our adolescent society. "We devote much attention, energy, and resources ─ and rightly so ─ to the fight against communism, both at home and abroad. We are waging the fight to keep this Nation free. To what avail is that fight if the moral fiber of more and more of our children Is being undermined? We devote untold millions to the protection of our national resources through reforestation, prevention of soil erosion, and the like. But we are neglecting our biggest national resource ─ our children and youth." (Interim Delinquency Reports Conclusion of United States Senate sub-committee, headed by Senator Robert C. Hendrickson of New Jersey.)

Our statutes provide, under 2A: 4─14 that "the juvenile and domestic relations court, shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all cases of juvenile delinquency." And juvenile delinquency is defined by the commission by a child, under 18 years of age, of an act which when committed by a person of the age of 18 years or over, would constitute the gravest of offenses. The only exceptions are found in Revised Statutes, 2A :4─15, which provide that in cases involving juvenile delinquency, committed by persons of the age of 16 or 17 years, where it appears that the act of delinquency was committed by an habitual offender, or where the offense is of a heinous nature, then the juvenile court may refer such case to the county prosecutor. In addition, "any juvenile of the age of 16 or 17 years, may demand a presentment and trial by jury, and, in such case, when this fact is made known to the court (juvenile court), such case, together with all the documents pertaining thereto, shall be referred to the county prosecutor. Cases, so referred to the county prosecutor, shall thereafter be dealt with in exactly the same manner as a criminal case." The likelihood of a youth of 16 or 17, voluntarily placing himself within the jurisdiction of our criminal courts, is quite remote. These references to the prosecutor are further enunciated in Revised Rules of Practice, 6:9─7.

Every adult concerned with the welfare of our youth, cannot fail to recognize the grave impact of the United States Senate subcommittee hearings on juvenile delinquency, the New York State Joint Legislative Committee To Study the Publication of Comics and the recent creation of a similar joint legislative committee in our own State. Several months ago, the New Jersey State Bar Association, with a membership of some 3,000 lawyers, joined in the effort by Its delegation of 21 county bar association subcommittees on juvenile delinquency. These agencies have been diligently engaged in seeking out the causes, probing for prevention, arresting the growth and endeavoring to control the spread of this cancer of modern day society.

It can be said that our State has achieved unique success in the reformative and correctional processes of our erring youth. On March 15, Life magazine featured an article on the great strides of our State in this department. The title of this article was, "Helping Bad Boys ─ A Plan Pays Off for New Jersey."

In reclaiming our youth, the diagnostic center at Menlo Park, and the Highfields experimental project ─ the former Lindbergh home at Hopewell ─ are inspiring landmarks in the reformative field. The latter program, began in July of 1950, is described in a report based on a 17-month operational period, as accomplishing "as much, if not more, in its 4 months of residential treatment, as the reformatory at Annandale does in its more than 12 months." Moreover, the rate of success on probation or parole, in the case of boys released from Highfields, was shown to be substantially higher than the record for Annandale. Experiments such as these in the conservation of human resources, may very well provide methods which will bring about a turning point in the tide of juvenile delinquency. The continued strengthening of such facilities should greatly augment the court's effectiveness in fulfilling one of its principal functions ─ the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

In unraveling juvenile delinquency, the pathway does not lie in unrelenting and vengeful punishment, but in persistently seeking and uprooting the causes; in probing for the symptoms, rather than in treating the disease "after the horse has been stolen."

Our legislators, psychiatrists, probation officers, parent-teachers groups, religious and civic organizations are wrestling with the question posed by the admitted monthly publication of 90 million comic or pocket books, 25 percent of which are estimated as being principally devoted to horror, crime, and sex exploitation and stimulation, beamed to juvenile eyes and slanted for juvenile consumption because of their easy accessibility and cheap cost. Obscenity, lewdness, and indecency to the sensitiveness of the adolescent litter the magazine racks. Just like a drowning man who grasps at a straw, there is a growing school of thought that points an accusing finger at this insidious and pernicious influence on the minds of our youth. Santayana once said, "The man who gives a wrong twist to your mind meddles with you just as truly as if be hit you in the eye; the mark may be less painful, but it is more lasting."

Interspersed with this torrent of filth, are commendable publications that are a credit to the industry. Is that smaller portion, characterized as literary garbage, protected by the freedom of the press, harmful to the mind of a child? Is seduction of the innocent and moral disarmament of our youth induced through the subtle and pervading effects of crime and sex comics? Do these magazines and the crime and love comics that flood the newsstands, contribute to delinquency? Unfortunately, there is no stock answer.

Early this year, a grand jury in Middlesex County drew a direct connection between the public display of pornographic literature and the growing number of nonsupport and desertion cases. Police Commissioner O'Connor of Chicago says that the recent increase in rape and sex crimes is directly attributable to the influence of lurid magazines and books. The juvenile court judges in Minnesota have issued an approved reading list for young people. They feel that it is part of their job to get indecent publications out of youngsters' sight and touch. (See p. 18, Report of New York State Joint Legislative Committee to Study Publication of Comics.) We have in this country some of the most beautiful, thoughtful, amusing and informative magazines in the world. Among the pocketbooks on the newsstands are some of the best reading values ever offered; Bibles, atlases, and geographies, books on child care, reprints of the great novels and short stories. But crowding all of these useful and enjoyable magazines and books, are publications which can have no possible effect, except to misinform the adolescent, debase his thoughts, and degrade his emotions. The publishers of such material will stop at nothing to catch the eye.

The laws of our State make the sale of obscene and indecent literature an indictable offense (2A: 115─2). The test of what is obscene and indecent is not easily definable. The test generally laid down is whether the writing is of such character as would tend to deprave the morals of those into whose hands the publication might fall, by suggesting lewd thoughts and exciting sensual desires. In Dysart v. U. S. (277 U. S. 655), the Supreme Court indicated, as one test, that the language must be such as would be calculated to corrupt and debauch the minds and morals of those into whose hands it might fall.

In New Jersey (See Bantam Books, Inc., Plaintiff v. Matthew F. Melko, prosecutor of Middlesex County (25 N. J. Super, 292) a test case sought to establish the right of a prosecutor of the pleas to ban certain objectionable pocket comic books, culled from a list compiled by volunteer citizen groups. Letters from the prosecutor to dealers in the county, attacking the Chinese Room were cited by the plaintiff, as the basis for its injunctive suit seeking to restrain the prosecutor. The publishers, plaintiff, claimed abridgment of freedom of the press, guaranteed under the first amendment. In a brilliant 30-page opinion, emphasizing abhorrence of censorship, Superior Court Judge Goldman found the questioned book within the accepted limitless standards of a free press. The Supreme Court upheld the decision but modified the injunctive relief by striking down that portion of it that denied the prosecutor the power to warn dealers that certain hooks were on the banned list. The reasoning sustaining this permissive quasi-censorship, epitomized in the Supreme Court opinion, was sound: Law enforcement agencies have the right to warn in advance possible infringement of any law. The green light was flashed to the unethical publisher to grind out more and more of this literary garbage; to stimulate the adolescents with pocket and comic books on the borderline of pornography and in the twilight zone of obscenity which pandered sex with the lethal weapon of a mental aphrodisiac.

We feel confident that if this test case had involved an infraction of our proposed bill (assembly 401─See exhibit A) the court would have taken judicial notice of the mass of dirty, revolting pocket and comic books failing into the hands of juvenile and contaminating their impressionable minds. To allow, unchecked, this torrent of filth and trash condemns us as delinquents because the failure or neglect to furnish protective care through public health legislation for the growing mind of the adolescent, constitutes an abdication of adult responsibility.

It has been felt that the court, in protecting the freedom of the press, has leaned over backwards in its unwillingness to be unduly censorious. It must he observed that the entire field of censorship involves the suppression of freedom. This precious heritage, guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution, must, at all costs, he held inviolate; but, at the opposite pole, it may he safely argued that the right to protect the morals of youth is just as sacred as the right to freedom of the press vouchsafed for us in the Bill of Rights. The unscrupulous or unethical publisher who claims the right to print what he pleases, must be reminded of the immortal words of the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who, in a controversy involving freedom of speech said "that the constitutional protection to say what we please, does not give one the right to shout 'fire' in a crowded theater."

The real knotty question involved is how we can regulate and control the industry at the publication and wholesale distribution levels without doing injury to our freedom and without incurring the evils of censorship. Surely, the framers of our Constitution could not have intended these guaranties as a license for irresponsible publishers to contaminate the minds and morals of children for profit. For the most part, the storekeepers are blameless and helpless for they are at the mercy of the higher-ups. The custom in the trade calls for weekly shipments from the distributor of a full assortment of periodicals on consignment, with privilege of return; often the objectionable material is hidden within the pages, and the average retailer could spend half his workday in frustrating self-policing. Our State enforcement agencies stand read to assist these local merchants in cleaning up their stands where there has been intimidation by a distributor who insists on a tie-in, a gimmick employed at the higher level that compels acceptance of filth at the risk of a penalty of losing his supply of worthwhile, staple, and salable publications. (See ch. 392, Laws of 1953.)

In the absence of industry control, the flood of indecent literature will surely backfire, caught in the mesh of an indignant public, unwilling to buy the trash. The unrelentless surge of such a movement will encourage the retail dealers, no longer fearful of reprisals or sanctions ─ to return the trash to the wholesale distributors and, who, in return, will dump the mess right back from whence it originates, the irresponsible publisher. To hasten this process our State legislature is considering a law (assembly bill 401), based on the principle of our present statute that forbids the sale of cigarettes to a minor under 16. Interpretation of preventative legislation of this kind must always be dispassionate and reasonable and free from the clamor of zealots and would-be reformers. In this war of attrition the law of economic necessity will force a collapse of the unethical publisher, while building to even loftier heights the proud profession of a great and free press.

Our committee in Union has vigorously attacked the problem from several angles. In the legislative field we drafted and sponsored assembly bill 401, introduced by Frank Thompson, Jr., of Mercer County. This bill seeks to curb the sale of salacious, lascivious, and lurid literature at the retail and wholesale levels to minors under 16. We encouraged the incorporation under title 15 of the New Jersey News Dealers Association (nonprofit), which is a self-policing, self-censoring medium employed by newsdealers throughout the State to compel publishers to temper their business methods with better taste and cleaner consciences. In cooperation with the public relations committee of our bar association, your chairman has addressed the following organizations to date on this timely topic: Catholic War Veterans of Union County, at Linden; Knights of Columbus, at New Providence; Youth Guidance Council, at Rahway; Union County Grand Jurors' Association, at Elizabeth; Catholic Daughters of America, at Trenton; Holy Name Society, at Roselle; and a YMCA forum, in Summit.

Respectfully submitted.

Edward Cohn, Philip Donnelly, Joseph D. Epstein, J. Leroy Jordan, Lea Kaplowitz, Isabel Muirhead, Richard P. Muscatello, Sarah V. Needell, Daniel J. O'Hara, Milton Sevack, H. Douglas Stine, George R. Walsh, Clark McK. Whittemore, J. Jerome Kaplon, Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kaplon, will you carry my best wishes back to the good people of Summit?

Mr. KAPLON. I certainly shall.

(The following statement was submitted by Mr. J. Jerome Kaplon at a later date and is incorporated in the record at this point.)

SUMMIT, N. J., June 9, 1954.


Chief Counsel, United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, Washington, D. C.

DEAR Mr. BEASER: Will you please include the contents of this letter as part of my testimony and to be read into the record?

I want to express my formal appreciation to you and to the other members of the committee for asking me to testify last Friday in my dual capacity as chairman of the juvenile delinquency committee of the Union County Bar Association of New Jersey and as Governor Meyner's recent appointee as member of our juvenile delinquency study commission, created by joint resolution of our State legislature.

I admired your splendid handling of the questioning of the several witnesses that day, and was especially glad that the testimony brought out vividly the burning, controversial question: "If limited censorship applying only to children is the partial answer to the comic-book problem, will legislation, based on such a principle, do violence to the first amendment of our Constitution ─ the freedom of the press?"

It must be observed that the entire field of censorship involves the suppression of freedom. This precious heritage, guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution, must, at all costs, be held inviolate; but at the opposite pole it may be safely argued that the right to protect the murals of our youth is just as sacred as the right to protect the "freedom of the press," vouchsafed for us in the Bill of Rights. You will recall that I quoted the immortal words of the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in that connection, who, in a controversy involving freedom of speech said, "that the constitutional protection to say what we please does not give one the right to shout 'Fire' in a crowded theater."

We all abhor censorship and, therefore, encourage self-policing and voluntary censorship by the retail newsdealers. I am afraid that some publishers cannot be relied upon to do a satisfactory censorship job of their own; their operation is too big in this $100 million industry.

But, we can approach this problem through the back door, starting with the little retailer. The flood of indecent literature will surely "backfire," caught in the mesh of an indignant public, unwilling to buy trash. The relentless surge of such a movement will encourage the retailers, no longer fearful of reprisals or sanctions, to return the rot to the wholesale distributors and, who, in return, will dump the mess right back from whence it originates, the irresponsible publisher. Anticipating the squawk from these publishers, who, with one hand are greedily multiplying the fleshpots of their mass industry, while with the other hand are pleading for enforcement of freedom of the press privilege, the courts may very well be called upon to interpret this portion of the first amendment in terms of present day social conditions. Will our proposed law in New Jersey (assembly bill 401) stand up in such, a test? I can think of no better way of answering this challenge than by quoting from the late Justice Louis D. Brandeis, appearing on page 115 in The Words of Justice Brandeis, Edited by Solomon Goldman:

"Whether a law enacted in the exercise of the police power is just, subject to the charge of being unreasonable or arbitrary can ordinarily be determined only by a consideration of the contemporary conditions, social, industrial, and political, of the community to be effected thereby. Resort to such facts is necessary, among other things, in order to appreciate the evils sought to be remedied and the possible effects of the remedy proposed. Nearly all legislation involves a weighing of public needs as against private desires, and likewise a weighing of relative social values. Since government is not an exact science, prevailing public opinion concerning the evils and the remedy is among the important facts deserving consideration, particularly when the public conviction is both deep-seated and widespread and has been reached after deliberation."

I could not close my statement without expressing my deep appreciation on behalf of the lawyers of the Union County Bar Association, to the Elizabeth Daily Journal, and particularly to Mr. John Hall, editorial writer, and Miss Nadia Zagilka, special feature writer, whose recent revealing series of articles on juvenile delinquency has surcharged our citizens with determination to act. This great newspaper in our county of over 400,000 inhabitants, has given us yeoman service in editorial help and news releases over the past several months. The dozens of articles and the thousands of words that have been printed by this paper, in support of the work of the juvenile delinquency committee of the Union County Bar Association in this phase of its public-relation work; the encouragement and aid that were received in drafting legislation that finally found its mark in the halls of our legislature; the constant notices and reports of meetings of our committee who have addresses dozens of civic and social clubs and groups; the help given New Jersey News Dealers Association (a nonprofit corporation of this State) with publicity in the distribution of its decal and pledge card, speak well of an industry that contributes so much to the betterment of mankind. I would also like to echo similar sentiments of gratitude to Mr. Carl Hulett, the publisher of my hometown weekly, the Summit Herald.

Very truly yours,


Chairman, Juvenile Delinquency Committee of the Union County Bar Association, and Member of Juvenile Delinquency Study Commission of New Jersey.

The CHAIRMAN. At this point, I wish to have entered into the record a group of articles appearing in the Hartford Courant. Let that be exhibit No. 33.

(The material referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 33," and reads as follows:)


[From the Hartford (Coon.) Courant]

This is the story of the campaign as told in Editor and Publisher magazine in their issue of April 3, 1954.


Because of the many requests we have had for more details about our now celebrated campaign against salacious and depraving "comic books" we have put the news stories and editorials in this booklet for your information. We feel that our efforts have started a "chain reaction" in our community which has resulted in a definite improvement in a very unhealthy situation. We hope that similar campaigns from coast to coast may react in stamping out this growing evil. I would like to pay special tribute to three members of the Courant staff ─ to Thomas B. Murphy, editorial writer, for the inspiration of the campaign, to Irving Kravsow for his excellent news stories and research and to William J. Clew, assistant managing editor, who supervised the operation.


President and Publisher.

News Story, February 14, 1954


By Irving M. Kravsow

Ten cents at your neighborhood drugstore or newsstand will buy your child a short course in murder, mayhem, robbery, rape, cannibalism, carnage, sex, sadism, and worse.

These are only a sample of the type of crimes and practices explained in detail with pictures in a variety of comic books being bought and read daily by countless children.

In this country, 65 million comic books are printed each month.

Some of the pictures and texts are so suggestive that it isn't possible to quote them in a family newspaper. Others are just soaked in gore with the characters mouthing phrases which would earn any youngster a spanking if uttered in the house.

T. E. Murphy, in his column Of Many Things, in the Courant was shocked to find his own youngsters reading a few of these comic books and asked the question, “Do you know what your children are reading?"

To find out, a reporter went to a section of the city where juvenile delinquents traveling singly and in gangs, have troubled the area in recent years.

With a pocketful of dimes, he visited most of the drugstores in the area to examine the types of comic books sold.

Walking into each drugstore, he asked the same question: "Do you have any comic books for children?"

"Indeed we do," was the answer every time and the druggist indicated either racks displaying the books or brought out stacks of the comic books from under the counter.


The stores that kept the books under the counter weren't doing it because they felt the material in the books was unsuitable for children.

Several druggists told the reporter they kept the books under the counter because they didn't want the youngsters coming into the store, reading the books, then not buying them.

All the books had in common a penchant for violent death in every form imaginable. Many of the books dwelled in detail on various forms of insanity and stressed sadism.

Others were devoted to cannibalism with monsters in human form feasting on human bodies, usually the bodies of women dressed in such a way as to put the creators of historical fiction books covers to shame.

One magazine published by Farrell Comics, has for its cover a picture of a rotting corpse evading the clutching hand of a skeleton.

Inside is a story called, Bloody Mary. It opens with a picture of a father reading his newspaper in an easy chair while his daughter, Bloody Mary, a child of about 6, creeps up behind him with her jump rope fashioned into a noose. She apparently didn't succeed in strangling her father because the next panel shows her stealing cookies from a high shelf, dropping the jar, and getting a spanking from her mother.

Mary's mother, then lies down on a couch to take a nap and little Mary says to herself, "Go ahead, nap, you old bag. So you're tired, are you?"


With that the youngster gets her trusty jump rope and strangles her mother with it, yelling all the time that she is killing the old woman, "Close your eyes. It's sleepy time."

When her father returns home, he finds Mary calmly reading Mother Goose while her mother's body is in the next room. When police come, Mary tells them her father killed her mother, then testifies in court, sending her father to the gallows. After showing a picture of the father hanging from the gallows it shows the child at an orphanage talking to a psychiatrist who finds out that the child is really a midget. Mary kills the psychiatrist to prevent him from talking and then burns his body.

The last scene shows the child being tucked into her crib by the kindly matrons who run the orphanage. They call her a sweet child and tell her she'll be adopted by some nice family soon.

The same magazine has a story called, One Very Wide Coffin, about a thin husband and a fat wife. The husband has an argument with his wife and says, "You're just a fat, lazy pig. All you do is eat, eat, eat."

He leaves his wife, goes to a mountain cabin and broods. "How can I kill her and stay out of the electric chair?" he says. "There must be a way, if I'm clever enough."

Then follows a detailed drawing showing exactly how a shotgun is rigged to fire when a door is opened. It's as good as a blueprint showing how to set a death trap to spring on a victim while the murderer is far away with a perfect alibi. Fate takes a hand, and the couple make up. The husband takes her to the cabin for a second honeymoon, forgetting he has set a death trap. When he opens the door to carry her over the threshold, both are killed.
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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

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Tiny Tot Publications publishes a comic book which is billed as a humorous comic magazine. The cover shows a fireplace decorated for Christmas with stocking hung from the mantle to receive gifts from Santa Claus.

It shows Santa's foot dangling in the fireplace an inch above a lethal bear steel trap while a young boy leers in anticipation of tearing Santa's leg off.

The first story is a parody on Mickey Spillane that is so suggestive, it would put some adult pulp magazines to shame. Another story in this Tiny Tot Publication tells the story of Little Red Riding Hood with a switch. The twist is that Little Red Riding Hood, in this story, is really a vampire.

The final story in this magazine is a reprint of the lovely Christmas poem, The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by gross and obscene drawings that defy description.

Atlas Publications presents a comic book that wallows in death and madness. The opening story is called Midnight In the Morgue, and is told in the second person, singular. It starts with a shooting and holdup-murder and by the time it ends, eight dead bodies are displayed in various positions.

The crucial scenes in this story are the ones in which the murderer becomes locked in the morgue by mistake and begins shooting at the dead bodies in the belief that the dead people have come back to life. There is one picture with text so disgusting it would spoil your breakfast if repeated. It ends with the killer embracing the corpse on a slab and babbling like an idiot.


The next story opens with a bunch of youngsters ganging up on a small boy and giving him a vicious beating, By the time the last page is reached, 14 persons die violent deaths.

A company called Superior Comic publishes one which has blood pouring from every page. It has one story about adultery and the murder of a husband for profit. Another about mass murder, bootlegging, lust, and revenge, and another about a judge who sentenced a murderer to die and is killed by the slayer's curse.

I. C. Publishing Co. has the slogan, "An Entertaining Comic." The first story in it is called Food for Thought, which shows a ghoul feasting on a rotted corpse and saying:

"Heh, heh, I see you're hungry for horror again. Well, rest assured. Your appetite will be satisfied. In fact, when you're through with this putrid periodical, you will have lost your appetite entirely. So don't just stand there drooling. Come in."

The story is about adultery and murder. The second story is about a man who drowns his best friend in order to steal his best friend's girl. The third features a homicidal maniac and his sister who are boiled to death in hot water. The final story in this one opens with a sadist torturing animals to death, then turns to murder with a butcher knife and an ax and ends with the killer being burned to death in a flaming car.

The record for the number of violent deaths in one issue probably goes to one published by Male Publishing Corp. Twenty persons meet violent deaths in one story alone while the other tales are well sprinkled with bodies and pungent language.

A comic published by Allen Hardy Associates, boasts, "three full-length horror tales." The cover shows a madman clutching a shotgun dripping blood in one hand and some blood-drenched money in the other. A corpse, its face shot away, lies in a pool of blood in the background. One of the stories is about a small boy who is eaten by a monster and another little boy who is sent to an insane asylum. Another story in this magazine is about a married man who falls in love with the vampire. The vampire kills his wife then kills him by drinking his blood.

The opening scene in a book by Classic Syndicates, Inc., shows the locker room of a university called "P. U." with the football team looking like thugs and morons, drinking whisky, smoking cigars, and cheating on examinations. The rest of the story tells how the studious pupils are fools and that only the cheaters, gamblers, football players, and other dishonest persons, succeed in college and the penalty for losing a football game is dismissal from school in disgrace and death at the hands of gamblers and crooks.

Another story in this book tells about a man who invents a potion to make himself invisible so he could "have fun" by tripping pedestrians, stealing from stores, and robbing a bank.

It contains another story called The Bull Thrower, which is pure sex. It is about a lady bull fighter and contains a raft of double entendres and suggestive pictures.


Horror isn't the only specialty of these books. Another type of comic book on the market is the love story in pictures.

Superior Comic publishes one which features these stores: I Was a Pickup Girl, Desperate Romance, Kisses of Forgiveness, and Together * * * Forever. All have the same theme of young girls defying their parents and running off with men. All end in marriage, however.

Charlton Comics Group, Inc., publishes a comic book which claims on its cover, "Thrilling Romances! Exciting! Pulse Quickening! Real Love Stories of Real People Told In Dramatic Picture Stories, Revelations You Will Never Forget."

