Tag Archives: free speech

Doonesbury Abortion Censorship Watch. Maybe This Was the Fuss?

Doonesbury has taken up the issue of trans-vaginal exams in this week’s strips which has caused it to get pulled from numerous newspapers.  I’ve been waiting all week to figure out exactly got so many people bristling, maybe today’s strip was the issue?  Here’s the two likeliest panels so far that has caused the controversy.

Maybe it was the “rape” comment?

Doonesbury Gets Censored

Newspapers always stand behind the first amendment, until they don’t.  An Oregon newspaper, the Oregonian, has decided to pull next week’s edition of Garry Trudeau‘s critically hailed and politically relevant comic strip Doonesbury.  In an article explaining their decision the newspaper feels that in their…

judgment, went over the line of good taste and humor in penning a series on abortion using graphic language and images inappropriate for a comics page.

The editors felt it was a “clear call” and follows the decision of other newspapers around the country, including the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

If there’s one thing all journalists and newspapers should stand by, it’s the first amendment.  While the editors might not have agreed with what was being said, or the images depicted, Trudeau has a right to show them and by pulling the strip, the newspaper is censoring them.  Due to their taste, the comic is being pulled.  Not an outcry, not some complaint, just because it doesn’t fit with their world view.  I hope there doesn’t come a day when the Oregonian needs someone to stand up for their right to say what they choose.

You can check out the strips online, http://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury, and judge for yourself.

CBLDF News: Cartoonist Charged With Treason! Cliff Chiang Speaks! Muppets Auction!

Treason in India

Aseem Trivedi, a freelance political cartoonist in India, faces imprisonment and fines over charges of treason and insulting Indian national emblems. His cartoons criticized India’s government, and he may face additional charges because another complaint alleges that his work is “defamatory and derogatory.” The latter complaint has led to the suspension of Trivedi’s website, www.cartoonistsagainstcorruption.com.

The censorship comes as no surprise, even from the world’s largest democracy.  Read More.

The Good Fighters: Cliff Chiang

“Creativity is nothing without free speech.” — Cliff Chiang

You may know Cliff Chiang for drawing the best Wonder Woman around, but he’s also passionate about Free Speech and works hard to support causes like CBLDF.  In addition to his prodigious talent as an artist, he’s a witty and generous fellow, always ready to donate his dwindling spare time to a worthy cause. When CBLDF asked Chiang to create a new vision of Lady Liberty for our 2012 member cards, he fashioned an image as iconic as the Statue of Liberty herself.

In this installment of The Good Fighters, we sat down with Chiang for a quick chat about the impetus behind his Lady Liberty design and why he supports CBLDF.  Read More.

Belgian Court Keeps TINTIN IN THE CONGO on Shelves

After a recent ruling by a Belgian court, Hergé’s controversial second book in the Tintin series, Tintin in the Congo, remains on shelves. The book faced charges that it broke several of Belgium’s laws against racism and incited racial hatred, but the court ruled that the book, which was serialized from 1930 to 1931 and collected in 1946 with significant revisions, was a product of its time and did not intend to incite racial hatred.

Tintin in the Congo was not translated into English until 1991, but it has faced significant backlash over its depiction of the Congolese and treatment of animals. Attempts have been made to ban it in the United Kingdom, where it is often sold with a warning about offensive content, and several other countries.  Read More.

Ultimate Comics Gives Back to CBLDF with Muppet Show Auction!

Did you ever want to see what Frank Cho, Eric Powell, or David Mack would do with an assignment to draw the Muppets? North Carolina retailer Ultimate Comics made it happen! They are proud to announce that it will be auctioning two dozen of its store exclusiveThe Muppet Show #1 variant covers, hand sketched by some of the greatest talent in the comics industry, with all proceeds going to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

The auctions start today! Keep reading for more details and an auction preview!

ComicsPRO Goes Big For CBLDF!

