Sales of digital comics have soared in the past three years. Readers love the look of comics on the iPad screen and they also love the convenience of in-app purchasing, which allows consumers to buy and store their comics within a single app. So it’s a big deal when Apple bans a comic—usually because of sexual or mature material or nudity—and it has happened to at least 59 comics this year. - Are comics too hot for Apple? Publishers Weekly looks at Apples role as Gatekeeper in the wake of their rejection of Sex Criminals #3 and retroactive removal of Sex Criminals #1 from the iOS marketplace. Strangely the books remain available via iBooks. This is not the first time Apples policies have been confusing or raised concerns of censorship, such as with the Saga of Saga #12 earlier this year, and before the rise of comixology with the banning/unbanning of Ulysses Seen (previously).
In 1956 EC Comics attempted to re-publish the pre-Code comic Judgement Day, originally published in 1953 in Weird Fantasy #18, prior to the founding of the Comics Code Authority. The CCA "objected to" the story because of "the central character being black.".
Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
Europe has a long-standing comic tradition, at least equal to that of America. Beyond Tintin and Asterix, there are hundreds of fantastic titles with astonishing art, most of which never see the shores of the USA. However, when a lucky title does get the nod, something bizarre happens when European sensibilities face American censors. [more inside]
When the Jessamine* County Public Library acquired a copy of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, two library workers conspired to keep it out of the patrons' hands, checking it out for an entire year. After an eleven-year-old girl put a hold on the book, they removed the hold; upon discovering this, the library director fired them. [more inside]
DC Comics' All-Star Batman and Robin series (from creators Frank Miller and Jim Lee) has taken quite a bit of heat here and there, but it's not the dubious quality of the book that has its publisher urging retailers to pulp its newest issue: It's some censored dialogue that managed somehow to not quite get censored. [more inside]
The pictures that horrified America - how comic books tipped 50s America into a moral panic. [more inside]
Pablo's Penis Prosecution, the crazy case against comic retailer Gorden Lee was supposed to start today. Only the judge was sick, or the air conditioner was broken, or maybe the prosecution wants to drop all the charges and refile...again. Interesting to note that the judge presiding over the case has ruled against Mr. Lee in a previous prosecution for comics obscenity. Previous MeFi discussion, before the original charges were all dropped 18 hours before trial.
The Strange Case Of Gordon Lee. “It is highly unusual to have a single defendant face three arraignments in less than two years for the same alleged criminal conduct. In my fifteen years of practice, I have never seen such an occurrence.”* [more inside]
Camouflage Comics [requires Flash] - an exploration of the issues of censorship, dictatorship, human rights and the legacy of the Argentinian "Dirty War", the 1976-1983 military junta's repression and extermination of dissidents (when 10,000 to 30,000 Argentinians were tortured and "disappeared"). Produced at the Jan van Eyck Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht, the project presents striking comics and illustrations made between 2002 and 2005 by contemporary Argentinian artists, as well as text essays on the production of comics and cartoons during the dictatorship era.
Disney's War Against the Counterculture. Parody Mickey Mouse and see your life turn to madness, even if things are more or set straight in the end. “The main point,” O’Neill says, “was to buck corporate thinking. We just didn’t like bullshit.” [via]
Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's lawyers are filing an appeal in the highest criminal court in Texas in the obscenity conviction of Jesus Castillo, manager of a Dallas comic book store. Castillo has received six months jail time, a year probation, and a $4000 fine. [more inside]
"The irony, of course, is that I can buy the book in any country except the one I've been living in for the past 14 years."
"The irony, of course, is that I can buy the book in any country except the one I've been living in for the past 14 years." -Eddie Campbell who can't get his book, From Hell, that he made with Alan Moore imported into Australia.