Then there is the one published by Romantic Love Stories, Inc. The stories include, My Fatal Weakness, Flames Fed My Foolish Heart, Pickup Girl, The Curse of Being Misjudged, and My Undecided Soul.

These are just a sample of the hundreds of books sold each month in this city through newsstands and drugstores.

In one drugstore, where the reporter found the worst selection of all, he overheard the druggist talking to some children in the store. As the reporter leafed through the comic books, the druggist was reading a paper and saying:

"It's terrible. Everyday more people are getting killed or murdered."

Editorial, February 14, 1954


Do you know what your children are reading? If you have not made a check of their comic books lately, you may be surprised to find that their daily diet is made up of murder, mayhem, lust, sadism, necrophilia, depravity, and just plain filth.

Some of the comic books that have been dispensed in Hartford in recent weeks are as foul as anything the human mind can conceive Patricide, matricide, and every form of violence and crime are depicted, even to detailed drawings of how to murder a friend by remote control.

It is hard to believe that these products of the gold-plated sewers of New York are distributed in Hartford through the design of local merchants. No doubt they, like the majority of parents, are unaware of the literary horrors that are daily poisoning the minds of their child customers. Censorship is not necessary, although it might be salutary if some of these publishers were locked up for foisting obscenity on the public. Quiet words of disapproval from parents are enough to end effectively the torrent of filth that is daily pouring into the minds of our children.

For supporting evidence read the first of a series of articles by Irving Kravsow, In the Courant today. These will suggest the appropriate remedies.

News Story, February 15, 1954


(This is the second of a series of articles on the illustrated courses in murder, crime, and sex on sale at 10 cents a copy under the guise of comic books for children)

By Irving M. Kravsow

NEW YORK. ─ Certain comic-book publishers, under fire because their magazines glorify crime and feature sex, and sadism, justify it this way ─ they give the public what it wants.

If parents think these comic books are undesirable, let the parents take care of it, the publishers advise. Their products are for older teen-agers and young adults. If children read them, that's not the concern of the publishers, they say.

A few in the publishing field are less arrogant.

Attorney Henry M. Schultz, counsel for the National Association of Comic Book Publishers, declared the public must realize comic books are here to stay.

"But," he added, "the public must also realize there are both good and bad comic books and parents should direct their children to the good ones and away from the bad."


Few persons outside the comic-book industry know how vast is the circulation of comic books, both good and bad. An executive of one of the largest comic-books printing firms in the Nation, located in Waterbury, Conn., said 65 million issues are printed each month.

Of these 65 million issues, more than 40 percent are printed in Connecticut. While it is virtually impossible to estimate how many of the 65 million copies are in the horror or crime classification, a look at the newsstands of the Nation shows the figure is staggering.

Schultz looked at samples of some of the comic books purchased by a Courant reporter and shook his head. "No decent person would ever try to defend these books," he said, "but they are only a part of the whole industry."

He said all parents should watch their own children's reading matter and guide youngsters away from unwholesome material. "There are enough good comics around to replace this filth," he said.

Schultz (a member of the New York Board of Education for many years as well as counsel to the large comic-book publishers) said the "big publishers try to police themselves, but the little companies won't cooperate."

As an example he cited one publisher, a nonpracticing attorney and doll manufacturer, who publishes horror comic books as a sideline "to pick up a few extra thousand dollars."

Profit is the ruling factor. Asked why large publishers don't throw out the horror line and concentrate on more wholesale material, Schultz said the big firms once did stop producing horror books.

What happened? "The bad ones still poured out of the smaller outfits and flooded the newsstands, cutting seriously into the sale of the good magazines. So publishers had to go back to producing horror comics in order to stay in business," Schultz said.

Many of the smaller companies had another version, however. Each agreed there are many undesirable comic books on sale in this country, but each pointed the finger at the other guy.

Stanley Morse, publisher of Gilmore magazines, described his products as "Mild." One of the stories published by Morse was I Killed Mary. This was the one denounced by T. E. Murphy in his Courant column, Of Many Things.


I Killed Mary, tells the story of a youth who wants to do something big and daring so people will notice him. The boy chops up a girl with an ax to gain recognition, but when his parents won't believe he killed the girl, the youth hangs himself in a barn.

"I don't see anything wrong with this story," said Morse, as he fingered a copy of the magazine. "This story has a moral. It shows that crime doesn't pay."

"Is that the moral in the story?" Morse was asked.

"Well," he replied, "the boy kills the girl to gain recognition for a daring deed and nobody believes him. The crime was in vain. It didn't pay."

Morse then wanted to know: "Who's to say what is objectionable? What may be objectionable to one group may not be objectionable to another. If this type of story is objectionable, I won't publish this kind any more."

He said he published other than horror books but the horror magazines sell the best. He added his own children don't read horror books.


"It's not that I don't let them read horror books," he explained. "My kids just aren't interested."

He was shown some samples of books from other publishers that have been termed objectionable "Would you allow your children to read these if they wanted to?" be was asked.

"No," Morse replied.

William M. Gaines, managing editor of Entertaining Comics and Educational Comics, defended publication of horror magazines this way:

"You see the profits from books some people have termed objectionable allow us to produce educational comics."

Gaines leafed through the latest issue of two of his "humorous" comic books. “This issue," be said pointing to the Christmas edition of one, "has been banned in Boston. I don't see why. There's nothing wrong with it. It's a satire on various aspects of modern life such as radio and television programs, books, and life in general."

He admitted that portions of a story in the book concerning Christmas might offend religious groups, but said some of the offending phrases got by the eyes of the editor.


"We're like any other business," he declared. "We're interested in making a profit. Who isn't? But at the same time, we try to entertain our readers and also teach them."

He displayed some letters he received from critics whom be called "cranks." Gaines said he receives many more letters of praise than letters of condemnation.

One of the letters charged the firm with being subversive and trying to undermine the minds and morals of the youth of this Nation.

"That's ridiculous," Gaines said. "We try to entertain and educate. That's all there is to it. A lot of people have the idea we're a bunch of monsters who sit around drooling and dreaming up horror and filth. That's not true as you can see."

He looked around his spacious office which was decorated with framed paintings of characters from the horror books such as witches and ogres. "We have our story conferences here," he said.

We discuss horror stories and ideas, but when the conference is over, so are the thoughts and discussion. We don't take our work home with us," Gaines declared.

Gaines publishes 2 "humor" comic books, 1 of which has been banned In Boston; 3 horror comics and science fiction comic magazines and illustrated Bible stories in comic-book format.


He said the Bible comics were published 10 years ago and since then have sold only 5 million copies. The price is 50 cents and 65 cents. His other comics are 10 cents and sell more than a million copies apiece a month.

He said horror comics help children because "the comics are a stepping stone to reading books. Children improve their vocabularies by reading comic books and learn things about other subjects."

Pressed for specification of "other subjects," he came up with "science."

The large Publishing companies have huge staffs grinding out drawings and copy in mass production. What they can't do, they get from free-lance writers and artists.

Most of the smaller companies deal exclusively with free-lance writers, then "farm" out drawings to free-lance artists, maintaining only editorial staffs to supervise and edit makeup of the magazines.

News Story, February 18, 1954


(This is the third in a series of articles on the illustrated courses in murder, crime, and sex on sale at 10 cents a copy under the guise of comic books for children.)

By Irving M. Kravsow

Educators, religious leaders, and civic officials, outraged by certain comic books which glorify crime and feature sex and sadism, called upon parents to put some work into the bringing up of their children.

Attorney John J. Daly, president of the Hartford Board of Education, said he was "appalled" by the contents of some of these comic books. "There are wholesome comics on the market today," he said, "but it behoves us to be alert to the menace of those which tend to undermine our moral code, customs, and laws.

"The Courant," he said, "deserves to be commended for leading this long overdue crusade for clean comics. Now parents should he reminded as to the potential danger and maintain constant vigil to see to it that no depraved literature is allowed to enter their homes under the guise of being a comic book."


The Reverend James A. Connelly, assistant director of the archdiocesan schools, said "comic books of this nature weaken the standards of morality of the Nation. We have to build good and strong citizens. The wealth of our land is the children. Unless we guard that wealth, we will be in bad state."

Father Connelly said that children like stories of imagination, "but the trend in comic-books reading goes beyond the level of elementary-school children and reaches into the high school. Secondary-school teachers have become alarmed at this trend."

Father Connelly said that teachers are trying to develop an appreciation in the youngsters of good reading, of culture, and to build good vocabularies.

"Some children," he said, "don't go beyond the comic-books stage. The danger is obvious. Every parish priest is interested in the problem of evil comic books. We are trying to help."

The parents, he said, don't realize what is going on. "These comic books are very bad. They give children bad ideas and other perversions. The evil comic books are an insidious agent stunting the child's growth."

Father Connelly said the parents' duty is to take a constructive hand. "The child is the most precious possession of the parents and should not be allowed to become contaminated. The parent is the No. 1 educator of the child. The parents' responsibility is great."


He said the church is aware of the danger of certain comic books and realizes the books "hold great potentialities of danger." More than 10 years ago, he said several Catholic periodicals started supplementing their pages with comic strips about the lives of saints, great persons in history, and inspirational true stories. The purpose was to "try to stem the tide of the evil comics," he said.

The strips were received very well by the readers, he said, and later they were published in comic-book form. These comic books, he said, integrate stories of biography for instruction, and entertainment and fiction. Some are even used in the schools with excellent results, he said.

"If each parent conscientiously and consistently did his duty and observed his children's activities and reading habits, we wouldn't have to worry," he said.

"Of course," Father Connelly added, "this means work on the part of the parents. The schools are trying but we only have the child about 5 hours each day."


The public schools here are also trying to combat the problem by attempting to instill in the children a desire for good literature, Attorney Daly said. Books in the school libraries are carefully selected, he said, and lists of recommended readings are prepared to assist students in selecting works in various fields.

"It would be extremely helpful if the parents would assist the schools in seeing to it that such recommended books were read by their children," Daly declared.

Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel, after looking over some samples of the comic books described in the Courant article Sunday, said, "What can we say except the obvious * * * they are terrible. We need an educational campaign to shock the parents and the public in general into a realization of the kind of comic books being dished out."

Dr. Feldman declared that "parents should urge children to use the public libraries more. The libraries have fine juvenile departments."


"But," Dr. Feldman added, "the parents should not just send their Children to the library and tell them to pick out some books. The parents should show the children that they are taking an interest in what the youngsters do. The parents should set a good example and go to the libraries with the children."

He offered this suggestion to parents whose children read the bad comic books: "Sit down with the child and explain why the books are not desirable. Don't just say, 'I forbid you to read these books.' That would only whet the appetite. Most people are decent people and the children will listen to intelligent reasoning."

Dr. Feldman declared that censorship is not the answer to the problem. "Censorship would kill one evil with another evil and I'm not sure which evil is greater," he said.

He said in addition to an educational campaign to awaken the parents, there should be an appeal to the distributors to participate in such a campaign. "It should be done by moral suasion," he added.


Mrs. Harold Sanderson, director of Christian education, Greater Hartford Council of Churches, termed the comic books "appalling" and added that "the lethargy of the public toward the problem is terrible."

"I am very disturbed about these comic books that glorify crime," she said, "but I am more disturbed about the comic books which emphasize sex. The age group of the youngsters who read comic books," she said, "is the group that is just becoming interested in matters of sex. These unwholesome comics arouse the interest of the youngsters and send them out into the streets where they get involved in sex situations. This is especially true of children without good home backgrounds."

She said that parents should not "pass the buck for molding the child to the school or church. Too many parents neglect their responsibility to their children."


Mrs. Sanderson said the parents have the care of the children during most of the youngsters' leisure-time periods. It is during the leisure hours, she said, that the children read these comic books.

"Children are impressionable and mobile," she said. "They move around a lot during their leisure hours and have few demands on their time. The pre-adolescent children don't have much else to do so they read comic books."

She said if parents supervised the leisure time of their children and directed the youngsters' energies into constructive channels, the problem wouldn't be as difficult as it is and there would be less delinquency.

Editorial, February 18, 1954


It is a little more difficult today than it was on Saturday to buy dirty comic books in Hartford. But If you will look behind the books with innocuous titles on display, you will find many gruesome tidbits still being peddled in downtown Hartford. After the disclosures in the Courant many persons have written or telephoned, asking what they can do to stem the filthy stream that flows from goldplated sewers of New York. Some have said flatly, "there ought to be a law." Others call for censorship.

Censorship is not the answer. Such laws, even though they spring from decent motives, can and often are used as bludgeons by people with more zeal than understanding. These tainted tidbits can be kept out of greater Hartford by the simple exercise of diligence. At present these filthy comic books are handled as a commodity by both the wholesalers and the retailers. Both the wholesalers and the great majority of retailers, particularly those in neighborhood stores might be loath to carry books if enough of their customers registered objections.

The natural channel through which such activities should flow are the parent-teachers associations. Sadly enough, at least one important official of this organization expressed an unwillingness to be quoted on the subject because it was "controversial." This is a rather unusual point of view, and presumably doesn't represent the opinion of the majority of this organization.

The churches can also continue to emphasize the responsibility of parents in knowing what their children are reading. There may be a few nitwits who do not care, but the majority of parents do, and their voices can be strong. It is hardly likely that this trade in poisoned literature will persist in the face of widespread public disapproval. That is the strongest weapon of all. Tell your magazine vendor just how you feel about these things.

If any store in Hartford was deliberately selling poisoned candy to small children, the public would be outraged. Yet by our apathy we are permitting our children to absorb some of the most outrageously immoral and degrading written material. As a community newspaper the Courant has performed its function to disclosing the facts. It is now up to the citizens of the community, through church groups, PTA, and similar organizations to carry on from here.

News Story, February 17, 1954


(This is the fourth and final article in a series on the illustrated courses in murder, crime, and sex on sale at 10 cents a copy under the guise of comic books for children.)

By Irving N. Kravsow

United States District Attorney Simon S. Cohen Tuesday warned publishers of comic books which glorify crime and feature sex and sadism to clean up or possibly be shut up.

State Police Commissioner John C. Kelly and Hartford Police Chief Michael S. Godfrey also warned publishers to clean house. Moreover, both demanded that parents take more interest in what their children are doing and reading and exert more parental control over their youngsters.

Joining the campaign for clean comics, Attorney Leo J. Parskey of the city council declared, "The publishers of these books should assume civic responsibility and police themselves or they will discover to their regret that in some areas, laws will be passed on censorship that would be unfortunate for them as well as the public in the long run."

Parskey added, "The publishers of these comics should have some concern for children and less concern for profits."

In his warning, United States District Attorney Cohen declared, "The publishers of these books had better wake up and clean their presses. While prosecuting and police agencies don't want to cross the line into controlled censorship, we can't sit idly by and allow this menace to continue."

He looked at some of the books described in the Courant series and declared "These evil books furnish blueprints for crime and in some cases show the criminals literally getting away with murder."

Cohen also scored apathetic parents for not caring or paying attention to what their children are reading or doing.

Case after case in his court, he said, involves youthful criminals. "In almost every case," Cohen declared, "the parents don't know when their child leaves home or when he returns. They don't seem to care what influences their children, whether it is books like these comics or evil companions."

He pointed out that comic books are involved in interstate commerce and come under Federal jurisdiction.

If publishers don't police themselves, public reaction will force prosecution. There is a definite line of demarcation between publication of filth and publication of clean literature," he warned.

Chief Godfrey declared, "Children are the citizens of tomorrow and must be protected from harmful influences. These comic books represent a very dangerous situation which should be corrected immediately."

Be said one of the major problems is the lack of parental guidance. "Some parents don't know where their children are or what the children are doing and care less," he commented.


Parskey, chairman of the city council's committee on crime and youth problems, said outright censorship is dangerous because it would put control in the hands of one person or body. Another danger of censorship, he said, is that the public would get a false sense of security.

With censorship, he said, the public would ignore the danger of books such as these, thinking that because there is a law, everything is all right.

What is needed to combat this problem, Parskey said, is an awakening of parental responsibility and discipline. "I think the churches should go into this matter as well as social and civic organizations with the aim of educating the parents to the danger of these comic books," he said.

Editorial, March 14, 1954


Not long ago, following the series of articles describing the offensive comic books being sold in Hartford, one publisher of comic books felt he had been dealt with unjustly and protested. In the interests of treating this publisher fairly it is well to give further details of his views about these so-called comic books. He is William M. Gaines, publisher of Entertaining Comics, and he expresses his view in the February issue of Writers' Digest.

There Mr. Gaines tells with considerable satisfaction that his comic books Mad are pushing 1 million circulation . He calls it a "sweet breath of fresh air" in the comic-book field because, among other things, it lampoons classical poetry. Then Mr. Gaines goes on to list his requirements in a plea for writers to contribute plots for his other magazines. He is frank. He says they love “walking corpse" stories. They will accept an occasional zombie or mummy. And he says they relish the "contest cruel," which is, of course, the story of sadism. He is anxious also to get crime stories in which the villain tries to get away with murder "and probably does," because, as Mr. Gaines observes, “virtue does not always have to triumph."

As the Senate Subcommittee To Investigate Comic Books is about to reopen its hearings on this subject, we suggest that Mr. Gaines would make an excellent witness for the defense. His stout endorsement of horror, murder, and of the theme that "crime does pay" might furnish just the kind of "fresh air" that he has been selling to the children of the United States at 10 cents a copy.

Editorial, March 30, 1954


The Entertainment Comic Group of 225 Lafayette Street, New York, is among the worst offenders in a commercial group that makes money by selling immorality and vice to small children. These panderers to children specialize in vampirism, adultery, and cannibalism, have now come out with what should go down in history as one of the really stupid propaganda efforts in modern history.

In its frenzied defense of dirty comic books this company says, "The group most anxious to destroy comics are the Communists." Then it asks the question, "Are you a Red dupe?" The final admonition is as follows: "So the next time some Joker gets up at a PTA meeting or starts jabbering about the naughty comic books at your local candy store, give him the once-over. We're not saying he is a Communist. * * * He may not ever read the Daily Worker. It's just that he's swallowed the Red bait ─ hook, line, and sinker."

Thus do the sellers of literary sewage justify their profits from the debauch of youth. It may interest the various service groups, church organizations, and all other leading citizens who have come out against filthy comics to learn that Entertainment Comics considers them Red dupes.

There have been many stupid and silly red herrings in recent years but this attempt to justify profits from pornography by labelling opposition as "Communist" takes the cake or perhaps it is not just ordinary stupidity. It may be the kind that grows from arrogance. These peddlers have acted on the theory that the American people are a bunch of stupid oafs ─ and by our apathy we have confirmed that judgment. But the jig is up now for the panderers of dirty comic books, and this Red scare is a frantic rear-guard action from a discredited and soon-to-be-deactivated phase of publishing. Their end is in sight, and they know it.

News Story, April 22, 1954


By Irving M. Kravsow

NEW YORK, April 12. ─ A United States subcommittee, probing comic books, was told here today that comic-book publishers tried to clean up their products In 1948 but so few lived up to a decency code that the attempt failed.

Attorney Henry E. Schultz, counsel for the Association of Comic Magazine Publishers, testified that 90 percent of the comic-book publishers in this country joined his association in 1948.

Today, he said, the organization has dwindled to 12 members, only 3 of which are comic-book publishers. "The association, I would say, is out of business and so is the code," Schultz declared.

The committee opened its 2-day hearings on comic books and their relation to juvenile delinquency and crime in the Federal building on Foley Square in front of a battery of television and newsreel cameras.


The committee heard internationally famed child psychiatrist Dr. Frederic Wertham declare "as long as crime and horror comic books are published, no American home is safe."

It listened to William Gaines, publisher of Entertaining Comics, say, "The only limitation on what I publish is what I consider good taste," after he told the committee that he was the founder of Horror Comics in this country and "I'm proud of the comics I publish."

Attorney Schultz submitted as evidence a copy of the decency code drafted by the Association of Comic Magazine Publishers. Both Senator Estes Kefauver, Democrat, of Tennessee, and Senator Robert C. Hendrickson, Republican, of New Jersey, chairman of the subcommittee, complimented Schultz for the code. Senator Kefauver declared: "if this code were followed by comic-book publishers, we wouldn't have this problem today."


Schultz testified that soon after the code was drafted and an "approved" seal was issued for books conforming to the code, many publishers quit the association.

He was asked if the publishers quit because of the code. Schultz replied, "I know of two that left for that specific reason and others I suspected left for the same thing."

He was asked to name the two who left because they didn't want to go along with the code. Schultz said, "One was Educational Comics, published by William Gaines, and the other was Avon."

He was shown a sample of a horror magazine with a cover showing a skeleton strangling a corpse. In large print on the cover, were the words, "Come Into My Coffin." The cover carried the seal of approval of the association.

Schultz said: "The seal is meaningless today. In fact, some publishers make up their own seals of approval and place them on their comic books."


Gaines took the stand and read a brief prepared statement in which he said, "children are people too and are entitled to read what they wish."

Gaines, who was one of the publishers described in the Courant's exposé on comic books, was questioned about his latest book, Shock Suspense Stories.

In it is the Story of a 10-year-old girl, Lucy, who shoots her father, frames her mother and her mother's lover for the crime, sends both to the electric chair and gets away with it.

Associate counsel for the committee, H. W. Beaser, asked Gaines if he agreed with a psychiatrist who had testified earlier that the story of Lucy was harmful because it bred fears in the minds of foster children and because the child gets away with a horrible crime.

Gaines replied, "In this story the child leads a miserable life for six pages then emerges triumphant."


Senator Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (Democrat, Missouri), declared, "She emerges triumphant by murdering her father and sending her mother and another to the electric chair."

Gaines replied, "But she emerges triumphant in the end."

"Do you have children of your own?" asked Senator Hennings.

"No," Gaines replied.

Senator Kefuaver showed Gaines a cover from a recent Gaines publication. It showed a head severed from the body. "Is this in good taste?" he asked.

"Yes," Gaines replied. "It would have been in bad taste if the head had been held higher to show the jagged neck dripping blood."

Senator Kefauver declared, "Blood is running from the mouth and the bloody ax is shown still dripping. Is that good taste?"

Gaines replied, "I think so."


In answer to questions from Senator Kefauver, Gaines testified his total circulation is 1,500,000 comic books a month with an estimated gross income of $80,000 a month.

Asked why his comic books were published under the names of five different companies, Gaines replied he didn't know. "That's the way I inherited the business from my father," he said.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Wertham told of case histories in which he found comic books a contributing factor in juvenile delinquency. He showed colored slides of pictures and texts from many crime and horror books and called for rigid Federal laws outlawing the sale of crime and horror books to anyone under 16 years of age.

He also said the comic-book publishers have applied a lot of pressure in an effort to block distribution of his latest book, Seduction of the Innocent, an exposé on comic books.


Other witnesses today were Richard Clendenen, director and chief investigator for the United States Senate Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency; Dr. Harris Peck, a child psychiatrist; Walt Kelly, president of the National Cartoonist Society and creator of Pogo; Milton Caniff, creator of Steve Canyon, and Joseph Musial, King Features education director. The cartoonists explained the role of comics in visual education and said members of the National Cartoonist Society are barred from drawing for comic magazines such as those submitted in evidence at the hearing.

The hearing will wind up here Thursday. Expected to testify are distributors, publishers, and business managers of comic-book firms.

News Story, April 23, 1954


By Irving M. Kravsow

NEW YORK, April 22. ─ Senator Estes Kefauver (Democrat, Tennessee) charged here today that the Child Study Association of America has deceived the public by presenting reports on comic books Without identifying the authors as being in the pay of comic-book publishers.

He made the accusation during the final day of the 2-day hearings of the United States Senate subcommittee investigating the comic-book industry.