Last weekend the CBLDF’s Deputy Director Alex Cox visited the ComicsPRO Meeting in Dallas where he met with the industry’s best retailers and publishing professionals. He takes you into this ultimate insiders weekend, including full highlights from the exciting ComicPRO CBLDF Benefit Auction that raised more than $8,000 for the Fund!  Read More.

CBLDF Founder Denis Kitchen Talks Underground Comix and Free Speech at St. Mary’s College

CBLDF founder Denis Kitchen recently shared his love for underground comics and his experience as an editor and defender of Free Speech during a presentation at St. Mary’s College in Maryland. The Point News, St. Mary’s student newspaper, covered the presentation, getting takes from students who saw the lecture. Read More.

CBLDF News: Cartoonist Arrested in Oakland & Books Banned In Arizona

Cartoonist Susie Cagle Arrested, Released During Weekend Occupy Oakland Protests

Last weekend, more than 400 people were taken in during a mass arrest in response to the latest Occupy Oakland protests. Cartoonist Susie Cagle, who was arrested during protests in November, was one of several credential journalists taken in during the mass arrest despite Oakland Police Department policy that members of the media never be targeted because of their status as journalists. This time, Cagle was released on site, when an officer recognized Cagle from her last arrest. Cagle was told that they were doing her a “favor” upon her release.

The Daily Cartoonist has a rundown of Cagle’s tweets during the arrest and release here. Cagle wrote an article for AlterNet a few days before the latest protests, outlining OPD’s new policies regarding protests. Gavin Aronsen with Mother Jones, another journalist arrested during the protests, details his experience — which seems to contravene the policy OPD laid out for Cagle — hereRead More…

Big Easy Turns Out Big Time For CBLDF!

Last week, the CBLDF launched the first Member Appreciation events of 2012 in New Orleans with a party at Crescent City Comics and a booth at Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con, raising a total of $2,600 and meeting dozens of loyal supporters from all over the south. CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein looks back on the trip and the CBLDF supporters he met.  Read More…

CBLDF Condemns Arizona School Censorship

In response to an Arizona state law banning the teaching of ethnic studies courses, the Tucson Unified School District released a list of books that have been banned from the classroom. Popular textbooks, novels, and collections by revered Mexican American and Native American authors were among the titles removed from classrooms. CBLDF has joined a coalition of organizations — including the ACLU of Arizona, ABFFE, ALA’s Freedom to Read Coalition, and many more — in a joint statement decrying this censorship.  Read More…

Comics Should Be Good: Why Joining the CBLDF Matters

CBLDF Deputy Director Alex Cox and co-founder of the Comics Should Be Good blog at Comic Book Resources took a moment to explain why people should join the CBLDF on today’s CSBG blog. Head over to CBR to get the low down on CBLDF, comic book censorship, and how CBLDF protects your right to make, sell, buy, and read comics!

Vietnam Censorship Fuels Interest in Banned Comics

Early comic book censorship in the United States was fueled by fears many adults had over a burgeoning youth culture that they could not understand and that they perceived as violent. Even today, would-be censors continually — and incorrectly — argue that comic books and other media are bad for children, something that has yet to be proven by valid scientific study.

The fear of youth culture as a driver for censorship isn’t unique to the United States, as a recent AFP article over at The Raw Story makes clear. The article relates how the banning of books in Vietnam, in particular books and comics aimed at youth culture, has actually driven sales of the books rather than keeping them out of readers’ hands. Read More…

CBLDF Reveals 2012 Member Benefits!

Fight Censorship!  Celebrate Liberty!

Join the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today!

Today, the CBLDF unveiled its 2012 Membership Drive, featuring the best incentives and benefits in the free speech community, starting off with a stunning membership card by superstar creator Cliff Chiang! Channeling the classic depiction of Liberty through the influence of WPA art and comic book iconography, Chiang has created a powerful membership card that you’ll be proud to keep in your wallet. CBLDF offers membership plans for donors in every budget, each with its own premiums and benefits, and all of them are tax-deductible!