The committee, headed by Senator Robert Hendrickson (Republican, New Jersey), heard a prominent psychiatrist testify she receives $150 a month from a comic-book publishing firm for her advice and admitted she hadn't seen the code of ethics used by that firm until the night before the hearing.

It also heard a comic-book publisher invoke the fifth amendment to the Constitution and refuse to testify on the ground, his testimony might incriminate him.

In addition, it heard the testimony under oath of the counsel for the News Dealers Association of Greater New York who declared flatly that tie-in sales are forcing the newsstand operators to sell comic books against their will.

Other developments included the statement by the committee's associate counsel, H. W. Beaser, after the hearings adjourned, that the Courant's series of articles on comic books was a tremendous help to the committee.

Beaser said the articles will be made part of the committee's record and said the Courant's series was used as the basis for the start of the congressional probe into the comic-book industry and its relationship to juvenile delinquency and crime.

Senator Kefauver's charges against the Child Study Association of America came during the testimony of Gunnar Dybwad, association executive director.

Senator Kefauver put in the record copies of reports issued by the association which had been submitted to the committee by comic-book publishers in defense of the industry.

He showed Dybwad one of the association's reports written by Josette Frank, an employee of the association. "Why don't you say on this report that Josette Frank is paid by the comic-book industry?" Kefauver asked.

"She doesn't work for the comic-book industry," Dybwad replied, "she is paid by a comic-book publisher. There is a difference."


Senator Kefauver then produced another report made by the Child Study Association of America authored by Mrs. Sidonie Gruenberg, a child-guidance expert.

"Mrs. Gruenberg wrote a very favorable article on comic books," Senator Kefauver declared, "and she too is in the pay of the comic-book publishers."

Dybwad replied that Mrs. Gruenberg is no longer in the employ of comic-book publishers.

Senator Kefauver replied, "Here are two people used by your association to evaluate comic books who are being paid by comic-book publishers. Do you think that's fair to the public?"

"Yes," replied Dybwad.

Senator Kefauver then declared, "I think that is traveling under false colors and is not fair to the public."

Kefauver named other prominent experts in the employ of the comic-book publishers including Dr. Lauretta Bender, senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital and professor of clinical psychiatry at New York University; Dr. S. Harcourt Peppard, of Newark, N. J., and Dr. W. D. Sones, of the University of Pittsburgh.

Kefauver identified Dr. Bender as a member of the advisory board of the Child Study Association of America. Dr. Bender testified that she receives $150 a month from National Comics, which publishes Superman, among others.

She said she is paid as a member of the firm's advisory board and her name appears in each issue along with the names of Josette Frank, Dr. Sones, and Dr. Peppard.

She said the board hadn't met in the past 6 months and that the $150 a month is for advice. Asked for an example, she cited an occasion when the comic-book firm asked her if she approved of the manufacture and sale of Superman costumes for children.

She said other experts on the advisory board of the comic-book firm are paid larger sums. Shown a copy of the code of ethics used by the firm, she said the first time she had seen it was the night before the hearing. She said a code she helped draft for the company a few years ago was not in use.

Invoking the fifth amendment was publisher Samuel Roth who said he is now out on bail after being arrested last week on charges of violating New York's indecent and obscene literature statutes and charges of conspiracy to violate the laws.

Alex Segal, president of Stravon Publication, denied under oath charges that he is now selling names of children who answer ads in his comic books to other firms. He said his firm sold lists of names in the past but stopped the practice last year.

Counsel Beaser declared that children would answer an innocent advertisement in a comic book and then start receiving quantities of mail advertising sex books. He said the committee has received many complaints about this from parents and that the Post Office Department and the committee are investigating the matter.

William Richter, counsel for the Newsdealers Association of Greater New York, charged the retailers are "forced to take bad comic books along with the good magazines." He said, however, that the dealers could return the magazines at the end of the month and then get their money back. "If they do this," he said, "they may find themselves not getting magazines they want, however."

The committee adjourned its hearings here and said it would reconvene them at a later date. Roth was ordered to remain under subpena by the committee.

Editorial, April 23, 1954


Unfortunately the Army-McCarthy hearings have tended to obscure the hearings on comic books being held by a Senate subcommittee. Easily the star of the show, it we use the word "star" quite loosely, is William Gaines. Mr. Gaines proudly lays claim to the paternity of horror comic books, and his contribution to the kiddies of America is some 2 million comic books a month. These are all in good taste though, as Mr. Gaines observes. And that is his yardstick of what not to print.

For example, one of his current books show a woman decapitated, with an ax-wielding man holding aloft the blonde head. This, said Mr. Gaines, was good, taste because, while blood oozed from the mouth and the ax was gory, the neck was not shown dripping blood. Mr. Gaines' sense of the fitness of things was also demonstrated in his defense of a story in which a small girl murders her father and sends her mother to the electric chair.

This unique contribution to the Nation's children was justified, said Mr. Gaines, because the child emerges triumphant. According to the Gaines' code of good taste, shooting daddy and sending mama to the chair are justified because the tiny tot's ambition to live in a nicer house is thereby justified.

Mr. Gaines may have disappointed some of his public. He arrived without the company of a complement of vampires or werewolves, with the usual number of fingers, and with only one head. Even though be does gross close to a million dollars a year from this dirty business, Mr. Gaines is a man to be pitied as well as censured. For if he sees nothing wrong in the literary sewage that he helps to create and distribute to small children, then he is indeed as strange as some of the creatures who stalk across the pages of his sardonically named Entertaining Comics. If one hopes for the elimination of these bad books, one might say that Gaines' loss would be the country's gain.

Editorial, April 24, 1954


The Senate investigation of comic books has resumed in New York. And the resumption of hearings on this important source of juvenile pollution was timed felicitously with the publication of a serious study, by a well-known psychiatrist, of these bad books for children.

Considering the kind of material that is blandly peddled by the harpies, it is to be hoped that the Senate committee will drag out into the open the individuals who are responsible for it. Who profits from these books? Who puts up the money to finance them? Why does each publication company issue books under a variety of names?

Putting your finger on those responsible for this stream of sewage is like trying to tab an energetic flea ─ and no offense to the flea intended. Only one so far discovered seems to be proud of his calling. The others, while willing to make money from fouling the minds of children, do not seem anxious to be identified with their publications. That is not surprising. Most poisoners are not anxious to announce their profession to the world
The so-called comic book represents a greater medium of entertainment and education than most persons realize. The phenomenal rise of this industry indicates that the books fill a definite need among the intellectually undeveloped and the young. Unfortunately a bunch of literary ghouls have chiseled into the shadows of the industry, and have brought disrepute on the whole industry.

It must he repeated that the majority of comic books are harmless; some are amusing, others are educational. The purveyors of filth are in temporary retreat. That retreat can be turned into a rout if the investigating Senate committee will pinpoint the responsibility for the really bad stuff that is being published, and sold to children.

Then it is fair also to ask if the laws against obscenity apply only to books for adults. The majority of States, including Connecticut, have statutes banning the sale or distribution of obscene literature. Yet there have been few if any arrests or conviction, under this law. We do not want witch hunts, and the Senate investigating committee can do a great deal to avoid them, if it will cut straight to the heart of this problem: Find the men who are responsible for this national seduction of the innocent, and let the public get a good look at them.

News Story, April 25, 1954


By Irving M. Kravsow

The United States Senate subcommittee investigating the comic-book industry, at its hearings in New York this week, turned the spotlight on a little-known phase of the comic-book business.

Associate Counsel H. W. Beaser of the subcommittee, declared that his staff, assisted by the Post Office Department, had been investigating the sale or rental of names and addresses of children.

One of the witnesses called upon to testify on the aspect of the industry, refused to testify on the grounds that his testimony might incriminate him.

Samuel Roth, out on bond In New York after being charged with violating the State's obscene and indecent literature laws, invoked the fifth amendment and refused to answer the committee's questions concerning where he got the names used on his mailing list.


Another witness, publisher Alex Segal, was not connected with Roth. He was, however, questioned about the renting of children's names and addresses.

He said his firm, in the past, would rent out the names of children to mail-order firms, he said this practice was discontinued last year.

Beaser said the children would answer an innocent advertisement for pictures of birds or a water pistol.

The children would have to fill out a coupon and send it in to the comic-book publisher.

Beaser said some comic-book publishers would take the names and put them on a master list which was rented to other companies. This resulted, he said, in these children receiving in the mails, advertisements and literature selling sex books and other salacious material.

Beaser said his committee had received complaints about Segal's company. Segal replied, "these names are received through comic-book ads and are placed on stencils. By mistake, someone got the names of 4,000 children and rented them to a sex-book company. When we found out about the accident, we stopped renting names out."


The congressional committee also tried to delve into the reasons why comic-book publishers produce books under a variety of company names.

Monroe Froehlich, Jr., business manager of Magazine Management Corp., said this is done for "advertising sales purposes." He did not elaborate.

Froehlich explained the corporate structure of his firm. Magazine Management Corp. is the parent organization of the Marvel Comic Book Co. which puts out 60 comic-book titles. It is also the sole owner of Atlas, a national distribution corporation which handles only the Magazine Management Corp. publications.

His firm, Froehlich said, owns stock in 35 publishing corporations. The average monthly print order for a comic book, he testified, is 350,000 copies.

He said his estimate of the total number of comic books printed in this country each month is "about 45 million."


Counsel Beaser asked Froehlich how many different comic book titles are published monthly and Froehlich answered, "about 425."

Beaser then did some simple multiplication and multiplied 425 titles by the average print order of 350,000 issues and came up with the staggering figure of 148,750,000 comic books a month.

The business manager said his company is a member of the Association of Comic Magazine Publishers and carried the association's seal of approval on its magazines.

Previously Attorney Henry Schultz, counsel for the association, testified that the seal was "meaningless."

Beaser held up a copy of one of the comic books published by Froehlich's company. Its cover showed a skeleton "mugging" a corpselike creature. In large print, it said, "Come Into My Coffin." Beaser also displayed enlarged photographs of some of the pictures and text contained in the comic book.

"Do you think this conforms to the code?" Counsel Beaser asked.

"You are taking it out of context and trying to judge the whole by four panels. I can't answer that question," Froehlich replied.


Froehlich was asked why his company publishes horror and crime comics along with other comic books. He replied, "We're in the publishing business. If there's a demand for horror and crime comics, Why shouldn't we fill the demand. Why not ban automobiles because some people get killed in them?" he asked.

"The manufacturers put brakes on autos," Beaser declared.

Froehlich told the committee if it could be definitely proven that comic books harm children, his firm would not publish them.

How these comic books are distributed came under fire with the testimony of Attorney William Richter, counsel for the News Dealers Association of Greater New York.


He charged the distributors of forcing newsdealers to handle comic books through "tie-in sales." "The vendor gets magazines in one bundle tied together so securely that the newsdealer can't even inspect the merchandise," he said.

The vendor has to pay for the magazines and can't get a rebate for the magazines not sold unless they hold them for a month or two. He said most vendors in New York haven't room to store the undesirable books for a month or longer so are forced to display them for sale.

He said many vendors have reported that if they continue to send back comic books, they find they can't get good magazines.

"This practice is prevalent throughout the country," Richter declared. "The majority of the comic books on the newsstands today are outright trash and the newsdealers don't want to handle it," he added.


Richter displayed a copy of the comic book, Mad, published by William Gaines, who bad testified on the opening day of the probe.

"How Gaines could sit here yesterday and justify his magazines is beyond comprehension" Richter said.

Holding an issue of Mad up to the television cameras, Richter said, "Magazines like this are worse than horror or crime comic books. These ridicule everything in a vicious and gruesome manner. They're demoralizing"

He asked the committee to consider passage of Federal laws outlawing magazine tie-in sales and pledged the aid of his association in helping draft such legislation.

The committee adjourned the hearings and announced it would study the evidence and testimony.

Editorial April 25, 1954


The Senate subcommittee investigating the comic-book industry, and its relation to juvenile delinquency, has brought to light an interesting phase of this multi-million dollar business. The committee discovered that some comic-book publishers, not content to fill their pockets with dollars from the sale of depraved magazines, have found a way to make even more money by selling the names and addresses of children to mail-order firms.

This is the way it works. A child answers an advertisement in a comic book for something harmless like, for example, a book of bird pictures or a water pistol. The child's name is taken from the coupon sent in and placed on master lists. These lists are then rented to mail-order firms. And they in turn send the youngster pamphlets and circulars advertising, among other things, dirty pictures and books. One of the witnesses called before the committee last week when accused of this practice, refused to testify on the grounds that his answers might be self-incriminating. Another publisher testified that he rented his lists at one time, but stopped doing so because of many complaints from irate parents who found advertisements for sex books in their children's mail.

This is, of course, a little flea on the back of a big flea. And the greater part of the comic-book business, let us remember, is harmless. But it becomes more and more evident that the slimy fringe needs cleaning up.

The CHAIRMAN. The chairman wishes to announce that today's hearing does not terminate the subcommittee's investigation into the field of crime and horror comic books. We shall continue to collect on this subject matter in this area, and if necessary further hearings will be scheduled at a later date.

All data thus far presented, plus all future facts compiled, will be studied most carefully before the subcommittee draws up its conclusions and recommendations.

The subcommittee will issue a special report upon this subject at an appropriate time, or we may make the report a part of our final report.

I think I speak for the entire subcommittee when I say that any action on the part of the publishers of crime and horror comic books or upon the part of distributors, wholesalers, or dealers with reference to these materials which will tend to eliminate from production and sale, shall receive the acclaim of my colleagues and myself. A competent job of self-policing within the industry will achieve much.

We will adourn now until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

(Thereupon, at 5 p. m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Saturday, June 5, 1954.)

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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:18 am


(Comic Books)

In 1955, a Senate Interim Report was written by Senater Kefauver summarizing these hearings and what the Senate thought should be done about Crime and Horror Comics.

From: US Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Juvenile Delinquency.
1955-6. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 77-90720

84th Congress
1st Session
SENATE Report No. 62

Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency

Interim Report
of the
Committee on the judiciary
pursuant to
S. Res. 89 and S. Res. 190
(83d Cong. 1st Sess.) - (83d Cong. 2d Sess.)
A Part of the Investigation of Juvenile Delinquency in the United States

Committee on the Judiciary
Harley M. Kilgore, West Virginia, Chairman
James O. Eastland, Mississippi
Estes Kefauver, Tennessee
Olin D. Johnston, South Carolina
Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., Missouri
John L McClellan, Arkansas
Price Daniel, Texas
Joseph C. O'Mahoney, Wyoming Alexander Wiley, Wisconsin
William Langer, North Dakota
William E. Jenner, Indiana
Authur V. Watkins, Utah
Everett KcKinley Dirksen, Illinois
Herman Welker, Idaho
John Marshall Butler, Maryland
Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States
Estes Kefauver, Tennessee, Chairman
Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. Missouri
Olin D. Johnston, South Carolina William Langer, North Dakota
Alexander Wiley, Wisconsin
James H. Bobo General Counsel

Note- Former Senator Robert C. Hendrickson, New Jersey, served as chairman of this subcommittee until December 13, 1954.
Senator Johnston and Senator Wiley did not participate in this report, having been appointed to the sub-committee on February 7, 1955.

Table of Contents:

• I. Introduction
o Scope of this interim report
• II. A brief history of the development of the comic-book industry
o First comic book appeared in 1935
o An overview of the organization and operation of the comic-book industry
• III. The Nature of crime and horror comic books
o Specific examples of material dealt with at New York hearings
o Methods utilized in crime and horror comics to portray violence
• IV. Crime and horror comics as a contributing factor in juvenile delinquency
o Crime and horror comics and the well-adjusted and normally law abiding child
o Crime and horror comics may appeal to and thus give support and sanction to already existing antisocial tendencies
o Techniques of crime are taught by crime and horror comics
o Criminal careers are glamorized in crime and horror comic books
o Defenders of law and order frequently represented as all powerful beings who kill and commit other crimes to defend "justice"
o Excessive reading of crime and horror comics is considered symptomatic of emotional pathology
o Need exists for more specific research to fully ascertain the possible effects of this type of reading material upon children
• V. Other questionable aspects of comic books
o Weapons and pseudomedical nostrums advertised in comic books designed for children
o Misuse of mailing lists compiled through comic-book advertisements
o The exportation of crime and horror comic books
• VI. Comic books as a medium of communication
• VII. Where should responsibility for policing crime and horror comics rest?
o Comic books and authority
o Responsibility of parents, assisted by citizens' groups
o Role of Child Study Association as an evaluator of comics
o Responsibility of the comic-book industry for self-regulation
o Newsdealers unable to assume adequate responsibility
o Wholesalers are not most feasible parties to regulate content
o Printer cannot feasibly regulate content
o Distributor holds one of the key positions in comic-book industry
o Publisher has primary responsibility for subject and treatment
o Past attempts at industry self-regulation
o Current efforts at industry self-regulation
• VIII. Conclusions
o Only one part of investigation into the mass media of communication
• Appendix
o Senate Resolution 89 (83d Cong., 1st sess.)
o Senate Resolution 190 (83d. Cong., 2d sess.)
o Section of the United States Code requiring statement of ownership to be filed annually with postmaster
o Code of National Cartoonists Society
o Code of the Association of Comics Magazines Publishers, 1948
o Code of the Comics Magazine Association of America, Inc., adopted October 26, 1954
o Correspondence from the Committee on Evaluation of Comic Books, Cincinnati, Ohio
o List of comic book publishers and comic book titles, spring 1954
o Chart showing the organization of the comic-book industry in the United States, according to distributor, comic group, publisher, in the spring of 1954

84th Congress
1st Session
SENATE Report No. 62


March 14 (legislative Day, March 10), 1955. - Ordered to be printed
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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:26 am

Mr. Kefauver, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following:


[Pursuant to S. Res. 89, 83d Cong., 1st sess., and S. Res. 190, 83d Cong., 2d sess.]

I. Introduction

The Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, pursuant to authorization in Senate Resolution 89, 83d Congress, 1st session, and Senate Resolution 190 of the 2s session of said Congress, has been making a "full and complete study of juvenile delinquency in the United States," including its "extent and character" and "its causes and contributing factors." In addition to a number of community hearings that have been held in major cities, the subcommittee has undertaken studies of various special problems affecting juvenile delinquency.

Over a period of several months the subcommittee has received a vast amount of mail from parents expressing concern regarding the possible deleterious effect upon their children of certain of the media of mass communication. This led to an inquiry into the possible relationship to juvenile delinquency of these media.

Members of the subcommittee have emphatically stated at public hearings that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are not at issue. They are fully aware of the long, hard, bitter fight that has been waged through the ages to achieve and maintain those freedoms. They agree that these freedoms, as well as other freedoms in the Bill of Rights, must not be abrogated.

The subcommittee has no proposal for censorship. It moved into the mass media phase of its investigations with no preconceived opinions in regard to the possible need for new legislation.

Consistent with this position, it is firmly believed that the public is entitled to be fully informed on all aspects of this matter and to know all the facts. It was the consensus that the need existed for a thorough, objective investigation to determine whether, as has been alleged, certain types of mass communication media are to be reckoned with as contributing to the country's alarming rise in juvenile delinquency. These include: "crime and horror" comic books and other types of printed matter; the radio, television, and motion pictures.

In its investigations of mass media, as in its investigation of other phases of the total problem, the subcommittee has not been searching for "one cause." Delinquency is the product of many related causal factors. But it can scarcely be questioned that the impact of these media does constitute a significant factor in the total problem.

Juvenile delinquency in America today must be viewed in the framework of the total community-climate in which children live. Certainly, none of the children who get into trouble live in a social vacuum. One of the most significant changes of the past quarter century has been the wide diffusion of the printed word, particularly in certain periodicals, plus the phenomenal growth of radio and television audiences.

The child today in the process of growing up is constantly exposed to sights and sounds of a kind and quality undreamed of in previous generations. As these sights and sounds can be a powerful force for good, so too can they be a powerful counterpoise working evil. Their very quantity makes them a factor to be reckoned with in determining the total climate encountered by today's children during their formative years.


The first phase of the subcommittee's investigation of the mass media of communication dealt with so-called comic books. This report is an interim one dealing with certain aspects of the findings to date of the investigation in this field. While it is not presumed to be comprehensive of the material that can be explored in this field, this interim report is based upon the public hearings in New York City on April 21, 22, and June 4, 1954, and upon research by members of the staff of the subcommittee. Because of the limited extent of the studies that exist on this subject, due in part to the comparatively recent introduction of comic books, there remains a considerable area which deserves careful and scientific exploration.

When looking at the question: What are "comic books?" we find that many, including all those with which the subcommittee's investigation was concerned, were found to be neither humorous nor books. They are thin, 32-page pamphlets usually trimmed to 7 by 10 1/2 inches. Most of them sell for 10 cents a copy. They are issued monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semiannually, or as one-time publications. They are wire-stitched in a glossy paper cover on which, in the crime and horror type, there has been printed in gaudy colors an often grim and lurid scene contrived to intrigue prospective purchasers into buying them. The inside page contain from 3 to 5 stories told in pictures with balloon captions. The pictures are artists' line drawings printed in color, intended to tell part of the story by showing the characters in action. In the case of crime and horror comic books, the story and the action are often quite horrendous.

Not all comic books were considered in this investigation. The subcommittee was concerned only with those dealing with crime and horror. It was estimated that by the spring of 1954 over 30 million copies of crime and horror comic books were being printed each month. 1 If only 50 percent of that number were sold by the retailers, the annual gross from crime and horror comic books had reached $18 million. These constituted approximately 20 percent of the total output of comic books. The inquiry was not concerned in this phase with the comic strips that appear daily in most of our newspapers.

1. This estimate is slightly different from the estimate prepared by the staff of the subcommittee prior to the New York hearings on April 21 and 22, 1954.

The methods utilized in investigating the possible effects of crime and horror comic books included several steps. These included the sending of samples of such books to psychiatrists and psychologists to obtain their opinions as to the possible effects of this type of printed matter upon children. The staff of the Library of Congress prepared a useful summarization of articles and books pertaining to the subject. 2 The subcommittee's staff conducted extensive research into the organization of the comic-book industry and interviewed many individuals concerned with that industry. This was done prior to the public hearings in New York.

2. See Hearings Before Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., pp.12-23, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1954

II. A Brief History of the Development of the Comic Book Industry

The first comic strip to appear in a newspaper was Outcault's "Yellow Kid" which was introduced in the New York World in 1896. The concept, however, of an entire publication devoted to comics was not developed until 1911 when the Chicago American offered preprints of Bud Fisher's Mutt and Jeff in pamphlet form as a premium for clipping coupons from six daily issues.


The pattern for present-day comic books was set in 1935 when Now Fun, a 64-page collection of original material printed in four colors, was put on the newsstands. Action Comics were put on sale in 1938, and Superman Quarterly Magazine appeared in 1939. The number of comic book publishers has increased and the circulation figures have risen astonishingly since that time.

It has been estimated conservatively that in 1940 publishers of at least 150 comic-book titles had annual revenues of over 20 million. Ten years later, in 1950 about 300 comic-book titles were being published with annual revenues of nearly 41 million. The upswing in the next 3 years brought the number of titles to over 650 and the gross to about 90 million.3 Average monthly circulation jumped from close to 17 million copies in 1940 to 68 million in 1953.

3. No accurate figures are available. Many of the newer publishers of comic books do not report to the Audit Bureau of Circulations nor to the Controlled Circulation Audits, the two firms that compile circulation figures. The subcommittee, in making the above estimate, took the most conservative estimate. It assumed that 300,000 copies of each comic-book title were printed, even though information given to the subcommittee indicated that is a minimum print order and that some print orders are close to the million mark. It was also assumed that one-half of the comic books printed were sold, even though information given was to the effect that the "break-even" point for the average publisher would more likely be closer to 65 percent. And finally it was assumed that one-half of all the comic books were published monthly and that the remainder were published bimonthly, even though information furnished by the publishers themselves indicate that more than one-half of the comic books were published monthly. See McNickle, Roma K., Policing the Comics, Editorial Research Reports, 1205 19th street NW., Washington D.C. , vol. I, 1952, pp. 229-330. See also N. W. Ayer & Son's Directory of Newspapers an Periodicals for the Years 1945 through 1953.

In the years between 1945 and 1954, two striking changes took place in the comic-book industry. The first was the great increase in the number of comic books published and the number of firms engaged in their publication. The second was the increase numbers of comic books dealing with crime and horror and featuring sexually suggestive and sadistic illustrations. This increase of materials featuring brutality and violence is being offered to any child who has the 10-cent purchase price. That these examples of crime and horror are aimed at children is clearly evident from the advertisements with which each issue is replete.


On first impression, the present comic-book industry would seem to comprise many different publishing firms with no apparent relationship to one to another. On closer scrutiny, however, it is fount that the picture is entirely different.

Information obtained by the subcommittee indicates that, while there are 112 seemingly separate and distinct corporations engaged in the publication of comic books, these corporations, through such devices as common-stock holders and officer and family ties are in fact owned and controlled by a relatively small group of men and women. Thus the 676 comic-book titles are published by 111 corporations owned by only 121 persons or families in addition to 1 corporation which has many stockholders. 4

4. Listing of publishers and titles shown on Pp.39-44 of appendix to this report.

The majority of these publishers maintain editorial offices in New York City. While the editorial content of comic books is determined in New York City, the actual printing, binding and distribution usually takes place at printing establishments often located in other States far removed from the editorial offices.

A view of the steps involved in producing and distributing a comic book affords some insight into the problems confronting the industry in determining an editorial content acceptable for reading by children.

While ultimate responsibility for editorial content rests with the publishers, their training and backgrounds vary widely. One, for example, combines publication of comic books with an active law practice. Some publish "girlie" magazines and comic books from the same editorial office. Some publish well-known pocket-sized book editions. One man publishes both comic books and the pseudomedical type of sex books. Several include pseudoscience books among their publications. One fact is clearly noted: A background in knowledge of child education and development is not a requisite to becoming a publisher of crime and horror comic books designed for children.

Neither the editor, the script writer nor the artist is required to possess such a background. A majority of the comic-books publishers employ one or more editors. Some also employ writers and artist on a permanent basis, although more frequently they utilize such persons on a free-lance arrangement.

The publisher, and his editor, establish the general theme and tone of a particular comic book. the idea for the story is them conceived by the editor or writer. Once the idea is firmed-up, the writer prepares a short synopsis. This is reviewed by the editor who directs such changes as he sees fit. In some of the smaller publishing firms, the publisher himself may sit on this story conference. In the larger firms, the publisher does not attempt detailed review of story content.

After the synopsis is agreed upon, the writer prepares a script which sets forth, panel by panel, the action to be illustrated and dialogue for the "balloons." The editor again reviews the script and indicates the revisions to be made. The artist, following the directions in the script, then prepares black and white drawings which are reviewed by the editor who orders such changes as he wants. The drawings are not colored by the original artist, but by other persons in the employ of the publisher, or by the printer under instructions from the editor.

Three of four stories are then grouped together to form a comic book of 32 pages. Not all of these pages contain illustrated stories. Some may be used for advertising space. Others may be used for short stories without illustration for "fan" clubs or correspondence.

The layout for the comic books, complete with original drawings and color scheme, is then sent to the printer according to a prearranged time schedule. Inside pages are printed on "newsprint" and the cover is printed on a slightly heavier, glossy paper. These two operations are sometimes accomplished at different printing plants.

The minimum print order for any one issue of a comic book is approximately 300,000, although press runs of 750,000 for a single issue are not uncommon. The publishers' experience has shown that this minimum is necessary to assure such widespread coverage as will provide the opportunity for sufficient sales to cover costs and, hopefully, result in profits on that particular issue. With 95,000 to 110,000 newsdealers in the country, a press run of 300,000 would put only 3 copies of the comic book on the shelves of each dealer if evenly distributed.

After an issue of a comic book is printed, the copies are not shipped to the distributor as one might expect, but directly to the local wholesaler. Shipments are made by mail, freight, express and truck. Such shipments are made by the printing concern at the direction of and in accordance with the instructions supplied by the distributor. The wholesaler then supplies the newsdealer, who is the retailer from whom the public buys.

Virtually every community of appreciable size in the United States has at least one independently owned wholesaler who distributes comic books for one or a number of the independent national distributors. It is estimated the 950 independent wholesalers operate within the United States. In addition, the American News Co. maintains its own 400 company-owned-and-operated branches, in the capacity of wholesale concerns. Moreover, a subsidiary of the American News Co., called the Union News Co., has branches which supply newsstands at railway stations, subways, and some hotels.

If the printer and the wholesaler perform the physical function of distributing comic books, who then is the distributor and what is his role in the total industry picture? Thirteen national distributors handle comic books within the continental United States. Some distributors are also publishers and handle their own publications. Others do not publish but deal with a number of independent publishers. The American News Co. sends materials only to its company-owned wholesalers. The other 12 distributors route materials to independently owned wholesalers.

The distributor is a cross between a financier, a statistician, and a publishers' salesman or representative. His financial function is performed through the advance payments he makes to the publisher. He will often advance up to 25 percent against the final accounting, which will take place (3 or 4 months later) when the total sales of a particular issue can be computed. His statistical function consists of determining those wholesalers to whom a given comic book can supplied to each. His function as salesman consists of directing "on the road" representatives who seek to maintain satisfactory customer relations with the wholesaler. This agent urges the wholesaler to carry and to push the sales of a larger number of the publications carried by the distributor whom he represents.

The distributor maintains a record for each wholesaler with whom he does business. He lists the title and the issue of each comic book delivered, the quantity shipped, the quantity sold, and the number eventually returned unsold. Future calculations are made on the basis of past performance. As each new issue is prepared, the distributor gages sales possibilities. He then orders a given number of shipping labels bearing the name and address of each wholesaler and the number of copies to be sent to that wholesaler. These labels are delivered to the printer.

Thus the comic book, conceived by the editor and writer, given concrete form by the artist, and put into mass production by the printer on order of the publisher, reaches the business of a wholesaler in a particular area, having been shopped there by the printer under a label prepared by a national distributor. It is now ready for its journey onto the shelves of the newsdealer.

The wholesaler also maintains records as to the sales made by newsdealers serviced by him. On the basis of these records, the wholesaler makes up a bundle for his newsdealers. It is a mixed bundle. It contains a number of copies of each of the comic books he has received for distribution since his last distribution day. The bundle might also contain copies of "girlie" magazines, men's sports, popular scientific publications, motion picture and television periodicals, and other types of literary, news and household publications. In other words, the bundle prepared for delivery to the newsdealer can and does run the gamut of many types of magazines, depending on what the wholesaler distributes. The bundle is then delivered by a truck driver to the retailer who operates a newsstand in a small store, on the street, or in a station, to drugstores, candy stores, and other retail outlets.

The widely diverse assortment of publications, which might be routed by distributor to the wholesaler and in turn to the retail newsdealer, was shown in the prepared exhibits of some of the magazines distributed by the Kable News Co. These exhibits, which were introduced at the New York hearings, included such titles as: Suppressed, The Facts About Modern Bootlegging, Mysteries, Billy Bunny, Exhibit Homes, Haunted Thrills, Zip, Romance Time, Nifty, Homecraft, Mystery Tales of Horror and Suspense, Picture Scope, Magazine Digest, Masked Ranger, Gala, Danger, Voodoo, The Children's Hour, Wham, Radio-Electronics, Pack O' Fun, Strange Fantasy, Exclusive, Dare, Frolic, Child Life, Fantastic Fears, Universe, Tops, He, Hunting and Fishing, Danger, and Tab. The covers of many of these publications carried pictures of scantily clad females in suggestive poses. The titles of some of the article as featured on the covers were: "The Lady Is a Man," "All-Year Vacation Home," "Sex Before Marriage," "I Was Forced Into Russia's Fifth Column," "I Sold Myself in the Marriage Racket," "Athletes Are Lousy Sports," "What's New in Transistors," "Babes in Boyland," "The Prodigal Son," "Backstage at Burlesk," "The Smart Drummer," "Rica Rita- Pantie Model," "Angel of the Battlefields," "Sexie Tessie Up North," "Joseph and His Brothers," "Tommy's Bedroom Secret," "Dead End Kids of Space," "Are Bosomy Beauties a Fad?" "Are Vets Freeloading Medical Care?" "Sixty Lady-Killers on the Loose," "Evelyn West vs. Kinsey," "Are Our Churches Really Red?" "The Beauty Is a Witch," "Slaves to Beauty," "Trouble in Morocco," "Court of Immoral Women," "Backlashes? Try Educating Your Thumb," and "Where Bad Girls Make Good."

The newsdealer is changed for the entire contents of the bundle he receives. However, the newsdealer may return the comic books, if they remain unsold, as in the case of other items, and receive credit. The Wholesaler may route the returns to other dealers. When it is finally determined that certain returns are not salable, the wholesaler returns them to the distributor, for use in his accounting with the publisher, returning either the comic books themselves or their covers. There is also a practice in the industry of putting groups of returned comics books into thicker books, and reissuing them under a new title and cover for a sale price of 25 cents.

The distributor and the publisher complete their accounting on the basis of the returns - either of the covers or the entire comic books - and payment is made to the publisher for the copies sold. The amount retained by the distributor is a small percentage of the total amount of the sales.

III. The Nature of Crime and Horror Comic Books

It has been pointed out that the so-called crime and horror comic books of concern to the subcommittee offer short courses in murder, mayhem, robbery, rape, cannibalism, carnage, necrophilia, sex, sadism, masochism, and virtually every other form of crime, degeneracy, bestiality, and horror. These depraved acts are presented and explained in illustrated detail in an array of comic books being bought and read daily by thousands of children. These books evidence a common penchant for violent death in every form imaginable. Many of the books dwell in detail on various forms on insanity and stress sadistic degeneracy. Others are devoted to cannibalism with monsters in human form feasting on human bodies, usually the bodies of scantily clad women.


To point out more specifically type of material being dealt with, a few typical examples of story content and pictures were presented at the New York hearings on April 21, 1954. From the few following examples, it will be clearly seen that the major emphasis of the material then available on America's newsstands from this segment of the comic book industry dealt with depraved violence:

Story No. 1

Bottoms Up (Story Comics)

This story has to do with a confirmed alcoholic who spends all his wife can earn on alcohol. As a result their small son is severely neglected. On the day the son is to start in the first grade in school the mother asks the father to escort him to the school building. Instead, the father goes to his favorite bootlegger and the son goes to school by himself. En route the child is struck and killed by an automobile. Informed of the accident, the mother returns home to find her husband gloating over his new supply of liquor. The last four panels show the mother as she proceeds to kill and hack her spouse to pieces with an ax. The first panel shows her swinging the ax, burying the blade in her husband's skull. Blood spurts from the open wound and the husband is shown with an expression of agony. The next panel has a montage effect: the husband is lying on the floor with blood rushing from his skull as the wife is poised over him. She holds he bloody ax, raised for more blows. The background shows an enlargement of the fear-filled eyes of the husband, as well as an enlargement of the bloody ax. To describe this scene of horror the text states that "And how the silence of the Hendrick's apartment is broken only by the soft humming of Nora as she busies herself with her 'work'." She then cuts his body into smaller pieces and disposes of it by placing the various pieces in the bottles of liquor her husband had purchased. She then returns the liquor to the bootlegger and obtains a refund. As she leaves the bootlegger says: "HMMN, funny! I figured that rye would be inside Lou by now!" The story ends with the artist admonishing the child readers in a macabre vein with the following paragraph, "But if Westlake were to examine the remainder of the case more closely he'd see that it is Lou who is inside the liquor! Heh, Heh! Sleep well, kiddies!" We then see three of the bottles - one contains an eye, one an ear, and one a finger.

Story No. 2

Frisco Mary (Ace Comics)

This story concerns an attractive and glamorous young woman, Mary, who gains control of a California underworld gang. Under her leadership the gang embarks on a series of holdups marked for their ruthlessness and violence. One of these escapades involves the robbery of a bank. A police officer sounds an alarm thereby reducing the gang's "take" to a mere $25,000. One of the scenes of violence in the story shows Mary poised over the wounded police officer, as he lies on the pavement, pouring bullets into his back from her submachine gun. The agonies of the stricken officer are clearly depicted on his face. Mary, who in this particular scene looks like an average American girl wearing a sweater and skirt and with her hair in bangs, in response to a plea from one of her gang members to stop shooting and flee, states: "We could have got twice as much if it wasn't for this frog-headed rat!!! I'll show him!"

Story No. 3

With Knife in Hand (Atlas Comics)

A promising young surgeon begins to operate on a wounded criminals in order to gain the money demanded by his spendthrift wife. After he has ruined his professional career by becoming associated with the underworld, a criminal comes to get help for his girl friend who has been shot by the police. In the accompanying panels the girl is placed upon the operating table; the doctor discovers that the criminal's girl friend is none other than his own wife. The scene then shows the doctor committing suicide by plunging a scalpel into his own abdomen. His wife, gasping for help, also dies on the operating table for a lack of medical attention. The last scene shows her staring into space, arms dangling over the sides of the operating table. The doctor is sprawled on the floor, his hand still clutching the knife handle protruding from his bloody abdomen. There is a leer on his face and he is winking at the reader connoting satisfaction at having wrought revenge upon his unfaithful spouse.

Story No. 4

Head Room (Entertaining Comics)

The female keeper of a decrepit hotel gives special attention to one of her male boarders. She attempts to win his affection by giving him lower rates, privileges, etc. Since he is in his room only at night, she rents the same room for daytime use to a gruesome-looking man, shown on the first page of the story. There are repeated reports over the radio of a homicidal maniac at large, the "Ripper." She comes to suspect the daytime boarder and is shown searching his room and finding seven gruesome, bloody heads hanging in his closet. Her privileged boarder comes into the room and she tells him of her findings. He is then shown transformed into the gruesome daytime boarder. The last picture shows him as he decapitates her.

Story No. 5

Orphan (Entertaining Comics)

This is the story of a small golden-haired girl named Lucy, of perhaps 8 or 10 years of age, and the story is told in her own words. Lucy hates both her parents. Her father is an alcoholic who beats her when drunk. Her mother, who never wanted Lucy, has a secret boy friend. The only bright spot in Lucy's life is her Aunt Kate with whom she would like to live. Lucy's chance to alter the situation comes when the father, entering the front gate to the home, meets his wife who is running away with the other man, who immediately flees. Snatching a gun from the night table, Lucy shoots and kills her father from the window. She then runs out into the yard and presses the gun into the hands of her mother, who has fainted and lies unconscious on the ground. Then through Lucy's perjured testimony at the following trial, both the mother and her boy friend are convicted of murdering the father and are electrocuted. These pictures that show, first, "Mommie" and then "Stevie" as they sit strapped to the electric chair as the electric shock strikes them. Other pictures show Lucy's joyous contentment that it has all worked out as she had planned and she is now free to live with her Aunt Kate. The last picture shows her winking at the reader and saying "*** which is just the way I'd hope it would work out when I shot daddy from the front bedroom window with the gun I knew was in the night table and went downstairs and put the gun in mommy's hand and started the crying act."

Story No. 6

Heartless (Story Comics)

This is the story of a petty gangster, Bernie Kellog. He is in a cheap, small town hotel, where he starts to have chest pains and calls a physician. The doctor gives Bernie a drug to calm his nerves. The drug makes Bernie feel like talking and he tells the doctor that he is in the hotel waiting for a women to bring him $50,000 in blackmail money. He tells the doctor how the woman begged to be "let off the hook" because her husband didn't have that much money. Bernie insists, however, so the women goes home and commits suicide. As it turns out, the women, Elaine, is the doctor's wife. One of the pictures then presented shows the doctor sitting dazedly on the edge of the bed * * * And, stretched across the bed, we find Bernie with his heart cut out. Bernie is shown lying dead on the bed with a gaping hole in his chest, a rib protruding, blood flowing over the bed and onto the floor, his face fixed in a death mask as he stares at the reader.

Story No. 7

Stick in the Mud (Story Comics)

An extremely sadistic schoolteacher gives special attention to one of her pupils in order to curry favor with the boy's rich, widowed father. In a year she succeeds in marrying the man, but he turns out to be a miser. She stabs him to death with a butcher knife approximately a foot and a half in length and 3 inches wide. The picture shows the body of the old man, limbs askew, falling to the floor, emitting a gurgle. There is a large hole in this back and blood is squirting in all directions. The wife is behind him clutching the bloody butcher knife. She says: "You stupid old fool! I've stood for your miserly, penny-pinching ways long enough! From now on it'll be my money *** and I'll spend it my way! Die Ezra *** die!" She then covers up her crime by throwing him into a pen with a wild bull that gores his body to pieces. She now has the money, but also the stepson whom she hates. The boy suspects that she killed his father and makes her chase him around the farm by calling her names. He leads her to some quicksand and she falls in. Several pictures show her as she begs the boy to get help. He promises to do so if she confesses to him that she killed his father. She does so, and he then lets her sink to her death. A close up is shown of the terrified women, sunk into the quicksand which is slowing into her open mouth. The boy is quite satisfied with himself and walks about the farm humming a tune while others search for his "lost" stepmother.

It is appropriate to point out that these were not the only, nor the worst, pictures and stories gathered by the subcommittee during the investigation. In fact, they constitute a small sampling of the total array of crime and horror comic books available to the youth of this Nation.


Physical acts shown in the foregoing pictures are not the only means for portraying violence in the crime and horror type of comic books. Violence is frequently demonstrated by the type of character, plot, and setting of a story; as well as by the sequence of events and by the language used in the "balloons." The following are a few examples of some of the devices used in the portrayal of violence and horror:

1. Character, plot, and setting

The majority of fantasy stories, which pictorially depicted relatively few physical acts of violence, dealt with supernatural people and events. More frequently the supernatural phenomena involved werewolves, vampires, zombies, witches, people returning from the dead, and animal monsters. Physical violence usually occurred in only 1 or 2 frames. The total extent of violence, however, cannot be measured by counting isolated frames taken out of context. Each frame contributed to the story buildup of horror and suspense.

One method of portraying horror relates supernatural phenomena with real people and things. In this type of story, horror was portrayed by making use of fantastic supernatural powers and by identifying these powers with people and animals that really exist. By association, it is suggested that real policemen may be ghouls who prey of the citizens of a city. The next-door neighbor may be a zombie secretly plotting with other zombies, also neighbors, to take over the world. Ordinary house pets are actually men's enemies awaiting the opportunity to destroy him.

Another resource for portraying horror places supernatural beings, such as werewolves and vampires in highly realistic settings. Therefor, horror is identified not only with real people but also with real situations. An example of this type was pointed out in the hearings by Richard Clendenen, subcommittee executive director. It was the story of a small orphan who was adopted by two individuals ostensibly devoted to the child. After having fattened him up, they entered his room and night, fangs bared, and it is seen that they were vampires. The boy however is turned into a werewolf and attacks the two and claws them. Thus, violence and horror are not restricted in comic books to the isolated action shown in each frame. Though there are no frames with physical violence in some instances, a while story may create horror by its selection of characters, sequence of events and situations.

2. Language

Words alone, or in conjunction with pictures, may describe violence and horror more vividly than the graphic techniques. In comic books, language is utilized to contribute to horror in several ways. It may be used to (a) stimulate the reader's anticipation of horrible things to come; (b) reinforce a belief in supernatural monsters; (c) describe desires impossible of being shown graphically; and (d) describe killings.

One of the more frequent functions of language in crime comics is to replace graphic portrayals of brutal killings. In such instances the pictures do not show the weapons in contact with the victims, more are the victims mangled bodies exposed to the reader. The acts of killing, however, and their effects on the victims are imaginatively described in the texts. The following serves as an illustration of this technique:

A man is shown lifting an ax preparatory to striking his wife on the floor. In the next frame he lowers the ax, the wife is now show but the caption reads: "Bertha squealed as Norman brought the ax down. The swinging of the steel and the thud of the razor-sharp metal against flesh cut the squeal short." In the next frame he holds the ax poised again, the body still is not exposed and the caption reads: "He brought the ax down again and again, hacking, severing, dismembering."

In cases similar to the above, violence is portrayed to the reader by words instead of pictures.

Other symbols are often used to signify violence and horror. The red background of a picture is used as symbolic of blood. This may be noted in the following example:

The caption reads: "His (the victim's) shrieks dies to a s bubbling moan *** then a final death rattle. *** You did not stop swinging the chair until the thing on the floor was a mass of oozing scarlet pulp." No body is shown but the entire frame is colored red.

3. Sequence

Another method in which the impressions of horror or violence may be conveyed is by the sequence of events. Stories may be so constructed that each frame stimulates the imagination of the reader up to a shocking climax in the last frame. The sequence may be carried out through the use of words and pictures which, in themselves, are unrelated to horror. One of the more subtle instances where violence was portrayed by neither action, words, nor color, is the following:

The story is about a man who gets entangled in a swamp. One frame shows him in the swamp and a huge vulture circling above the doomed man. The next frame shows the man being carried out on a stretcher with bandages over his eyes.5

5 Acknowledge for this section on methods of portraying violence in comic books is due Mrs. Marilyn Graalfs of the department of sociology of the University of Washington who prepared A Survey of Comic Books in the state of Washington (mimeographed), Seattle, 1954. This was a report made to Washington State Council for Children and Youth, having been prepared in cooperation with the research and statistics section of the department of public institutions.

IV. Crime and Horror Comic Books as a Contributing Factor in Juvenile Delinquency

Inquiring into the relationship of crime and horror comic books to juvenile delinquency, the subcommittee approached this question without preconceived convictions. It was not assumed that comic books are a major cause of juvenile delinquency. On the other hand, care was taken to avoid stating categorically that these crime and horror comic books have no effect in aggravating the problem.

However, there are many who accept the idea of the cause and effect relationship between comic-book reading by children and antisocial behavior. Many judges have pointed to crime and horror comic books and have cited cases of children who have explained their delinquent acts by claiming they got the ideas from such comic books. This kind of evidence is largely discounted by the behavioral scientists, who point out that children can hardly be expected to understand their own behavior, much less explain it. A child may ascribe his behavior to a comic book he has read, but such explanations without substantiating findings can scarcely be considered scientific evidence of causation.

The behavioral sciences are as yet far from exact. Therefore, it is not surprising to note some diversity of opinion even among experts in the fields of criminology, psychology and sociology. Responsible observers of the American social pattern are in general agreement that juvenile delinquency has many causes, not just one.

Today there are many who consider themselves experts who persist in explaining all delinquency solely as a product of personality maladjustment, while at the other extreme, there are those who find the influence of the slum to be the source of all difficulties. Others points solely to the influence of crime and horror comic books. These people overlook the fact that no one personality trait or social background distinguishes delinquent children. The endless variations of circumstance, opportunity, and personal history must be taken into account. When doing this, it is necessary to determine the effects in each case of all the contributing factors. A study of crime and horror comic books should consider their effects upon children in the total setting of the child's behavior pattern. It was the concern of the subcommittee to inquire into expert opinion of the relationship between this material and the delinquent behavior of children who are (a) considered to be emotionally stable and (b) those thought of as emotionally maladjusted. The following is a brief summary of professional opinion in which the attempt is made to reflect some of the divergencies where they exist:


Attention has been given by some experts to the influence of crime and horror comics on well-adjusted children who normally are not in conflict with society. Majority opinion seems included to view that it is unlikely that the reading of crime and horror comics would lead to delinquency in a well-adjusted and normally law-abiding child.