Joining the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund puts you on the front line of the fight against censorship! Your membership dollars provide the tools to fight back when comic book readers, retailers and artists are muzzled, censored, or attacked! When you become a CBLDF member, you are proclaiming that comics are important and that you are a protector of their First Amendment rights! Join now!

Membership starts at $25 per year, and every membership includes Chiang’s amazing membership card. At the $50 Supporter level, members receive a membership card, a car window decal, and a button set that includes a badge that proudly proclaims membership in the CBLDF.

The $100 Advocate members receive all of the Supporter premiums and also their choice of a CBLDF Tote Bag, featuring art by the great Sergio Aragonés; our popular “I READ BANNED COMICS” t-shirt; or a CBLDF branded water bottle, featuring the gone-but-not-forgotten Comics Code Authority emblem.

With a $250 Defender membership, donors receive the Supporter package, and their choice of TWO of the Advocate premiums. With the $500 Protector membership, members receive the entire Supporter and Advocate packages. At the Protector level, members will also have their name listed in a special “Thank You” section of the LIBERTY ANNUAL 2012, and they will receive a limited edition, full-color print of the membership card artwork, numbered and signed by artist Cliff Chiang!

The $1000 Champion membership includes everything in the other membership premium packages, plus the member’s choice of an autographed hardcover, signed on an exclusive “CBLDF Champion” bookplate, from one of the following creators:

  • WATCHMEN, signed by Dave Gibbons
  • MAUS, signed by art spiegelman
  • PREACHER Deluxe Edition vol. 1, signed by Garth Ennis
  • Y THE LAST MAN Deluxe Edition vol. 1, signed by Brian K. Vaughan
  • THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, signed by Neil Gaiman

Of course, the number one benefit of membership is peace of mind. You’ll know that there’s someone at the other end of the phone when a retailer gets busted or an artist is brought up on charges for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Become a member of the CBLDF today, and help protect comics in 2012 and beyond!

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.

Around the Tubes

So…. yesterday was kind of awesome…. I want to start today’s news by thanking the other comic book websites that went dark and the creators that spoke out.  For those that didn’t I can only think of that speech from The People vs. Larry Flynt where he condemns the media for his having to go to jail to defend their rights.

The fight over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) is not over, there’s still a long way to go.  I hope you’ll continue your support and we’ll see even more.

For those who were so patient with a lack of news yesterday, here’s what you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

CBLDF – Attempt to Ban Mohammad Cartoon Sparks Global Debate – Support free speech!

Bleeding Cool – 4Chan Liefeldizes The New 52 – So fantastic.


Around the Tubes Reviews:

EE Times – Locke & Key

CBR – Prophet #21

Seattle PI – Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising

Complex – Review: Scott Snyder’s “Batman” Continues The Hottest Storyline In Comics


Full Disclosure – Brett consults for the Entertainment Consumers Association

Around the Tubes

We had the biggest comic book publisher so far come out against SOPA and many more individuals added their name to the list that oppose.  While you ponder adding your name, here’s the news you might have missed.


GamePolitics – Riot Games Comes Out Against SOPA and PIPA

Mashable – Prime-Time TV Network News Ignoring SOPA


Around the Blogs:

Marvel – Marvel & IAVA Provide Free Comics for VeteransGood for Marvel. Still doesn’t make up for the evil shit.

The ComiChron – 2000 for 2011: Top 1000 Comics and Top 1000 Trades, with Comichron estimates – Interesting stats.

CBLDF – Study Questions Supreme Court’s Protection of the First Amendment – I’m in a fighting mood.  Bring it.


Around the Tubes Reviews:

Comicsgirl – Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1

CBR – Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1

MTV Geek – Peanuts #1

Geeks of Doom – Scarlet Spider #1

Paste Magazine – Comic Book & Graphic Novel Round-Up (1/11/12)

Complex – Review: The 300th Issue Of “Wolverine” Kicks Off One Of 2012’s Biggest Stories

Fantagraphics Books Comes Out Against #SOPA

We’ve been fighting the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act for months now, but unfortunately the chorus of others in the comic book industry vocally opposed have been few (but growing).