A different view is held by Dr. Frederic Wertham, consulting psychiatrist, Department of Hospitals, New York City. He maintains that it is primarily the "normal" child upon whom the comics have their greatest detrimental effects, and thus it is this type of individual who is "tempted" and "seduced" into imitating the crime portrayed in the story. Dr. Wertham has been termed the "leading crusader against comics." Although stating that he does not adhere to a single factor theory of delinquency causation, he does attribute a large portion of juvenile offenses to the comics. 6

6. See Wertham, Frederic, Seduction of the Innocent, New York; 1954.

A critique of the position that has been held by Dr. Wertham for many years is found in an article by Prof. Frederic M. Thrasher entitled, "The Comics and Delinquency: Cause or Scapegoat." This article which appeared in 1949, pointed to alleged weakness in Dr. Wertham's approach, the major one being that his propositions are not supported by adequate research data. 7 Professor Thrasher asserted that Dr. Wertham's claims rest upon a selected group of extreme cases. Although Dr. Wertham has since declared that his conclusions are based upon a study of thousands of children, he has not offered the statistical details of his study. He says that he used control groups, i.e. compared his groups of delinquents with a similar group on nondelinquents, but he has not described the groups to prove that difference in incidence of comic-book reading is other than a selective process. In conclusion, Professor Thrasher writes:

*** it may be said that no acceptable evidence has been produced by Wertham or anyone else for the conclusion that the reading comic magazines has, or has not, a significant relation to delinquent behavior.

A summarization of Professor Thrasher's contention is that in 1949, the case against comic books had not been proved pro or con. His presentation points out the need for more study and research that subject which has not yet been done.

7 Thrasher, Frederic M., The Comics and Delinquency: Cause of Scapegoat, in the Journal of Educational Sociology, December 1949, pp. 195-905.


Dr. Harris Peck, director of the bureau of mental health services for the New York City Court of Domestic Relationships, indicated in his testimony that there is a possible relationship of crime and horror comic books to juvenile delinquency through appealing to and thus giving support and sanction to already existing antisocial tendencies. 8 While pointing out that it is unlikely that comic books are a primary cause of juvenile delinquency, he stated that that it should not be overlooked that certain comic book may aid and abet, as it were, delinquent behavior which has been set in motion by other forces already operating on the child. Dr Harris has also noted the preoccupation with comics of many delinquents with whom he has come in contact. This observation should be weighed with reference to the fact tat there are many nondelinquents who are avid comic-book readers.

8 See Peck, Harris, testimony in hearings before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., pp. 63-69, Washington: Government Printing Office 1954.

It is appropriate that a distinction be made between the "emotionally maladjusted" delinquent to which reference has been made and the "normally adjusted" delinquent. It is quite possible for an individual to be both socially and psychologically adjusted within his own group of delinquent companions. While the group may commit acts of delinquency and be completely out of joint with society as a whole, the individual members may have the same normal feelings and needs as members of a law-abiding group of the same age. Therefor, even though these delinquent youths are deemed emotionally stable, the content of the crime comic books may coincide with the attitudes and values of the group and give support to the group's delinquent activities.

This leads to the conclusion that in both the "emotionally abnormal" and the "emotionally normal" delinquent, the contents of crime and horror comic books may become a part of the youth's total experience and operate as another of the many supports of antisocial behavior present today in our society.

There exists in a minority opinion that suggests a possible cathartic effect can be achieved by reading about or looking at a violent action; that is, a period of calm, or relaxation results. The possibility was suggested that this effect may become desirable for certain individuals and may develop into a mechanism by which they can relieve everyday tension which cannot otherwise be coped with satisfactorily. However, even among authorities in the field of child development who agree that such material does have a cathartic effect, some believe that the same kind of effect might be achieved more safely through other means for the vicarious expression of aggression.


Another aspect of the contribution of comic books to juvenile delinquency, in the opinion of a number of experts, was the indication that more serious forms of delinquency incorporate knowledge of specific techniques which many comic books provide. This was considered to be another valid criticism of comic books, i.e., they offer juveniles a comprehensive written and pictorial presentation of both methods and techniques of criminal activities. Dr. Robert H. Felix, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, attributed this negative feature to comic books when he wrote:

They might well be instructive in the techniques of criminal activity and the avoidance of detection. 9

9 Hearings before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency Comic Book of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., p.11, Washington: Government Printing Office 1954.

Offering an example of this practice of teaching crime techniques via crime through comic books, Dr. Wertham testified:

*** I had no idea how one would go about stealing from a locker in Grand Central, but I have comic books which describe that in minute detail and I could go out and do it.

Dr. Wertham was the first psychiatrist to call attention of the American people to crime and horror comics. It in incontrovertible that he has exerted far-reaching influence through alerting parents' and citizens' groups to the extent of bestiality and depravity being dispensed to children through such comics.

Content analysis of crime comics by the subcommittee indicated that in most instances the crimes as portrayed in these books were committed with little finesse or imagination. Guns were the most frequent weapon for murder. "Holdups," safe blowing and payroll seizures were among the methods employed in robberies. However, there were stories in which utilization was made of the following: lead pipes, kitchen knives, wet rawhide belts (tied around a man's neck to dry in the sun, thereby shrinking and strangling him), whips, hot coffee thrown in a person's face, wrenches, jagged edges of bottles, and acid (for "melting a person's face"). In a few stories more sophisticated methods of crime were described. For example, it was explained that it is easier to pick pockets in a cafeteria because "a man hesitates to drop a tray of food to see if his pockets have been picked"; and it was suggested that tires can be stolen from one junkyard and sold to another.


A number of impressions were obtained from reading how the criminal moves in his cultural pattern as depicted by the crime comics. For example, crime may have brought wealth and fame even though it was sometimes temporary. Large monetary rewards from crime were shown through scenes of cash being counted or money being spent on luxurious living. Through committing bizarre crimes, individuals became widely known figures and sometimes they became idols, eulogized through the publicity accorded them in the newspapers. Many of the stories included texts which describe the sensation experienced by a killer. Killing was described as the means of acquiring a high degree of self-confidence, giving the individual a feeling of strength and power. A highly pleasing physical sensation was also described as resulting from killing.

Some stories in comic books showed that membership in the criminal underworld was dependent upon certain personal characteristics highly valued by experienced criminals. These attributes were mainly physical. Criminals were admired for their "toughness," their hatred for "cops" and a willingness to commit any type of crime regardless of the risk involved. In their interpersonal relationships, comic-book criminals never exhibited such human virtues as consideration of others, charity and the like. Furthermore, to reinforce the behavior expected of the potential criminal, names suggestive of toughness were assigned to him.

In some of the stories, murder for revenge was justified under certain conditions. The murderers were not apprehended and there was no suggestion that they would be taken in custody at a future date. The end of the criminal's career came about, if at all, through chance factors or by superhuman beings or other ideal types. As the latter two do not exist in reality, the obvious interpretation from these stories is that crime does pay if one is ruthless and clever to a sufficient degree.

However, defenders and hired apologists for the crime and horror comic books constantly point out that in the majority of crime and horror comics, the villain came to a well-deserved end.


There were a number of comics of the type which pictured the hero as some sort of supernatural being always impervious to any physical harm. In these comic books the crime was always real and the superhuman's triumph over good was unreal.

Commenting on this Dr. Wertham singled out the superman comic books as being injurious to the ethical development of children. Dr. Wertham believes these books arouse phantasies of sadistic joy in seeing other people repeatedly punished while the hero remains immune. He called this the superman complex. Another witness referred to this idea when she gave examples of institutionalized children injuring themselves by jumping off high places in attempts to fly like the comic-book characters.

Members of the subcommittee believe that in this respect content of the comic books can be criticized In many crime comics, law and order are maintained by supernatural and superhuman heroes, and officers of the law, ineffective in apprehending criminal, must depend on aid from fantastic characters. The law-enforcement officials who do solve cases often succeed through "accidental events." In contrast, actual law-enforcement officials are at a disadvantage in terms of prestige and the small part they play in apprehending criminals. The impressions obtained from the comic books are contrary to the methodical routine work characteristic of police investigation.

Discussing the ethical content of comic books, Dr. Wertham took to task the oft-reiterated statement that in these books good wins over evil and that law and order always in the end. 10 He pointed out that there are whole comic books in which every single story ends with the triumph of evil, with a perfect crime unpunished and actually glorified.

10 It should be pointed out that there are innumerable stories of this nature. But in stories containing 32 picture panels, the criminal often lived splendidly off the fruits of his crimes. It is not until the last panel that he met his doom at the hands of a fantasy character or by some stupid mistake.


Surveying the work that has been done on the subject, it appears to be the consensus of the experts that comic-book reading is not the cause of emotional maladjustment on children. Although comic-book reading can be a symptom of such maladjustment, the emotionally disturbed child because of abnormal needs may show in a greater tendency to read books of this kind than will the normal child. This theory appears as valid as the thinking that alcoholism is a symptom of an emotional disturbance rather than its cause.

It as has also been suggested that the child with difficulties may find in comic books representations of the kinds of problems with which he is dealing, and that comic books will, therefore, have a value for him which they do not have for a child who is relatively free of these troubles. Further, it is stated that the kinds of comic books a child chooses often provides the child psychiatrist with some clues to the kinds of problems faced by the child.


Although the inquiry revealed the marked differences of opinion among experts, the need for careful, large-scale research studies was repeatedly made apparent. Samples of crime and horror comics were sent to Carl H. Rush, Jr., Ph.D., executive assistant of the American Psychological Association, and to Dr. R. H. Felix, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, so that they could study them and give their professional opinions as to the possible effects this type of reading material might have on children. Both of these individuals commented upon the need for scientific research in this field.

The few approaches already taken and the reasons for the scarcity of sound findings on this topic have been indicated by Dr. Rush. 11 It is evident from his brief summary of some studies in this topic area that research has been concerned with segmental aspects of the problem. Juvenile delinquency is a developmental problem and for that reason research should be conducted on a longitudinal basis in which the subjects of the investigation are examined periodically over a span of several years. Research of this type is beyond the means of individual investigators. The financial support of a foundation or institution is required if the scope of study is to be adequate.

11 Ruch, Carl H., letter in hearings before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency Comic Book of the Committee of the Judiciary, U. S. Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., pp. 162-164, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1954.

There can be little question that research is much needed on these problems. If we are to fully understand the impact of crime and horror comic books upon the behavior of normal and emotionally disturbed children, a broad program of research must be undertaken and means for its support must be provided. Furthermore, it seems desirable that such research be but one of a number of controlled studies, each to be directed to one of the facets of the problem of juvenile delinquency. The influence of comic books is but one aspect of a larger program which has as its ultimate objective the determination of the multiple causes of juvenile delinquency.
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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:26 am

V. Other Questionable Aspects of Comic Books

Considerable concern has been expressed regarding the type of advertising often carried in comic books. The responses by children to such ads sometimes results in the development of mailing lists that are rented to other concerns for the direct mail solicitation of such children for the purchase of salacious materials.


Among the more objectionable advertisements that came to the attention of the subcommittee was a full-page advertisement, labeled "Sportsman's Paradise," operated by a concern listing a New York address, which shows a variety of weapons that may be purchased by mail order. Several might be a threat to the safety of children. Although one line of the coupon reads, "Note: Not sold to minors under 17, state age," it is needless to say that no real proof of age was required.

The illustrations in the advertisement introduced at the New York hearings showed at least 10 dangerous articles that would appeal to a minor, ranging from a powerful hunting crossbow, a throwing dagger and a "fireball" slingshot, to a .22-caliber automatic (not available to New York residents) and an army training rifle. Their descriptions leave little for the imagination. For example, "Oriental battle knife- designed for long-distance throwing, it is made to split a board at 30 feet and is balanced to stick ***"; "Commando knife-real 'Commando' weapon. An all-metal, needle-pointed, razor-sharp 12-inch knife that may save your life ***"; the " 'Fireball' slingshot-silent, sweet shooting. Extra powerful- you get that 'feel of accuracy' with your first shots ***"; "Throwing dagger. An exciting sport that provide fun and thrills - indoors or outdoors. This knife is light in weight and expertly balanced to stick. Tempered steel blade with double bevel edges ***"; "Arrow sling fun. A new thrill in hunting. Powerful sling fun sends 12-inch metal-tipped arrows through metal-guide barrel to 300 inch range. Swift. Silent. Accurate. Kills all small game. Five arrows included ***"; or "Finnish hunting knife, handmade in Finland. Richly engraved blade with deep blood grooves. Flashy horse-head handle ***."

Numerous pseudomedical advertisements in comic books and love magazines are aimed at the teen-ager's desire to glorify his personal appearance or to improve his physique through easy measures: a tablet to put on weight; a tablet or chewing gum to take off weight; hair and scalp formula; skin cleanser or treatment for pimples; an electrically operated "spot reducer"; a course in exercises to develop muscles.

An example in point is the advertisement of Kelpidine chewing gum, supposedly useful in enabling one to reduce weight. Sales of the article are essentially conducted by mail order. The Post Office Department advised the subcommittee that it has been interested in this product for some time. Examination and analysis of Kelpidine chewing gum by the Food and Drug Administration indicated that it consists essentially of small squares of chewing gum containing a small amount of powdered kelp (seaweed). The presence of the kelp ingredient has no particular significance in the article, and there was found no reason to believe it was harmful. On the other hand, there was found no valid reason for concluding that the article has any particular effectiveness for enabling one to reduce weight - the primary representation on which it is offered for sale.

Action has been taken by the Federal Trade Commission against some of the concerns making false advertising claims. In a number of instances the Food and Drug Administration has taken exception to the labeling of a product. Nor are the prices of these temptingly advertised goods within comfortable reach of youth in the deteriorated areas of large cities where certain types of crime and horror comics are most often found.


Many business firms making sales by direct mail obtain the names and addresses of persons from lists which are purchased from brokers who have in turn secured these lists from still other mail-order houses. A firm wishing to sell auto seat covers might be interested in purchasing a mailing list of people who had made mail-order purchases of auto compasses.

Attention has been called to the fact that juveniles in this country receive large quantities of direct-mail advertising for salacious and sexually stimulating materials. In some instances it has been pointed out that such advertising was received following a youngster's response to an advertisement appearing in a comic book.

The Post Office Department informed the subcommittee that the mails had been used to advertise and sell a book entitles "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sex," by Dr. A. Willy and others; of 297 complaints received over a period dating from April 1951, 93 concerned mailings to minors. Although the book was not considered obscene, the methods of advertising by the publisher included blaring advertisements in numerous magazines, showing pictures of scantily clad young women in sexually provocative poses.

Parents from many States complained to the subcommittee that teen-age sons, daughters, and friends had received advertisements which flagrantly describe obscene material. In the New York investigation it was discovered that Samuael Roth, who for many years has been engaged in using the mails to advertise lewd and lascivious printed materials, had purchased mailing lists that contained the names of many teen-agers. Roth refused to testify before the subcommittee, claiming his rights under the fifth amendment to the Constitution.

It was found that Roth purchased 136,567 names and addresses from Robert B. Vallon of the Mapleton Service Co. Many of those names were obtained through correspondence with comic-book readers. A sample circular, mailed out by Roth to a 16-year-old high-school student, advertised such books as Wild Passion, Wanton by Night, Waterfront Hotel, and The Shame of Oscar Wild, all of which have been declared nonmailable under the postal obscenity law. Roth's advertisements also carried descriptions of "seven books of pleasure and sexual excitement calculated to keep you on blissful heights for days and days. ***"

The development of mailing lists and their sale is now a large-scale practice. Members of the subcommittee expressed concern that some purveyors of salacious literature may deliberately seek to secure mailing lists of juveniles for direct-mail solicitation. One publisher, Alex Segal, testified that "by mistake" one of his trays of addressograph plates bearing the names of 400 children was routed to the publisher of sex literature. Segal himself advertises and sells books called How to Hypnotize-A Master Key to Hypnotism. This advertisement appeared in Quality Comics and portrayed a male looking at a young female with the caption "What the thrill of imposing your will on someone? Stravon Publishers will tell you how." Upon receipt of the book on hypnotism, a child also received a list of other purchasable material-including sex literature. Advertisements of such nature have been received by juveniles as young as 9 years old.

This matter has been under study by the subcommittee, and we have called it to the attention of the Attorney General, the Postmaster General, and the Committees on Post Office and Civil Service of the Senate and the House. If such actions constitute violation of the laws dealing with the mails to offer for sale obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy material, when consideration is given to the fact the offer is being made to persons of immature years, then we are at loss to being made to understand why something has not been done to apprehend the offenders. If the existing statues are found to be inadequate to meet this situation, a study will be made to determine what changes will be necessary in existing legislation to prohibit such practices.

To summarize, although some of the advertising in comic books is of acceptable standards, many advertisements are directed toward the sale of articles that are potentially harmful to children, or are fraudulent in that the articles are unable to effect the physical changes claimed. Because of the manner in which mailing lists are sold, some juveniles who have answered advertisements appearing in comic book have been solicited by publishers of obscene or salacious materials. The question has been raised regarding the responsibility publishers of comic books should assume for protecting their young readers, both from the wrong kind of advertising and from any misuse of resulting mailing lists which might accrue through the acceptance of advertising from other than reliable firms.


It has been repeatedly affirmed that the comic book, native product of the United States, is provoking discussion in other countries. Many Americans have expressed indignation of the influence these books may have upon the children and young adults in other parts of the world.

Some hold the view that there is no way in which we could give the young people abroad a more unfavorable and distorted view of American values, aspirations, and cultural pattern that through crime and horror comics. The destructive potentials of the comic book must be recognized both within our domestic society and in consideration of our relationship to peoples abroad. Publishers of undesirable comic books should be made aware of the negative effects these books may exert upon the thinking and conduct of persons who read them throughout the work and of the deplorable impression of the United States gained through their perusal.

Several consideration stem from the impact of the comic books abroad. They are:

1. Information gathered by United States Department of State personnel in many countries reveals public concern over the spread of crime and horror comic book reading. As far as can be ascertained by the subcommittee, concern has been expressed in almost every European country over the problem posed by the introduction of American comics, or comics of that pattern, since World War II.

2. Crime and horror comic books introduced to foreign cultures a lowered intellectual milieu. Detective and weird stories, American style, present a hardened version of killing, robbery, and sadism.

3. Comic book are distributed in many countries where the population is other than Caucasian. Materials depicting persons of other races as criminals may have meanings and implication for persons of another races which were unforeseen by the publisher.

4. There is evidence that comic books are being utilized by the U.S.S.R. to undermine the morale of youth in many countries by pointing to crime and horror as portrayed in American comics as one of the end results of the most successful capitalist nation in the world.

In Great Britain, where importation of comic books is restricted because of limitations on dollar exchange, comic books are published locally from United States copy or stereotypes. An example of British thought on comic books was expressed on July 17, 1952, in the House of Commons when American style comics were the subject of pointed criticism. Mr. Mourice Edelman, of the Labor Party, asserted:

It is perfectly true that they were brought to this country in the first instance by American forces. They were widely read by American troops, but very rapidly it was found by publishers *** that there was a considerable market for this type of horror and sadistic literature; literature which glorifies the brute, literature which undermines the law simple because it suggests that the superman is the person who should take the law into his own hands and mete out justice in his own way. The most sinister thing about these publications is that they introduce the element of pleasure into violence. They encourage sadism; and they encourage sadism in association with an unhealthy sexual stimulation.

Other members of the House of Commons where were present and participating in the debate referred to "the crude and alien idiom to which all of us take exception"; to the "anxiety among the parents of this country"; and to the "emphasis upon violence as such."

Repeated recommendations have been made in various parts of the United Kingdom either to prohibit comic books of this sort or to establish a semiofficial advisory group to provide guidance to parents and teachers regarding this type of printed matter.
A Communist magazine, printed in East Germany and devoted to bitter criticism of the United States, appeared under the name. "USA im Wort und Bild" (USA in Word and Pictures). The publication ridicules comic books and similar American attempts to present the classics in simple form. Some of the phrases read:

Shakespeare in Yankee dialect is the latest "cultural triumph" *** The "cultural" achievement of the publishers is expressed on the jacket of the pamphlet: "You can quote the best quotations of Shakespeare and impress your friends, without reading the play."

One example of racial antagonism resulting from the distribution of American-style comic books in Asia is cited by the former United States Ambassador to India, Chester Bowles, in his recent book, Ambassador's Report. He reports on page 297 the horrified reaction of an Indian friend whose son had come into possession of an American comic book entitled the Mongol Blood-Suckers. Ambassador Bowles describes the comic book as depicting a superman character struggling against half-human colored Mongolian tribesmen who has been recruited by the Communists to raid American hospitals in Korea and drink the plasma in the blood banks. In every picture they were portrayed with yellow skins, slanted eyes, hideous faces, and dripping jaws.

At the climax of the story, their leader summoned his followers to and attack on American troops. "Follow me, blood drinkers of Mongolia," he cried. "Tonight we dine well of red nectar." A few panels later he is shown leaping on an American soldier with the shout, "One rip at the throat, red blood spills over white skins. And we drink deep."

Ambassador Bowles commented:

The Communist propagandists themselves could not possibly devise a more persuasive way to convince color sensitive Indians that American believe in the superior civilization of people with white skins, and that we are indoctrinating our children with bitter racial prejudice from the time they learn to read. 12

12 Bowles, Chester, Ambassador's Report, New York, 1954, p. 297.

Soviet propaganda cites the comic book in support of its favorite anti-American theme- the degeneracy of American culture. However, comic books are but one of a number of instruments used in Soviet propaganda to illustrate this theme. The attacks are usually supported with examples drawn from the less-desirable American motion pictures, television programs, literature, drama, and art.

It is represented in the Soviet propaganda that the United States crime rate, particularly the incidence of juvenile delinquency, is largely incited by the murders, robberies, and other crimes portrayed in "trash literature." The reason such reading matter is distributed, according to that propaganda, is that the "imperialists" use it to condition a generation of young automaton who will be ready to march and kill in the future wars of aggression planned by the capitalists.

VI. Comic Books as a Medium of Communication

Crime and horror comic books constitute but a segment, although quite a substantial segment, of the total comic-book industry in the United States. There are some publishers in this field who have not produced crime and horror comic books and do no intend to do so. The members of the subcommittee were particularly interested in certain aspects of the industry which relate to communication, education, and public opinion. In those areas, it appears that there are possibilities for positive contributions.

Joseph W. Musial, educational director of the National Cartoonists Society, testified as a witness on the use of comics in informational programs. Appearing with Musial before the subcommittee were Walt Kelly, president of the National Cartoonists Society, and Milton Caniff, artist. They pointed to the widespread adaption of cartoons and comics as a medium of communication. They spoke of contributions the artists in their society had made in the public interest, and presented several exhibits of materials prepared for this purpose.

Mr. Musial in an article described the increasing use of comic books in communicating messages in public relations. According to him the techniques used in the comics are especially suited to exert such mass appeal:

So packed with condensed presentation is the cartoon, that although physically static, it may be said to be in motion a highly specialized art, it suggests movement, evokes hordes of other images, tells a story. It tells not of a man but of men; not of a wedding or a picnic or a fear or an appetite, but of weddings, picnics, fears, appetites in general. Employing a tremendously painstaking, exacting art of its own, the cartoon "hits home" to everyone because its topic and situation are grasped at once by all who view it. Unlike literal illustration, the cartoon employs exaggerated measurements and actions and values, and presents not only truth but universal, recognizable, appreciable truth. Universal truth is transformed by the cartoon into universal appeal, and thus the success of the cartoon is accounted for. 13

13 Musial J. W., in Public Relations Journal, November 1951

Mr. Musial, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. Caniff, presenting the view of the National Cartoonists Society, offered a rather convincing case for the subtlety and humaneness of the deft cartoon or comic strip. They pointed out that the comic-book artist is usually not at the top of his career, but generally a beginner in the field. Mr. Kelly asserted that the code of the society 14 precluded from membership any artist who produces indecent or obscene matter or in any way proves himself to be an objectionable citizen.

14 The text of the code of the National Cartoonists Society appears on p. 35 of the appendix of this report

The consensus is that the comic art has genuine appeal for a large segment of the American public. It is apparent that comic books have assumed major importance in the reading diet of thousands of American youths. For that reason, it is important that the artwork be of a high level. Although the cartoonists are not responsible for the accompanying script, it should measure up to some standards. Mr. Kelly pledged the Cartoonists Society to continually improving their own material, but the society views as unwarranted any additional legislative action that is intended to censor printed material.

One of the objections that has been made repeatedly to comic books is that they contribute to limiting the reading ability and the reading experience of a vast portion of our youthful population. This though was dealt with by Robert Warshow in a recent article. He said:

*** We are left above all with the fact that for many thousands of children comic books, whether bad or "good," represent virtually their only contact with culture. There are children in the schools of our large cities who carry knives and guns. There are children who reach the last year of high school without ever reading a single book. Even leaving aside the increase in juvenile crime there seems to be lager numbers of children than ever before who, without going over the line into criminality, live almost entirely in a juvenile underground largely out of touch with the demands of social responsibility, culture, and personal refinement, and who grow up into an unhappy isolation where they are sustained by little else but the routine of the working day, the increasing clamor of television and the jukeboxes, and still, in their adult years, the comic books. This is a very fundamental problem; to blame the comic books, as Dr. Wertham does, is simple minded. But to say that the comics do not contribute to the situation would be like denying the importance of the children's classics and the great European novels in the development of an educated man. 15

15. Warshow, Robert; Paul, The Horror Comics and Dr. Wertham in Commentary, June 1954.

After hearing the presentation of Mr. Musial, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. Caniff to the effect that government and private agencies and philanthropic organizations have recognized the comic book as an effective medium of communication for worthwhile objectives, it is apparent too that the comic book can also be an effective medium of for unworthy objectives. The comic book is recognized as a means of publicizing crime and horror. There was no plausible reason offered as to why this medium should be less impressive when dealing with one kind of subject matter than with another.

VII. Where Should Responsibility For Policing Crime and Horror Comic Books Rest?

The subcommittee believes that this Nation cannot afford the calculated risk involved in the continued mass dissemination of crime and horror comic books to children.

Where does the responsibility rest for preventing the distribution of such materials?

With the comic book industry?

With the parents, assisted by educational campaigns of civic organizations?

With governmental censorship either at the Federal, State, or local levels?


The subcommittee flatly rejects all suggestions of governmental censorship as being totally out of keeping with our basic American concepts of a free press operating in a free land for a free people.

Canadian experience seems to indicate the futility of such an approach. Evidence introduced during the subcommittee's hearings indicated that in 1949 the Canadian Parliament passed a law making it an offense to print, publish, or sell a crime comic.16 According to the Honorable E. E. Fulton, member of the Canadian House of Commons, within a year or so following the enactment of the Canadian legislation, the crime comic as such almost completely disappeared from Canadian newsstands. Into the void poured such flood of love, sex, and girlie magazines that the Canadian Senate established a special committee to look into the sale and distribution of salacious literature.

16 See Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) of the Committee on the Judiciary, U. S. Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., p.256, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1954.

After a bit, however, there crept into Canada the crime comic in its original form. It also began to appear in an alternative form, i.e., the horror comic. Mr Fulton ascribed many reasons for the reappearance on the Canadian newsstands of crime and horror comics, despite the criminal statue: inability to reach a major publisher for prosecution since they are, in the main, in the United States; relaxation of public vigilance so that there was no longer the constant supervision of newsstands to pick out offensive publications and bring them to the attention of the authorities and demand prosecution; and, inability and unwillingness of customs officials to act as censors.

Legislation has been enacted by three States, New York, New Jersey, and Idaho, to prohibit what is known as tie-in sales practices. There was testimony before the subcommittee that some newsdealers handle crime and horror comic books because they fear they will be penalized by the wholesaler if they refuse to do so. This penalty frequently takes the form of withholding more popular periodicals from the newsdealer who refuses to sell crime and horror comics or other objectionable publications. Evidence heard by the subcommittee indicated that such practices are geographically widespread but scattered.

Testimony was also presented to the subcommittee that these restrictive practices did not exist.

It was suggested to the subcommittee that Federal legislation prohibiting tie-in sales on all printed matter involved in interstate commerce would be of marked assistance. However, while the subcommittee is of the opinion that such a Federal statue is not needed at this time, this matter has been brought to the attention of the Attorney General to determine if the charges of tie-in sales, if substantiated, constitute violations of the antitrust laws as presently enacted.


There is no doubt that much can and has been accomplished toward eliminating crime and horror comic books from newsstands through vigorous citizen action in local communities. Children can be guided away from the purchases of crime and horror stories. Complaints directed to the vendor and wholesaler, if repeated, will frequently result in the removal of particular publications from the newsstands.

Effective steps of this nature have been taken in several parts of the United States. For example, the citizens of Hartford, Conn., spurred on by the Hartford Courant, have been successful in cleaning up the newsstands of their city. Another example of effective citizen action was the formation several years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, of a committee on evaluation of comic books. 17 Its purpose is to make a study of comics in the spring of each year, and to pass on findings to parents. The Cincinnati committee points out that more than 80 prominent citizens are members of the committee. It publishes an annual list of comic books, together with a rating of each comic.

17 See evaluations of comic books by that committee in Hearings Before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., pp.36-53, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1954

William M. Gaines, publisher of Entertaining Comics Group, ridiculed the efforts of parents' groups to restrain their children from reading crime and horror comics. Gaines who publishes some of the most sadistic crime and horror comic books with monstrosities that nature has been incapable of, issued a page which was reprinted with the testimony from the Hew York hearings. 18 Under the heading "Are you a Red Dupe?" Gaines prints the story of Melvin Blizunken-Skovitchsky, who lived in Soviet Russia and printed comic books, but some people did not believe that other persons possessed sufficient intelligence to decided what the wanted to read. Consequently, the secret police came, smashed poor Melvin's four-color press and left Melvin hanging from a tree. Gains' message at the end reads:

So the next time some joker gets up at a PTA meeting, or starts jabbering about "the naughty comic books" at your local candy store, give him the once-over. We are not saying is his a Communist. He may be a dupe. He may not even read the Daily Worker. It is just that he's swallowed the Red bait-hook, line and sinker.

18 Hearings Before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 83d Cong., 2d sess., pp.36-53, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1954

The subcommittee does not ridicule such efforts. It believes that parents have a full measure of responsibility for the reading material reaching their children and that civic organizations can do a worthy job by calling the attention of parents to those materials offered for children's reading that fall below the American standard of decency by glorifying crime, horror, and sadism.

The tempter of children cannot excuse his attempts to gain personal wealth through disregard of cultural values by crying that the parents should have been more vigilant. The simple fact remains that all this constant vigilance on the part of parents and civic organizations would not have been necessary if the persons responsible for producing and distributing comic books had exercised that measure of self-restraint and common decency which the American people have a right to expect from an industry aiming its product so largely at the young and impressionable minds of our children.


The Child Study Association of America includes among its functions the provision of guidance to parents and teachers on reading materials for children. In its review of such reading material, the association has, quite commendably, concerned itself with comic books.

In 1943 and again in 1948 surveys of comic books were made by the association. These surveys were carried out by members of the association's book committee. Miss Josette Frank of the association's staff served as editorial adviser. Some attention to comic books has been given in various other materials produced by the association and members of its staff.

Although some objections are voiced to certain aspects of comic book publications- exploitation of horror and sex, poor drawings, illegible lettering and bad taste - these statements fall far short, in opinion of the subcommittee, of presenting a realistic picture either of the percentage of comic books devoted to crime and horror or the volume of competent opinion which is concerned with their effects upon children.

These statements were given particularly close scrutiny during the subcommittee's hearing since the Child Study Association has received financial donations from a major comic book publisher, National Comics, and Miss Josette Frank is also a salaried consultant to the same firm. This means that in reviewing and commenting upon comic book reading materials for children, the association was in fact passing judgement upon a product from which it and a member of its staff were receiving financial benefits.

Moreover, the character of the comic-book industry's output has undergone change since 1943 and 1948. The percentage of comic books devoted to crime and horror had increased materially by the spring of 1954.

In a book issued in the spring on 1954 on children's reading materials, Miss Josette Frank, its author, devotes one chapter to the comics. This material, although current, devotes but 2 of its 12 pages to a review of objections to comic books as reading materials for children. The opinions of psychiatrists and psychologists cited are selected from those secured in connection with the 1948 survey of comic books conducted by the Child Study Association of America.

It is probably theoretically possible for an organization to be objective in evaluating the products of a company which contributes to its support and retains one of its staff members. The subcommittee believes, however, that in fairness to the parents who look to the association for guidance, the association should make known in any evaluation of comic books, its affiliations with the comic-book industry.

In drawing conclusions relative to this "conflict of interest," the subcommittee wishes to be entirely fair and clearly understood. After careful review of all available date the subcommittee specifically finds:

(1) That the Child Study Association is to be commended in including comic books within its evaluation activities.

(2) That there is no reason to criticize a publisher for employing qualified consultants.

(3) That the association's statements on comic books and those of its staff member concerned do not adequately reflect either the character of the total present-day product of the industry or the substance of qualifies consultants.

(4) That, although the Child Study Association maintains that the contributions it received from the publishers did not color its judgement, a reasonable doubt as to the association's objectivity in this matter is raised by the fact that, in the face of a rising tide of crime and horror comic books, the association continued to distribute evaluations which inadequately and unrealistically reflected the current situation.

(5) That the Child Study Association in confronted with a serious ethical question in relation to these practices and that it cannot fairly represent itself as an objective, impartial reporter on reading materials for children so long as they continue.


The subcommittee believes that the American people have a right to expect that the comic-book industry should shoulder the major responsibility for seeing to it that the comic books placed so temptingly before our Nation's children at every corner newsstand are clean, decent, and fit to be read by children. This grave responsibility rests squarely on every segment of the comic-book industry. No one engaged in any phase of this cast operation - from the artists and the authors to the newsstand dealers, from the publisher to printer to distributor to the wholesaler can escape some measure of responsibility. A few persons engaged in this business have it within their power to do more than others to insure that this reading matter is suited to children. But many of those in the comic-book industry who had the opportunity to act to prevent abuses harmful to children have failed to do so.

In short, neither the comic-book industry nor any other sector of the media of mass communications can absolve itself from responsibility for the effects of its product. Attempts to shift all responsibility to parents are unjustified. Claims of the absolute right of an industry to produce what it pleases unless it is proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" that such a product is damaging to children, are unjustified. Parents have a right to expect that the producers of materials that may influence their children's thinking will exercise a high degree of caution. They have a right to expect the highest degree of care. And the American people have a right to demand that this degree of care be exercised at all times, in all ways, and with respect to all mass media.

What kind of responsibility for content can and should be assumed by each segment of the comic-book industry?


In larger cities such as New York or Chicago, the newsdealer offers for sale as many as 600 to 1,000 titles. Time does not permit him to sort and inspect these magazines at the moment of delivery. He is restricted as to space. So far as he is aware of the contents of a particular publication, he if he wishes, may "keep that magazine from moving," either by placing it below the counter of by hanging it in an obscure spot. But frequently, he is unaware of the contents, he may also be hampered in his efforts to prevent certain publications form moving by pressures exerted by the wholesaler or his representative. Such pressures may take the form of delays in the refunds he receives for his unsold magazines or delays in the delivery of bundles or routing of his bundles to the wrong address. Evidence presented to the subcommittee also indicated that in some instances he may be subjected to the additional pressures of tie-in sales, that is, if he refuses to handle crime and or horror comics his supply of the best selling and most profitable periodicals is withheld or drastically reduced. The newsdealer is usually operating on small capital and is often a disabled veteran. He has not been in a position to select the periodicals on his shelves, and therefore he is not in a position to assume effective responsibility for eliminating crime and horror comics from the channels of distribution.

These facts do not mean that the newsdealer should not make every effort to discontinue handling publications which he knows to be objectionable; or that he should not make known his objections to such publications through such channels that exist for him, perhaps through a local organization of newsdealers.


The wholesaler receives cartons containing thousands of copies of the publications he is to distribute. The carton has an outside label which designates to the contents. It would be possible for the wholesaler to refuse to handle certain titles. He could return a carton to the national distributor or to the publisher unopened. However, there are in the United States approximately 950 independent wholesalers and some 400 branches of the American News Co. The suggestion that these 1,350 firms be utilized as censors to cut of the supply of crime and horror comic books to the newsstands would appear to be highly impractical and wasteful.

It is not presumed to say that the wholesaler should be absolved of all responsibility for the printed matter offered for sale. Both as individuals and as members of 1 of the 8 organizations of wholesalers in this country, the wholesaler can and should make his influence felt in efforts to curtail distribution of objectionable reading materials for children.

The subcommittee notes with approval that the parent body of these organizations, the Bureau of Independent Publishers and Distributors, has given some attention to offensive reading materials on newsstands. It is hoped that further attention will be given the matter and that concerted action will be taken.


The printer of crime and horror comics may be responsible for doing only a portion of the printing job. One printer may do the covers and another the inside pages. A single publisher may use several different printers for his work. For these reasons, it would seem impractical to suggest that the printer be thrust into a screening role. Once again, however, it does not seem unreasonable to expect a reputable printer to refuse to print material, the reading of which in his estimation may influence children negatively.


There are only 13 national distributors of comic books. 19 Although the distributor does not have an opportunity for review of individual issues prior to publication, it is not unrealistic to assume that he should be able to maintain familiarity with the general nature of the publications he handles month after month. Indeed, through a system of advances, the national distributor is frequently in the position of being the financial backer, in part, of the publication he distributes.

19 Listings of comic book distributors by groups and publishers appears in the appendix of this report, pp.44-50.

It is the opinion of the subcommittee that because of his key position in the industry, a major responsibility falls upon the national distributor for the content of the printed matter he distributes. The subcommittee is glad to note a majority of the distributors have expressed agreement with this point of view. Some of the 13 distributes have never handled crime and horror comic titles. In certain instances they have worked with publishers to end the changing the character of the contents of comic books. The subcommittee notes these developments with approval. It will be even more reassured when those distributors who have been carrying large numbers of crime and horror titles discontinue such publications.

The responsibility of the national distributor to guard against distributing reading materials to children which are detrimental to their welfare, cannot be discharged, however, by discontinuing a few titles when he public furor arises. As responsible members of the community, and as persons engaged in an industry which plays a large part in molding the impressionable minds of the youth, they should maintain constant, continuing supervision over the publications they distribute.


Within the industry, primary responsibility for the contents of each comic book rests squarely upon the shoulders of its publisher. The publisher can be discriminating. He is the creator of the comic book and he shapes his own editorial policy. The writers and artists who work on the contents are employed by him and are under his direction. The attitude of the owners is reflected in the tenor of the work of the writers and artists.

Vast differences exist between the types of comics produced by publishers in this field. The largest single publisher of comic books does not list crime or horror comics among its nearly 100 comic-book titles, and never has. At the other extreme is the publisher who at the time of the New York hearings specialized in crime and horror and whose only standard regarding content was in terms of "what sells."

It has already been indicated that a large number of undesirable comic-book titles have been discontinued or revamped. Initiative for this change has come from the individual publisher as well as from the distributor. Several publishers have written to the subcommittee regarding their desire to be absolved of the criticism of in any way contributing to juvenile delinquency through their publications. One publisher has notified his readers that he is discontinuing his crime and horror line in favor of other and less controversial themes.

Again the subcommittee feels that this is progress in the right direction. As in the case of the distributors, however, the subcommittee also feels that the publishers of children's comic books cannot discharge their responsibility to the Nation's youth by merely discontinuing the publication of a few individual titles. It can be fully discharged only as they seek and support ways and means if insuring that the industry's product permanently measures up to its standards of morality and decency which American parents have the right to expect.


In 1948, public indignation at the flood of crime, sex, and horror comic books made itself heard in ever louder tones. It was in that year that the National Association of Prosecuting Attorneys added its voice to that many other organizations and agencies by passing a resolution strongly recommending "that legislation be adopted designed to prohibit the sale of objectionable crime, sex, and horror comics to juveniles." Ordinances designed to curb the sale of crime and horror comics to juveniles were in fact passed by some communities. This was at a time when there were only 34 publishers of comic books whose monthly sales of about 270 titles amounted to approximately 50 million copies. And at that time, too, the number of titles dealing with crime and horror were relatively few compared to the increasing numbers that have appeared on the newsstands in succeeding years.

On July 1, 1948, the comic-book industry- or at least a part of it- reacted to this mounting criticism. An Association of Comics Magazine Publishers (ACMP) was formed in New York City and it adopted a six-point code of editorial practices. 20 At the time, the New York Times reported:

The self-policing, in an industry that has been meeting a growing criticism from educators' and parents' groups, marks only the first step in a plan for raising the moral tone of comic magazines ***.

20 See the code of the Association of Comic Magazine Publishers, p. 35 in the appendix of this report.

Even from the beginning, the association was plagued by lack of unity of purpose and objectives within the industry itself. Only 12 major publishers joined the association and they were responsible for publishing only one-third of the comic books issued. Two other publishers agreed to abide by the code. Many of the publishers who did not join the association or adhere to the code were sincerely motivated. They believed that since the materials they published did not deal with crime or horror there was no need for them to participate in the organization.

Mrs. Helen Meyer, vice president of Dell Publications, testified:

With regard to Dell's refusal to belong to the Comic Book Association, Dell had no other alternative. When the association was first introduced, we, after thorough examination, saw that Dell would be used as an umbrella for the crime comic publishers. Dell, along with these publishers, would display the same seal. How could the newsdealer afford the time to examine the contents of each comic he handled? The parents and children, too, would suffer from misrepresentation. Dell didn't need a code set down by an association, with regard to its practices of good taste. We weren't interested in trying to go up the marginal line in our comic-book operation, as we knew we were appealing, in the main, to children.

Undaunted by not having all the publishers as members, the association went ahead with its original concept. An advisory committee that included educators, the superintendent of schools of New York City, and the New York State librarian met with publishers with a view to raising the language levels and improving the story content of comic magazines. A seal signifying conformity with the six-point code of editorial practices was adopted and issued to members. However, this effort at self-regulation of the industry was doomed to failure for a variety of reasons. Not only were not all the publishers members from the very beginning, but many of those who originally were members resigned from the association. They resigned for various reasons.

Mr. Henry Edward Schultz, attorney for the association, stated two of the reasons for the defections:

Some of them felt that they should not be associated with some of the elements in the industry that they felt were publishing products inferior to theirs and there is also, in passing, a great deal of internecine warfare in this industry, a lot of old difficulties which mitigated a strong, well-knit attempt to organize. In addition, other publishers such as William Gaines resigned from the association rather than meet the standards of the code.

Finally, in 1950, to quote Mr. Schultz:

the defections became so bad we could not afford to continue *** (the) precensorship arrangement and that has been discarded. Today we do no self-regulation at all except as it may exist in the minds of the editors and they proceed in their daily work ***. The association, I would say, is out of business and so is the code.

Meanwhile, however, those publishers who continued as members also continued to imprint on the covers of their comic books the seal of approval which bore the words: "Authorized ACMP. Conforms to the Comics Code." This practice was continued even though the association was for all intents and purposes defunct and even though none of the comics were reviewed at any point by of for the association. As a matter of fact, some highly objectionable comic books dealing with crime and horror were introduced at the subcommittee hearings bearing such imprint. The subcommittee believes that this practice was highly questionable and most assuredly calculated to mislead the parents of the children buying such comic books.

Why did this attempt at self-regulation in the industry fail? There were many reasons and they offer some lessons in judging future attempts at industry self-regulation.

It is the subcommittee's opinion that, if self-regulation by an industry to succeed, there are certain attributes and certain mechanisms which it must have. This earlier attempt of the comic-book industry at self-regulation lacked many of these.

In the first place, the code itself must be clear and explicit.

In the second place, there must be a wide publication education of the code and the meaning it has for the public when making purchases.

In the third place, the public must be sold this idea of restricting purchases of comics to those carrying the seal of approval. This, of course, becomes difficult if numerous publishers do not subscribe to the code and particularly, if some of the nonsubscribers are major publishers of good, clean comic books. Such a course of action permits the unscrupulous publisher, who is unwilling to meet the standards of the code, to hide behind the skirts, so the speak, of the reputable publisher who does not display the seal for other reasons. If those who are not adherents to the code are numerous enough, then adherence or nonadherence is meaningless in the public eye and enforcement machinery breaks down.

Finally, there must be established enforcement machinery to make certain that the code's standards are adhered to. This machinery should have sufficient, well-trained staff imbued with the spirit that theirs is a task which, if well performed, can help the children of our Nation. If it is not well performed, it can affect them adversely. In addition, this enforcement machinery should be so established and operated that it is independence of thought and action should be maintained at all times lest the entire endeavor become beclouded with suspicion.


Following the hearings of the subcommittee on the effects of crime and horror comic books and intensified community action throughout the country in protesting to objectionable comic books, establishment of the Comics Magazine Association of America was announced. A code was adopted on October 26, 1954. 21 Charles F. Murphy, formerly a city magistrate in New York, was named code administrator. John Goldwater, president of the Comics Magazine Association of America, said that a staff of professional reviewers will be selected to assist the code administrator in inspecting all comic books before they are printed. The code provides for a ban on all horror and terror comic books but not on crime comic books. A seal of approval will be printed on all comic books approved by the code administrator.

21 See the code of the Comics Magazine Association of America, pp. 36-38 in the appendix of this report.

It is the consensus of the subcommittee that the establishment of this new association, the adoption of a code, and the appointment of a code administrator are steps in the right direction. This effort at self-regulation on the part of the comic book industry is in accordance with suggestions made by the subcommittee. Whether the fact that not all publishers of comic books are members of the association will impair the effectiveness of this latest attempt at self-regulation, as it did in the previous attempt, remains to be seen. However, since the association and the code authority have so recently been organized, it is still too early to form a judgement as to either the sincerity of the effectiveness of this latest attempt at self-regulation by the comic book industry. The subcommittee intends to watch with great interest the activities of this association and will report at a later date on this effort by the comic book industry to eliminate objectionable comic books. At any rate, the subcommittee is convinced that if this latest effort at industry self-regulation does not succeed, then other ways and means must- and will- be found to prevent our Nation's young from being harmed by crime and horror comic books.
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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

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VIII. Conclusions

While not attempting to review the several findings included in this report, the subcommittee wishes to reiterate its belief that this country cannot afford the calculated risk involved in feeding its children, through comic books, a concentrated diet of crime, horror, and violence. There was substantial, although not unanimous, agreement among the experts that there may be detrimental and delinquency-producing effects upon both the emotionally disturbed child and the emotionally normal delinquent. Children of either type may gain suggestion, support, and sanction from reading crime and horror comics.

There are many who believe that the boys and girls who are the most avid and extensive consumers of such comics are those who are least able to tolerate this type of reading material. The excessive reading of this material is viewed by some observers as sometimes being symptomatic of some emotional maladjustment, that is, comic book reading may be a workable "diagnostic indicator" or an underlying pathological condition of a child.

It is during childhood that the individual's concepts of right and wrong and his reactions to society's standards are largely developed. Those responsible for the operation of every form of the mass media of communication, including comic books, which cater to the education or entertainment of children have, therefore, a responsibility to gear their products to these special considerations.

Standards for such products, whether in the form of a code of by the policies of individual producers, should not be aimed to eliminate only that which can be proved beyond doubt to demoralize youth. Rather the aim should be to eliminate all materials that potentially exert detrimental effects.