Yesterday I received the below and can proudly say that Fantagraphics Books has added their voice to those opposed to the legislation making them the largest publisher to do so.  Below is a statement from their President:

“We are opposed to SOPA on the grounds that it gives the state too much unilateral authority to censor or exercise its power so that the result is effectively censorship once removed. It doesn’t provide sufficient safeguards to mitigate our concern over potential harm to free speech. Fantagraphics Books has been traditionally a proponent of 1st Amendment rights —we have vigorously fought four private lawsuits that have attempted to violate those rights— and although we also believe in intellectual property rights, we believe this bill is deleterious to the former and too draconian for the latter.” – Gary Groth, President of Fantagraphics Books

We applaud their stance and willingness to speak out and hope this encourages others in the comic book industry to join the growing vocal publishers, creators and bloggers opposed to this trampling on free speech.  We also encourage everyone to show their support for Fantagraphics by Tweeting thanks and more importantly buy their books!

CBLDF News Amazing Arizona Con Starts Today! Spirit of Giving Recap!

CBLDF Kicks Off The Convention Year
At Amazing Arizona Comic Con!

The Amazing Arizona Comic Convention debuted to huge crowds last year, and it looks to be even bigger in 2012, with superstar guests Robert Kirkman, Rob Leifeld, Greg Capullo, Scott Lobdell, and more! This year, CBLDF will be part of the first comic convention of 2012, exhibiting at booth #123!

The Amazing Arizona Comic Con takes place January 6 – 8, at the Mesa Convention Center (263 N. Center Street, Mesa, AZ 85211). Come on out and use get the gifts you really want and support Free Speech from the CBLDF! We’ve got a great array of grab bags, signed comics, signed graphic novels, and more! Get the best collectibles for a great cause from CBLDF at booth #123 during Amazing Arizona Comic Con, this weekend in Mesa, Arizona!

Over $75,000 For CBLDF!

Last holiday season, The Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation sponsored The Spirit of Giving, a holiday gift drive encouraging membership and donations to CBLDF with incentives that included signed and personalized graphic novels by some of the industry’s greatest creators. Over 450 donations came in over the course of the Spirit of Giving campaign, including more than 200 memberships. All told, the Spirit of Giving drive contributed to raising more than $75,000 for the CBLDF’s important First Amendment program work as we closed 2011, allowing us to pay off all of our 2011 program obligations and enter 2012 with a clean slate.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, “Everyone on the CBLDF staff and Board of Directors is extremely grateful to the holiday generosity shown by our community of supporters and the Eisner Family Foundation. We’re currently in the midst of some extremely important casework, and this surge of support insures we can enter 2012 in a positive position to perform that work. We’re thankful to everyone who contributed for their extraordinary support.”

Carl Gropper, of the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation says, “The CBLDF was important to Will Eisner and its goals are as important today as when it was founded. We must maintain our vigilance over our Constitutionally-granted rights and liberties in order to stop those who would take them away. The Foundation is fortunate to be in a position where it can continue Will Eisner’s good work.”

The CBLDF is grateful to everyone who contributed during the campaign, and to the creators who generously gave of their time and talent to support it. Very special thanks to all of the creators who contributed their time to personalize graphic novels for this program: Jason Aaron, Brian Azzarello, Chester Brown, Ed Brubaker, Dan Clowes, Evan Dorkin, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Jaime Hernandez, Jonathan Hickman, Robert Kirkman, Paul Levitz, Larry Marder, Scott McCloud, Carla Speed McNeil, Frank Miller, Terry Moore, Seth, Gail Simone, Jeff Smith, art spiegelman, Adrian Tomine, Brian K. Vaughan, and Brian Wood.

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