To achieve this end, it will require continuing vigilance on the part of parents, publishers and citizens' groups. The work that has been done by citizens' and parents' groups in calling attention to the problem of crime and horror comics has been far-reaching in its impact.

The subcommittee notes with some surprise that little attention has been paid by educational and welfare agencies to the potential dangers, as well as benefits, to children presented by the growth of the comic book industry. As spokesmen in behalf of children, their responsibility requires that they be concerned for the child and the whole world in which he lives. The campaign against juvenile delinquency cannot be won by anything less than an all-out attack upon all conditions contributing to the problem.

The interest of our young citizens would not be served by postponing all precautionary measures until the exact kind and degree of influence exerted by comic books upon children's behavior is fully determined through careful research. Sole responsibility for stimulating, formulating and carrying out such research cannot be assumed by parents' or citizens' groups. Rather is must also be assumed by the educational and social welfare agencies and organizations concerned.

In the meantime, the welfare of this Nation's young makes it mandatory that all concerned unite in supporting sincere efforts of the industry to raise the standards of its products and in demanding adequate standards of decency and good taste. Nor should these united efforts be relaxed in the face of monetary gains. Continuing vigilance is essential in sustaining this effort.


The subcommittee wishes to call particular attention to the fact that its exploration of crime and horror comic books as a contributing factor to juvenile delinquency is only one part of its investigation into the mass communication.

A future report of the subcommittee will contain certain additional recommendations which will deal with the several media and, as such, will have further bearing upon the problem of crime and horror comics.


Senate Resolution 89

(83d Cong., 1st sess.)

Resolved, that the Committee on the Judiciary, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is authorized and directed to conduct a full and complete study of juvenile delinquency in the United States. In the conduct of such investigation special attention shall be given to (1) determining the extent and character of juvenile delinquency in the United States and its causes and contributing factors, (2) the adequacy of existing provisions of law, including chapters 402 and 403 of title 18 of the United States Code, in dealing with youthful offenders of Federal laws, (3) sentences imposed on, or other correctional action taken with respect to, youthful offenders by Federal courts, and (4) the extent to which juveniles are violating Federal laws relating to the sale or use of narcotics.

SEC. 2. The committee, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such places and times during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of the Senate, to hold such hearings, to require by subpoenas or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, to administer such oaths, to take such testimony, to procure such printing and binding, and, within the amount appropriated therefore, to make such expenditures as it deems advisable. The cost of stenographic services to report hearings of the committee or subcommittee shall not be in excess of 40 cents per hundred words. Subpoenas shall be issued by the chairman of the committee or the subcommittee, any may be served by any person designated by such chairman.

A majority of the members of the committee, or duly authorized subcommittee thereof, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except that a lesser number to be fixed by the committee, or by such subcommittee, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of administering oaths and taking sworn testimony.

SEC. 3. The committee shall report its findings, together with its recommendations for such legislation as it deems advisable, to the Senate at the earliest date practicable but not later than January 31, 1954.

SEC. 4. For the purposes of this resolution, the committee, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is authorized to employ upon a temporary basis such technical, clerical, and other assistants as it deems advisable. The expenses of the committee under this resolution, which shall not exceed $44,000, shall be paid from the contingent fund of the Senate upon vouchers approved by the chairman of the committee.

Senate Resolution 190

(83d Cong., 2d sess.)

Resolved, That section 3 of S. Res. 89, Eighty-third Congress, agreed to June 1, 1954 (authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to make a study of juvenile delinquency in the United States), is amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 3. The committee shall make a preliminary report of its findings, together with its recommendations for such legislation as it deems advisable, to the Senate not later than February 28, 1954, and shall make a final report of such findings and recommendations to the Senate at the earliest date practicable but not later than January 31, 1955."

SEC. 2. The limitation of expenditures under S. Res. 89 is increased by $175,000, and such sum together with any unexpended balance of the sum previously authorized to be expended under such resolution shall be paid from the contingent fund of the Senate upon vouchers approved by the chairman of the committee.

Title 39 - U.S. Code


It shall be the duty of the editor, publisher, business manager, or owner of every newspaper, magazine, periodical, or other publication to file with the Postmaster General and the postmaster at the office at which said publication is entered, not later than the 1st day of October each year, on blanks furnished by the Post Office Department, a sworn statement setting forth the names and post-office addresses of the editor and managing editor, publisher, business managers, and owners and in addition the stockholders, if the publication be owned by a corporation; and also, in the case of daily and weekly, semiweekly, triweekly newspapers, there shall be included in such statement the average of the number of copies of each issue of such publication sold or distributed to paid subscribers during the preceding twelve months: Provided, That the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to religious, fraternal, temperance, and scientific, or other similar publications: Provided further, That it shall not be necessary to include in such statement the names of persons owning less than 1 percent of the total amount of stock, bonds, mortgages, or other securities. A copy of such sworn statement shall be published in the second issue of such newspaper, magazine, or other publication shall be denied the privileges of the mail if it shall fail to comply with the provisions of this paragraph within ten days after notice by registered letter of such failure. (August 24, 1912, ch. 3389, sec. 2, 37 Stat. 553; March 3, 1933, ch. 207, 47 Stat. 1486, ch. 533, 60 Stat. 416.)


1946- Act July 2, 1946, amended section by inserting "and weekly, semiweekly, triweekly" between "daily" and "newspapers" in first sentence.

Code of the National Cartoonists Society

We, the members of the National Cartoonists Society, believe:

1. That we should preserve our present high standards of artistic achievement and good taste in our relationship with the public and with those agencies that distribute cartoons for professional use.

2. That our work should comply with the established standards of morality and decency; and we should condemn any violations of such standards.

3. That promising talent should be encouraged and guided to the fullest extent.

4. That cartoonists, as creators of characters, symbols, and ideas, which become tangible financial properties are entitled to the protection and just rewards those properties deserve.

5. On the freedoms guaranteed by our Government and pledge ourselves to resist any attempts to interfere with these freedoms.

Code of the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers, 1948

1. Crime should not be presented in such a way as to throw sympathy against 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. Police-men, judges, Government officials, and respected institutions should not be portrayed as stupid or ineffective, or represented in such a way as to weaken respect for established authority.

2. No scenes of sadistic torture should be shown.

3. 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.

4. Vulgar and obscene language should never be used. Slang should be kept to a minimum and used only when essential to the story.

5. Divorce should not be treated humorously nor represented as glamorous or alluring.

6. Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible.

Code of the Comics Magazines Association of America, Inc.

Adopted October 26, 1954


The comic-book medium, having come of age on the American cultural scene, must measure up to its responsibilities.

Constantly improving techniques and higher standards go hand in hand with these responsibilities.

To make a positive contribution to contemporary life, the industry must seek new areas for developing sound, wholesome entertainment. The people responsible for writing, drawing, printing, publishing, and selling comic books have done a commendable job in the past, and have been striving toward this goal.

Their record of progress and continuing improvement compares favorably with other media in the communications industry. An outstanding example is the development of comic books as a unique and effective tool for instruction and education. Comic books have also made their contribution in the field of letters and criticism of contemporary life.

In keeping with the American tradition, the members of this industry will and must continue to work together in the future.

In the same tradition, members of the industry must see to it that gains made in this medium are not lost and that violations of standards of good taste, which might tend toward corruption of the comic book as an instructive and wholesome form of entertainment, will be eliminated.

Therefore, the Comics Magazine Association of America, Inc. has adopted this code, and placed strong powers of enforcement in the hands of an independent code authority.

Further, members of the association have endorsed the purpose and spirit of this code as a vital instrument to the growth of the industry.

To this end, they have pledged themselves to conscientiously adhere to its principles and to abide by all decisions based on the code made by the administrator.

They are confident that this positive and forthright statement will provide an effective bulwark for the protection and enhancement of the American reading public, and that it will become a landmark in the history of self-regulation for the entire communications industry.


General Standards - Part A

1. 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.
2. No comics shall explicitly present the unique details and methods of a crime.
3. Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.
4. If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
5. Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates the desire for emulation.
6. In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
7. 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.
8. No unique or unusual methods of concealing weapons shall be shown.
9. Instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a criminal's activities should be discouraged.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Restraint in the use of the word "crime" in titles or subtitles shall be exercised.

General Standards - Part B

1. No comic magazine shall use the word "horror" or "terror" in its title.
2. All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
3. All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
4. 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.
5. Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.

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.


1. Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
2. Special precautions to avoid references to physical afflictions or deformities shall be taken.
3. Although slang and colloquialisms are acceptable, excessive use should be discouraged and wherever possible good grammar shall be employed.


1. Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible.


1. Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
2. Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
3. All characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.
4. 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

1. Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor shall be represented as desirable.
2. Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at or portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
3. 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.
4. The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.
5. Passion or romantic interest shall never be treated in such a way as to stimulate the lower and baser emotions.
6. Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
7. Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.


1. Liquor and tobacco advertising is not acceptable.
2. Advertisement of sex or sex instructions books are unacceptable.
3. The sale of picture postcards, "pin-ups," "art studies," or any other reproduction of nude or semi-nude figures is prohibited.
4. Advertising for the sale of knives, concealable weapons, or realistic gun facsimiles is prohibited.
5. Advertising for the sale of fireworks is prohibited.
6. Advertising dealing with the sale of gambling equipment or printed matter dealing with gambling shall not be accepted.
7. 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 morals.
8. To the best of his ability, each publisher shall ascertain that all statements made in advertisements conform to the fact and avoid misinterpretation.
9. 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.


The work of the committee on evaluation of comic books at Cincinnati, Ohio, in an example of what can be accomplished by citizen action in dealing with the problem of comic books. The Cincinnati committee has been a nonprofit group and is not subsidized by the comic-book industry. It is composed of public-spirited citizens who have sought to be objective. The committee's evaluations, prepared by a staff of 84 trained reviewers, have been widely reprinted and circulated. The Reverend Jesse L. Murrell is chairman of the executive committee of the committee on evaluation of comic books.

On page 41 of the comic book hearings before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, the July 1953 list of the Cincinnati committee's evaluation of comic books was accurately reprinted. Since that time Ham Fisher, cartoonist, who draws "Joe Palooka Adventures" comic books, submitted the following correspondence from the committee on evaluation of comic books with the request that it be printed:

Committee On Evaluation of Comic Books,
Cincinnati, Ohio, November 4, 1954.

Mr. Ham Fisher,

New York, N.Y.

Dear Mr. Fisher: In answer to your telephone inquiry of Wednesday, November 3, I have looked up our files on Joe Palooka Adventures, and find that the issue which our reviewers read was March 1954. It is No. 82. This issue is pretty well devoted to prize fighting, and the criticism seems to fall with the second story, where on the seventh page, I believe it is, Joe is being so pummeled by his opponent that he sees his vision, or semiconsciousness, the terrible ordeal of somebody, perhaps himself, hung up by his wrists and being lashed by a whip. This situation occurs in at least four frames, and our reviewers feel that this, together with the very rough pummeling that is going on in the whole story, would give to a small child a horrible feeling of cruelty to man. It would therefore fall into the area of morbid emotionality, and as you will notice in the enclosed list of evaluated comic books, where, at the end, we have our criteria it shows that Joe Palooka is objectionable because of No. 29. You will see that that is, "Stories and pictures that tend to anything having a sadistic implication or suggesting use of black magic."

I do not read the comic-book magazines for pleasure, and therefore do not know what you have in Joe Palooka from time to time, but I would suggest that you attempt to avoid such situations as described here, even though they are the imagination of someone who is suffering, for the reason that, to a child it is all in the picture.

I have looked over copies of the eight evaluations we have made of comic books since the summer of 1948, and find that we have rated Joe Palooka each time except July 1952. In the July 1951 review, Joe Palooka rated "No objection." In the year 1948, the spring of 1949, December 1949, August 1950, and July 1953, it rated "Some objection" which in our category does not militate against a comic book's use by children or young people, but has some minor characteristic which the reviewers would like to see improved. This usually has to do with physical setup. In the April 1954 review this comic book was rated "Objectionable" for the reason of its sadistic implications in the second story.

It is fair to say that our committee considers Joe Palooka to be a very good comic book.

Yours cordially,

Jesse L. Murrell.
Committee on Evaluation of Comic Books.

Cincinnati, Ohio, November 8, 1954.

Mr. Fisher: I sent the telegram to Newsweek according to your request and here is the copy:

"NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE" New York City: "Having heard that the March issue of Joe Palooka Adventures comic book which the committee on evaluation of comic books in Cincinnati had rated objectionable has caused quite a stir. I desire to advise you that we have reviewing copies of this magazine since 1948 and that this is the first issue that has received the objectional rating. We consider this comic one of the very good ones but it so happened that this particular issue carried four frames that our reviewers thought would be frightening to small children.

"Jesse L. Murrell, Chairman,"

I trust this will help to put you and your product in the proper light and I am very sorry that you have been disturbed.

We appreciate your zeal for our common cause of better comic books and your efforts in behalf of clean young manhood.


Jesse L. Murrell

Comic Book Publishers and Comic Book Titles, Spring 1954

A.A. Wyn, Inc. 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y. (Ace):
Glamorous Romances, Hand of Fate, Love Experience, Real Love, Web of Mystery
Ace Magazines, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y. (Ace):
Complete Love, Ten Story Love
Allen Hardy Associates, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Allen Hardy):
Danger, Death Valley, Dynamite, House of Horror, Love and Kisses, Weird Terror
Animirth Comics Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Adventures Into Weird Worlds, Homer Hooper, Marines in Battle, 3D Action, Riot, Western
Archie Comic Publications, Inc., 241 Church Street, New York, N.Y.:
Archie Comics (7 titles), Pep Comics, Wilbur Comics
Aragon Magazines, Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Stanley P. Morse):
Mister Mystery
Arnold Publications, Inc., 347 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Quality):
Buster Bear, Marmaduke Mouse
Atlas News Co., Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Buck Duck, Lovers, Police Action
Avon Periodicals, Inc., 575 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Avon):
All True Detective Cases, Eerie, Funny Tunes, Jesse James, Merry Mouse, Peter Rabbit, Peter Rabbit Jumbo Book, Realistic Romance, Romantic Love, Sensational Police Cases, Space Comics, Space Mouse, Space Thrillers, Spotty The Pup, Super Pup, Wild Bill Hickok
Bard Publishing Corp., 270 PArk Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Patsy Walker
Best Syndicated Features, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y. (ACG):
Adventures Into The Unknown, The Kilroys, Romantic Adventures
Better Publications, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y. (Standard):
Exciting War, Popular Romances
Beverly Publishing Co., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y.:
Secret Hearts
Broadcast Features Publications, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Girls' Life, My Friend Irma
Canam Publishers Sales Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Arrow Head, Black Rider, Journey Into Mystery, 3D Tales of the West.
Chipiden Publications Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Human Torch, Strange Tales
Classic Syndicate, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Close-Up, Inc., 241 Church Street, New York, N.Y. (Archie):
Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica, Ginger Comics, Katy Keane Comics, Laugh Comics, Super Duck Comics, Suzie Comics
Comic Combine Corp, 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Men's Adventures, Sub Mariner, The Outlaw Kid
Comic Favorites, Inc., 347 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Quality):
Gabby, Jonesy
Comic Magazines, 347 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Quality):
Blackhawk, Brides Romances, Candy, G.I. Combat, G.I. Sweethearts, Heart Throbs, Love Confessions, Love Letters, Love Secrets, Plastic Man, T-Man, True War Romances, Web of Evil, Wedding Bells
Cornell Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Crime Fighters, Spaceman
Crestwood Publishing Co., Inc., 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Prize):
Black Magic, Young Love
Current Detective Stories, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Navy Action
Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 261 Fifth Avenue, New York N.Y. (Dell):
Monthlies: Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan, Gene Audry Comics, Loony Toons and Merrie Melodies Comics, Marge's Little Lulu, Roy Rogers Comics, The Lone Ranger, Tom and Jerry Comics, Walter Lantz New Funnies
Bimonthlies: Bugs Bunny, Carl Anderson's Henry, Cisco Kid, Howdy Doody, Little Iodine, MGM's Lassie, Porky Pig, Walter Lantz Andy Panda, Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker
Quarterlies: Ben Bowie & His Mountain Men, Flying A's, Range Rider, Henry Aldrich, Hi-Yo Silver, I Love Lucy, Indian Chief, Jace Pearson-Texas Rangers, King of the Royal Mounted, Marge's Tubby, Popeye, Queen of the West-Dale Evans, Rex Allen, Rin Tin Tin, Rootie Kazootie, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, Tom Corbett-Space Cadet, Tonto, Trigger, Tweety & Sylvester, Walt Kelly's Pogo Possum, Western Roundup, Wild Bill Elliott, Zane Grey's Picturized Editions
Semi-annuals: Andy Hardy, Beany & Cecil, Bozo the Clown, Buck Jones, Francis The Talking Mule, Gerald McBoing Boing, Johnny Mack Brown, Krazy Kat, Little Scouts, Max Brand's Silvertip, Oswald The Rabbit, Zorro
Annuals: Beetle Bailey, Bugs Bunny (Album, Christmas Funnies, Halloween Parade, Vacation Funnies, Charlie McCarthy, Daffy, Double Trouble With Goober, Elmer Fudd, Ernest Haycox's Western Marshal, Flash Gordon, Frosty The Snowman, Gypsy Cult, Jungle Jim, Knights of the Round Table, Little Beaver, Marge's Little Lulu - Tubby Annual, Milton Caniff's Steve Canyon, Napoleon, Prince Valiant, Rageddy Ann & Andy, Rhubarb The Millionaire Cat, Rivets, Rusty Riley, Santa Claus Funnies, Son of Black Beauty, Spike N'Tyke, Super Circus, Susie Q. Smith, The Brownies, The Green Hornet, The Little King, The Lone Ranger's Western Treasury, Tom & Jerry (Summer Fun, Winter Carnival), 3D Flukey Kazootie, 3D Rootie Kazootie, Uncle Wiggly, Walt Kelly's Pogo Parade, Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Back to School
Educational Comics, Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y. (EC):
Excellent Publications, Inc., 30 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. (Farrell):
Billy Bunny, Swift Arrow
Fables Publishing Co., Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y. (EC):
Haunt of Fear, Two-Fisted Tales, Weird Science-Fantasy
Family Comics, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Famous Authors, Ltd., 101 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Classics Illustrated):
Classics Illustrated, Junior Series: No. 501-Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, No. 502-The Ugly Duckling, No. 503-Cinderella, No. 504-The Pied Piper, No. 505-Sleeping Beauty, No. 506-The Three Pigs, No. 507-Jack and The Beanstalk, No. 508-Goldilocks and The Three Bears, No. 509-Beauty and The Beast, No. 510-Little Red Riding Riding Hood
Famous Funnies Publications, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Famous):
Famous Funnies, New Heroic Comics, Personal Love
Farrell Comics, Inc., 30 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. (Farrell):
Haunted Thrills, Lone Rider, Strange Fantasy
Fawcett Publications, Inc., 67 West 44th Street, New York, N.Y. (Fawcett):
Captain Marvel Adventures, Funny Animals, Hopalong Cassidy, Lash LaRue, Marvel Family, Rocky Lane, 6-Gun Heroes, Tex Ritter, This Magazine is Haunted
Feature Publications, Inc., 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Prize):
Frankenstein, Prize Western Comics, Young Brides, Young Romance
Fiction House, Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford Comm. (Fiction House):
Ghost Stories
Fight Stories, Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford Comm. (Fiction House):
Knockout, Monster
Foto Parade, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Four Star Publications, Inc., 30 East Street, New York, N.Y. (Farrell):
Fantastic Fears, Voodoo
Gem Publications, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Patsy & Hedy
Gilberton Co., Inc., 101 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Classics Illustrated):
Classics Illustrated: No. 1-The Three Musketeers, No. 2-Ivanhoe, No. 3-Count of Monte Cristo, No. 4-Last of the Mohicans, No. 5-Moby Dick, No. 6-A Tale of Two Cities, No. 7-Robin Hood, No. 10-Robinson Crusoe, No. 11-Don Quixote, No. 12-Rip Van Winkle and The The Headless Horseman, No. 13-Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, No. 15-Uncle Tom's Cabin, No. 17-The Deerslayer, No. 18-The Hunchback of Notre Dame, No. 19-Huckleberry Fin, No. 20-The Corsican Brothers, No. 21-3 Famous Mysteries, No. 22-The Pathfinder, No. 23-Oliver Twist, No. 24-A Connecticut Yankee in Authur's Court, No. 25-Two Years Before the Mast, No. 26-Frankenstein, No.27-Adventues of Marco Polo, No. 28-Michael Strongoff, No. 29-Prince and The Pauper, No. 31-Black Arrow, No. 32-Lorna Doone, No. 34-Mysterious Island, No. 37-The Pioneers, No. 39-Jane Eyre, No. 40-Mysteries by Edgar Allen Poe, No. 42-Swiss Family Robinson, No. 46-Kidnapped, No. 47-Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, No. 48-David Copperfield, No. 49-Alice in Wonderland, No. 50-Adventures of Tom Sawyer, No. 51-The Spy, No. 52-The House of Seven Gables, No. 54-Man In The Iron Mask, No. 55-Silas Marner, No. 57-The Song of Hiawatha, No. 58-The Prairie, No. 62-Western Stories, No. 64-Treasure Island, No. 67-The Scottish Chiefs, No. 68-Julius Caesar, No. 69-Around The World In Eighty Days, No. 70-The Pilot, No. 72-The Oregon Trail, No. 75-Lady of The Lake, No. 76-Prisoner of Zenda, No. 77-The Iliad, No. 78-Joan of Arc, No. 79-Cyano De Bergerac, No. 80-White Fang, No. 83-The Jungle Book, No. 85-The Sea Wolf, No. 86-Under Two Flags, No. 87-A Midsummer Night's Dream, No. 88-Men of Iron, No. 89-Crime and Punishment, No. 90-Green Mansions, No. 91-The Call of the Wild, No. 92-The Courtship of Miles Standish and Evangeline, No. 93-Pudd'nhead Wilson, No. 94-David Balfour, No. 95-All Quiet On The Western Front, No. 96-Daniel Boone, No. 97-King Solomon's Mines, No. 98-The Red Badge of Courage, No. 99-Hamlet, No. 100-Mutiny On The Bounty, No. 101-William Tell, No. 102-Bring 'Em Back Alive, No. 105-From the Earth to The Moon, No. 106-Buffalo Bill, No. 107-King of The Khyber Rifles, No. 108-Knights of The Round Table, No. 109-Oitcairn's Island, No. 110-A Study In Scarlet, No. 111-The Talisman, No. 112-Kit Carson, No. 113-The Forty-Five Guardsmen, No. 114-The Red Rover, No. 115-How I Found Livingstone, No. 116-The Bottle Imp, No. 117-Captains Courageous, No. 118-Rob Roy, No. 119-Soldiers of Fortune, No. 120-The Hurricane
Picture Progress (issue monthly during school year)
Gilmor Magazines, Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Stanley P. Morse):
Radiant Love, Weird Mysteries
Glen-Kel Publishing Co., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn. (Fiction House):
Jungle Comics, Kaanga Jungle King
Harvey Enterprises, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Dotty Dripple, First Love, Little Dot
Harvey Picture Magazines, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Little Audrey, Warfront
Harvey Publications, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Blondie Comics, Dagwood Comics, Daisy and Her Pups, Dick Tracy Comics, Joe Palooka Comics, Little Max Comics, Sad Sack Comics, Tomb of Terror
Harvey Publications, 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Jiggs & Maggie, Katzenjammer Kids, Rags Rabbit, Riply's Believe It or Not
Headline Publications Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Dixie Dugan, Fighting America, Headline Comics, Justice Traps the Guilty
Hercules Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Ringo Kid, Spy Cases, Two Gun Kid
Home Comics, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Black CAt, First Romance, Hi-School Romance, Love Problems, Teen Age Brides
I.C. Publishing Co., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y. (EC):
Tales FRom The Crypt
Illustrated Humor, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Interstate Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Outlaw Fighters, Wild, Young Men
Jay Jay Corp., North Eighth Street, St. Louis, Mo.:
Judo Joe
Joseph A. Wolfert, 32 Broadway, New York, N.Y.:
Algie, Animal Adventures, Blazing Western, Crime Detector, Police Against Crime
Junior Books, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y. (ACE):
Crime Must Pay The Penalty
K.K. Publications, Inc., Poughkeepsie, New York, N.Y. (Dell):
Red Ryder Comics, Walt Disney Comics and Stories
Key Publications, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y. (Stanley P. Morse):
Hector, Ideal Romance, Peter Cottontails, Weird Chills
Leading Magazines Corp., Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Kid Colt Outlaw
Leverett S. Gleason, 114 East 32d Street, New York, N.Y. (Lev Gleason):
Black Diamond, Boy Illustories, Boy Loves Girl, Buster Crabbe, Crime Does Not Pay, Crime and Punishment, Daredevil, Lovers Lane, Squeeks
Literary Enterprises, Inc., 100 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y. (Standard):
Buster Bunny, Lucky Duck, Sniffy The Pip, Supermouse
L. L. Publishing Co., Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y. (EC):
Crime Suspense Stories, The Vault of Horror
Love Romances Publishing Co., Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn. (Fiction House):
Planet Comics
Magazine Enterprises, 11 Park Place, New York, N.Y. (ME):
Badmen of the West, Best of the West, Cave Girl, Dream Book of Love, Dream Book of Romance, Durango Kid, Ghost Rider, Great Western, Home Run, Hot Dog, Muggsy Mouse, Red Fox, Red Hawk, Straight Arrow, Tim Holt (now Red Mask), Undercover Girl, White Indian
Male Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Justice, Spellbound, World's Greatest Songs
Manvis Publications, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
True Secrets
Marjean Magazine Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
My Own Romance
Marvel Comics, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Marvel Tales
Master Comics, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y.:
Dark Mysteries
Mikeross Publications, Inc., 55 West 42d Street, New York, N.Y.:
Get Lost, Heart and Soul
Miss America Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Miss America
Mystery Publishing Co., Inc. 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Allen Hardy):
All True Romance, Dear Lonely Hearts, Horrific, Noodnik
National Comics Publications, Inc., 430 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Superman-DC):
Action Comics, Adventure Comics, All American Men of War, All Star Western, Animal Antics, Batman, Big Town, Bob Hope (The Adventures of), Buzzy, Comic Cavalcade, Date With Judy, Detective Comics, Everything Happens to Harvey, Flippety and Flop, Fox and Crow, Funny Folks, Funny Stuff, Gang Buster, Here's Howie, Hopalong Cassidy, House of Mystery, Leading Comics, Leave it to Binky, Martin and Lewis, Mr. District Attorney, Mutt and Jeff, Mystery in Space, Our Army at War, Peter Panda, Peter Porkchops, Real Screen Comics, Rex the Wonder Dog, Star Spangled War Stories, Strange Adventures, Superboy, Superman, Tomahawk, Western Comics, Wonder Woman, World's Finest Comics
Newsstand Publications, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Man Comics
Official Magazine Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Battleground, Bible Tales for Young Folk, Little Lizzie, Lorna The Jungle Girl, Mystic, Wendy Parker
Our Publishing Co., 114 East 32d Street, New York, N.Y.:
Love Diary, Love Journal
Periodical House, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y. (ACE):
Baffling Mysteries, Love at First Sight
Pflaum, George A., 38 West 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio:
The World Is His Parish, Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact
Postal Publications, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Battlefront, Patsy and Her Pals
Premier Magazines, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y. (PM):
Animal Fun, Horror from the Tomb, Masked Ranger, Nuts, Police Against Crime, True Love Confessions
Prime Publications, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Captain America, Uncanny Tales
Real Adventures Publishing Co., Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stanford, Conn. (Fiction House):
The Spirit, 3D Sheena, 3D Circus, The First Christmas
Regis Publications, Inc., 45 West Street, New York, N.Y. (ACG):
Cookie Comics, Funny Films, Lovelorn
Ribage Publishing Corp., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y.:
Crime Mysteries, Youthful Romances
St. Johns Publications, 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Preferred):
Abbott & Costello, Authentic Police Cases, Basil, Bingo The Monkey Doodle Boy, Crime on the Run, Cinderella Love, Daring Adventures, Diary Secrets, Dinky Duck, Fightin' Marines, Fly Boy, Gandy Goose, Heckle and Jeckle, House of Terrors, Invisible Boy, Kid Cowboy, Kid Carrots, Little Eva, Little Ike, Little Roquefort, Lucy the Real Gone Gal, Mighty Mouse Adventures Stories, Meet Miss Pepper, Mopsy, Nightmare, North West Mounties, 1,000,000 Years Ago, Paul Terry, Pictorial Romances, Perfect Love, Romantic Marriage, Teen Age Romances, Teen Age Temptations, Terrytoons, The Hawk, The Whack, Three Stooges, Tor & CheeChee, True Love Pictorial, Wartime Romances, Western Bandit Trails, Weird Horrors, Wild Boy. 3D-series: 9 of the above titles.
Scope Magazines, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y. (ACG):
Giggle Comics, Ha Ha Comics, Out of the Night.
Signal Publishing Co., 125 East 46th Street, New York N.Y.
Girls' Love Stories, Girls Romances.
Song Hits, Inc., Division Street, Derby, Conn. (CDC):
Atomic Mouse, Cowboy Western, Crime and Justice, Eh! Funny Animals, Haunted, Hot Rods and Racing Cars, Lash La Rue Western, My Little Margie, Packet Squad In Action, Rocky Lane Western, Romantic Story, Six-Gun Heroes, Space Adventures, Strange Suspense Stories, Sweethearts, Tex Ritter Western, The Thing, True Life Secrets, TV Teens, Zoo Funnies.
Sphere Publishing Co., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Combat Kelly, Millie the Model Comics.
Sport Action, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Combat Casey.
Standard Magazines, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y.:
Intimate Love, Thrilling Romances.
Stanhall Publications, Inc., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y.
Briadway-Hollywood Blackouts, Farmers Daughter, G.I. Jane, Muggy Doo, Oh Brother.
Stanmor Publications, Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Stanley P. Morse):
Battle Cry.
Star Publications, Inc., 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Star):
All Famous Police Cases, Confessions of Love, Confessions of Romances, Frisky Animals, Fun Comics, Ghostly Weird Stories, Mighty Bear, Popular Teen Agers, Shocking Mystery Cases, Spool, Startling Terror Tales, Super Cat, Terrifying Tales, Terrors of The Jungle, The Horrors, The Outlaws, Top Love Stories, True to Life Romances, Unsane.
Sterling Comics, Inc., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y.:
The Informer, The Tormented.
Story Comics, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y.:
Fight Against Crime, Mysterious Adventures
Timely Comics, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Love Romances, Secret Story Romances
Tiny Tot Comics, Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y. (EC):
Panic, Shock Suspense Stories
Titan Publishing Co., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y. (ACG):
Forbidden Worlds, Funny Films, Atomic Sub
Toby Press, Inc., 17 East 45th Street, New York, N.Y. (Toby):
Billy The Kid, Felix and His Friends, Felix The Cat, Gabby Hayes, Great Lover Romances, He-Man, John Wayne, Johnny Danger, Lil Abner, Meet Merton, Return of the Outlaw, Sorority Secrets, Super Brat, Tales of Horror, With the Marines
Trogen Magazines, 125 East 46th Street, New York, N.Y.:
20th Century Comic Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Astonishing Mystery Tales
USA Comic Magazine Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
War Comics
United Feature Syndicate, Inc., 220 East 42d Street, New York, N.Y. (United Feature):
Comics on Parade, Fritzi Ritz, Sparkle Comics, Sparkler Comics, Tip-Top Comics, Tip Topper Comics
Unity Publishing Corp., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y. (Ace):
The Beyond
Visual Editions, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y. (Standard):
Adventures into Darkness, Dennis The Menace, Joe Yank, Kathy, New Romances, Out of the Shadows, Rocky, The Unseen
Western Fiction Publishing Co., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Journey Into Unknown Worlds, Wild Western
Witches Tales, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Harvey):
Chamber of Chills, Witches Tales
Wings Publishing Co., 1658 Summer Street, Stanford, Conn. (Fiction House):
Indians, Wings Comics
Zenith Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Atlas):
Girl Confessions, The Monkey and The Bear
Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., 366 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y.:
G.I. Joe
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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:43 am


Ace News Corp., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y.; A.A. Wyn, president; 5 publishers, 11 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Ace Fiction Group, 23 West 47th Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: A.A. Wyn, Rose Wyn.

Publisher: Number of titles

A.A. Wyn, Inc. ........................................................................................ 5
Ace Magazines, Inc. ................................................................................... 2
Junior Books, Inc. .................................................................................... 1
Periodical House, Inc. ................................................................................ 2
Unity Publishing Corp. ................................................................................ 1

(The) American News Co., Inc., 131 Varick Street, New York, N.Y.; P. O'Connell, president; 26 publishers, 287 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Archie Comic Group, 241 Church Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Maurice Coyne, John L. Goldwater, Louis H. Silberkleit.

Publisher: Number of titles

Archie Comic Publications, Inc. ....................................................................... 9
Close-Up, Inc. ........................................................................................ 6

Dell Comics Group, 264 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: George T., Delacorte, Jr. Margarita Delacorte, 687 stockholders of Western Printing & Lithography Co.

Publisher: Number of titles

Dell Comics .......................................................................................... 88
K. K. Publications, Inc .............................................................................. 19

Famous Funnies Group, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Stockholder: James H. Darcey, David S. Hibbard, Sylvia S. Hibbard, Eric Pape, William B. Pape, William J. Pape, E. Robert Stevenson, Elizabeth B. Stevenson, Robert I, Stevenson, J. Warren Upson.

Publisher: Number of titles

Famous Funnies Publications ........................................................................... 3

Fiction House, Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stanford, Conn. Owner: J.G. Scott

Publisher: Number of titles

Fiction House, Inc. ................................................................................... 1
Fight Stories, Inc. ................................................................................... 1
Flying Stories, Inc. .................................................................................. 2
Glen-Kel Publishing Co., Inc. ......................................................................... 2
Love Romances Publishing Co., Inc. .................................................................... 1
Real Adventures Publishing Co. ........................................................................ 4
Wings Publishing Co., Inc. ............................................................................ 2

Jay Jay Publications, 316 North 8th Street, St. Louis, Mo. Owners: B.M. Mirsh, R. Grable, R. Messing, Sr., R. Messing, Jr.

Publisher: Number of titles

Jay Jay Corp. ......................................................................................... 1

Magazine Enterprises, 11 Park Place, New York, N. Y. Owner: Vincent Sullivan

Publisher: Number of titles

Magazine Enterprises ................................................................................. 17

Preferred Comics Group, 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owner: Archer St. John

Publisher: Number of titles

St. John Publications ................................................................................ 55

Quality Romance Group, 347 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Everett M. Arnold, Claire C. Arnold.

Publisher: Number of titles

Arnold Publications, Inc. ............................................................................. 2
Comic Favorites, Inc. ................................................................................. 2
Comic Magazines ...................................................................................... 14

Standard Comics Group, 10 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y. Owner: Ned L. Pines.

Publisher: Number of titles

Better Publications, Inc. ............................................................................. 2
Literary Enterprises, Inc. ............................................................................ 4
Standard Magazines, Inc. .............................................................................. 2
Visual Editions, Inc. ................................................................................. 8

Star Publications, 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owner: J. Kramer.

Publisher: Number of titles

Star Publications, Inc. .............................................................................. 19

Toby Press Group, 17 East 45th Street, New York, N.Y. Owner: Elliott A. Caplin.

Publisher: Number of titles

Toby Press, Inc. ..................................................................................... 16

United Feature Comic Group, 220 East 42d Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Karl A. Bickel, Winfred Scripps Ellis, Margaret C. Hawkins, W.W. Hawkings, Jack R. Howard, Margaret R. Howard, Roy W. Haward, Charles W. Scripps, Edward W. Scripps, Florence Scripps Kellogg, John P. Scripps, Robert P. Scripps, The Eleen Browning Scripps Foundation.

Publisher: Number of titles

United Feature Syndicate, Inc. ........................................................................ 6

Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., 366 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: B.G. Davis, Sylvia Davis, Amelia Ziff.

Publisher: Number of titles

Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. ............................................................................. 1


Atlas Magazines, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y.; Martin Goodman, president; 31 publishers 64 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Magazine Management Co., Marvel Comic Group (Atlas), 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Martin Goodman, Jean Goodman.

Publisher: Number of titles

Animirth Comics, Inc. ................................................................................. 6
Atlas News Co., Inc. .................................................................................. 3
Bard Publishing Corp. ................................................................................. 1
Broadcast Features Publications, Inc. ................................................................. 2
Canam Publishers Sales Corp. .......................................................................... 4
Chipiden Publishing Corp. ............................................................................. 2
Classic Syndicate, Inc. ............................................................................... 1
Comic Combine Corp. ................................................................................... 3
Cornell Publishing Corp. .............................................................................. 2
Current Detective Stories ............................................................................. 1
Foto Parade, Inc. ..................................................................................... 1
Gen Publications, Inc. ................................................................................ 1
Hercules Publishing Corp. ............................................................................. 3
Interstate Publishing Corp. ........................................................................... 3
Leading Magazine Corp. ................................................................................ 1
Male Publishing Corp. ................................................................................. 3
Manvis Publications, Inc. ............................................................................. 1
Margean Magazines Corp. ............................................................................... 1
Marvel Comics, Inc. ................................................................................... 1
Miss America Publishing Corp. ......................................................................... 1
Newsstand Publications, Inc. .......................................................................... 1
Official Magazine Corp. ............................................................................... 6
Postal Publications, Inc. ............................................................................. 2
Prime Publications, Inc. .............................................................................. 2
Sphere Publications, Inc. ............................................................................. 2
Sports Action, Inc. ................................................................................... 1
Timely Comics, Inc. ................................................................................... 2
20th Century Comic Corp. .............................................................................. 2
USA Comic Magazine Corp. .............................................................................. 1
Western Fiction Publishing Corp. ...................................................................... 2
Zenith Publishing Corp. ............................................................................... 2


Capital Distributing Co., Derby, Comm.; Robert A. Baker, circulation director; 1 publisher, 21 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Charlton Comics Group, Division Street, Derby, Comm. Owners: Edward Levy, John Santangelo.

Publisher: Number of titles

Song Hits, Inc. ...................................................................................... 21


Curtis Circulation Co., Independence Square, Philadelphia, Pa; Benjamin Allen, president; 2 publishers, 103 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

William E. Kanter, 101 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Albert L. Kanter, Hal Kanter, Maurice Kanter, Rose Kanter, William E. Kanter.

Publisher: Number of titles

Famous Authors, Ltd. ................................................................................. 10
Gilberton Co., Inc. .................................................................................. 93


Fawcett Publications, Inc., 67 West 44th Street, New York, N.Y.; Roger Fawcett, vice president; 1 publisher, 9 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Fawcett Publications, Inc., Fawcett Place, Greenwich, Conn. Stockholders: Claire Sue Bagg, James Wesley Bagg, Marion Fawcett Bagg, William Bagg, Gordon W. Fawcett, Helen Aline Fawcett, John Fawcett, John Roger, Fawcett, Mary Blair Fawcett, Michael Blair Fawcett, Roger Fawcett, Roscoe K. Fawcett, Marie F. Fawcett, Thomas Knowlton Fawcett, Vivian D. Fawcett, W.H. Fawcett, Jr., W.H. Fawcett III, William Blair Fawcett, Mrs. Virginia Kerr, (Estate of) Mira King, Gloria Fawcett Leary, Mrs. Eva Roberts.

Publisher: Number of titles

Fawcett Publications, Inc. ............................................................................ 9


Gilberton Co., Inc., 101 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.; William E. Kanter, vice president; 1 publisher, 1 comic title.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Gilberton Co., Inc., 101 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Albert L. Kanter, Hal Kanter, Maurice Kanter, Rose Kanter, William E. Kanter.

Publisher: Number of titles

Gilberton Co., Inc. ................................................................................... 1


Hearst Magazine (International Circulation Division of) 250 West 55th Street, New York, N.Y.; R.E. Haig, vice president; 1 publisher 16 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Avon Comics Group, 575 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Joseph Meyers, Maurice Diamond, Harry Rebell.

Publisher: Number of titles

Avon Periodicals, Inc. ............................................................................... 16


Independent News Co., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y.; Paul H. Sampliner, president; 10 publishers, 65 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

American Comics Group, 45 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Fredrick H. Iger, Frances Sanger.

Publisher: Number of titles

Best Syndicated Features .............................................................................. 3
Regis Publications, Inc. .............................................................................. 3
Scope Magazines, Inc. ................................................................................. 3
Titan Publishing Co. .................................................................................. 3

Beverly Publishing Co., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Gizella F. Frank, Sonia Iger, George H. Levy.

Publisher: Number of titles

Beverly Publishing Co. ................................................................................ 1

National Comics Group, 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: A. Donenfeld, G. Donenefeld, H. Donenefeld, I. Donenfeld, S. Donenfeld, J.L. Golinko, F. Iger, J.S. Liebowitz, R. Liebowitz. A. I. Menin, P.H. Sampliner, S.U. Sampliner.

Publisher: Number of titles

National Comics Publications, Inc. ................................................................... 40

Prize Comic Group, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Owners: Michael M. Bleier, Paul Epstein.

Publisher: Number of titles

Crestwood Publishing Co., Inc. ........................................................................ 2
Feature Publications, Inc. ............................................................................ 4
Headline Publications, Inc. ........................................................................... 4

Signal Publishing Co., 125 East 46th Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Avrum Ben-Avi, Irwin Donenfeld, Harry C., Lieb.

Publisher: Number of titles

Signal Publishing Co. ................................................................................. 2


Kable News Co., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.; Samuel James Campbell, chairman of board; 11 publishers, 36 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Farrell Comic Group, 30 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Robert W. Farrell, S. Lichtenbert.

Publisher: Number of titles

Excellent Publications, Inc. .......................................................................... 2
Farrell Comic, Inc. ................................................................................... 3
Four Star Publications, Inc. .......................................................................... 2

Allen Hardy, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Philip Birch, Jerry Feldmann, Allan Hardy, Harry Lutz. Co owner of Mystery Publishing Co., Inc.: Samuel J. Campbell

Publisher: Number of titles

Allen Hardy Associates ................................................................................ 6
Mystery Publishing Co., Inc. .......................................................................... 4

Stanley P. Morse, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners of Aragon, Gilmor and Stanmor: Gilbert Singer, Michael Morse, Stanley P. Morse. Owners of Key: S. Lichtenbert, Stanley P. Morse.

Publisher: Number of titles

Aragon Magazines, Inc. ................................................................................ 1
Gilmor Magazines, Inc. ................................................................................ 2
Key Publications, Inc. ................................................................................ 4
Stanmor Publications, Inc. ............................................................................ 1

Premier Magazines, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y. Owner: Lew A. Stricoff.

Publisher: Number of titles

Premier Magazines, Inc. ............................................................................... 6

Joseph A. Wolfert, 32 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Owner: Joseph A. Wolfert.

Publisher: Number of titles

Joseph A. Wolfert ..................................................................................... 5


Leader News Co., Inc., 114 East 47th Street, New York N.Y.; Michael Estrow, president; 12 publishers, 24 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Entertaining Comics Group, 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: William M. Gaines, Jesse K. Gaines. Co owner of Tiny Tot: Virginia E. MacAdie

Publisher: Number of titles

Educational Comics .................................................................................... 1
Fables Publishing Co., Inc. ........................................................................... 3
I.C. Publishing Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 1
L.L. Publishing Co. ................................................................................... 2
Tiny Tot Comics ....................................................................................... 2

Master Comics, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Michael Estrow and Stanley M. Estrow as agents for Leader News Co.

Publisher: Number of titles

Master Comics ......................................................................................... 1

Mikeross Publications, Inc., 55 West 42d Street, New York, N.Y. Publishers: Ross Andru, Michael Esposito.

Publisher: Number of titles

Mikeross Publications, Inc. ........................................................................... 2

Ribage Publishing Corp., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Michael Estrow and Stanley M. Estrow as agents for Leader News Co.

Publisher: Number of titles

Ribage Publishing Corp. ............................................................................... 2

Stanhall Publications, Inc., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Michael Estrow and Stanley M. Estrow as agents for Leader News Co.

Publisher: Number of titles

Stanhall Publications, Inc. ........................................................................... 5

Sterling Comics, Inc., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. Owners: Sidney Chenkin, Eleanor Grupsmith, Peter V.D. Voorhees, Martin Smith

Publisher: Number of titles

Sterling Comics, Inc. ................................................................................. 2

Story Comic, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: William K. Friedman, Morton Myers.

Publisher: Number of titles

Trogan Magazines, Inc. ................................................................................ 1


George A. Pflaum, 38 West 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio; George A. Pflaum, Jr.; 1 publisher, 2 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

George A. Pflaum, 38 West 5th Street, Dayton Ohio. Owners: Mrs. Mary Pflaum Fischer, George A. Pflaum, Sr., Mrs. George A. Pflaum.

Publisher: Number of titles

George A. Pflaum, Publisher ........................................................................... 2


Publishers Distributing Corp., 1481 Broadway, New York, N.Y.; I.S. Manheimer, president; 10 publishers, 37 comic titles.

Comic groups, publishers, and number of comic-book titles

Lev Gleason Comics, 114 East 32d Street, New York, N.Y. Owners: Leverett S. Gleason, Garol L. Rosenthal, Edward Rosenthal, Ellen J. Rosenthal, Jane Rosenthal, Judy Rosenthal, Morton Rosenthal, Pat Rosenthal, Peter Rosenthal, Rosalind Rosenthal.

Publisher: Number of titles

Leverett S. Gleason ................................................................................... 9

Harvey Comics Group, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Owners: Alfred Harvey, Leon Harvey, Robert B. Harvey.

Publisher: Number of titles

Family Comics, Inc. ................................................................................... 1
Harvey Enterprises, Inc. .............................................................................. 3
Harvey Picture Magazines, Inc. ........................................................................ 2
Harvey Publications ................................................................................... 4
Harvey Publications Inc. .............................................................................. 8
Home Comics, Inc. ..................................................................................... 5
Illustrated Humor, Inc. ............................................................................... 1
Witches Tales, Inc. ................................................................................... 2

Our Publishing Co., 114 East 32d Street, New York, N.Y. Owner: Ray R. Hermann.

Publisher: Number of titles

Our Publishing Co. .................................................................................... 2
End of Document
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Re: Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

Postby admin » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:17 am

Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books) of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 83rd Congress, 1954 wrote:The first such crime comic is entitled "Black Magic."

This is a picture showing the cover or title page of this comic. Now, one story in this comic is entitled "Sanctuary," and the cover shots relate to this particular story.

You will note that this shot shows certain inhabitants of this sanctuary which is really a sort of sanitarium for freaks where freaks can be isolated from other persons in society.

You will note one man in the picture has two heads and four arms, another body extends only to the bottom of his rib. But the greatest horror of all the freaks in the sanctuary is the attractive looking girl in the center of the picture who disguises her grotesque body in a suit of foam rubber.

Love Child, by Kevin Sessums wrote: “I want witches and vampires! I need some demon possession!” she screams at the real-estate agent. “That last house you showed me was too damn clean!”
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