CBLDF News BE COUNTED – Geoff Johns, Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis Rewards For Everyone!

Official Press Release

Geoff Johns, Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis Rewards
For Everyone Signing Up To Be Counted!

Since launching our Be Counted membership drive, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has raised over $61,500 of our goal to raise $100,000 for our important work by October 31. We’ve gotten this far because of the generous support of comics readers, creators, and business professionals, all of whom donated their money and time to support the CBLDF’s vital mission. With days left to go, we’re asking you to help us reach our goal by making a membership contribution today.

This week, we’re thanking everyone who can support the CBLDF by offering signed incentives for supporters who can join at our $25, $50, and $100 levels, in addition to the terrific opportunities for original art and Lunch With Legends for our higher level donors. From today until midnight on October 31, we’re proud to offer the following thank yous for those who sign up to Be Counted as CBLDF members:

$25 MEMBER– Members who join CBLDF at our $25 level will receive their 2011 Member Card, featuring Green Lantern and signed by Geoff Johns! This offer is good while supplies last.

$50 SUPPORTER – Members who join CBLDF at our $50 level will receive a CBLDF exclusive print of The Boys signed by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson! This offer is good while supplies last.

$100 ADVOCATE – Members who join CBLDF at our $100 level will receive a CBLDF exclusive print of In Reilig Oran, signed by Neil Gaiman and Tony Harris, as well as the signed The Boys print and the signed Green Lantern Member Card! This offer is good while supplies last.

These offers also apply to folks who can join the CBLDF at higher levels, which include rewards like Lunch With Legends such as Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, and Dave Gibbons, or professional development reviews with Scott Allie, Karen Berger, Tom Brevoort, Dan DiDio, Gail Simone, Jennifer L. Holm and more!

Here’s how your contribution will be used:

Legal Action

This September, the CBLDF contributed the first installment of the $150,000 in legal fees needed to defend Brandon X, an American citizen facing a minimum sentence of one year in Canadian prison and registration as a sex offender because Canada Customs alleges that Japanese horror and fantasy comics on Brandon’s laptop are child pornography. His case is important because it raises important precedent questions about the artistic merit of comics and the rights of readers and artists traveling with comics on their electronic devices. The CBLDF needs your help to pay the lawyers defending this case because we seek to establish a precedent that protects comics in Canada and influences courts in the United States.

Beyond Brandon’s case, the CBLDF needs your help to ensure we are able to continue our other important program services. Your membership dollars will pay for our membership in Media Coalition, which helps us track and fight unconstitutional legislation. You will also ensure we have the resources we need to pay our monthly retainer for routine First Amendment legal work.

Education

The CBLDF continues to assist librarians and retailers when comics and graphic novels are challenged. Often this happens on a case-by-case basis, during which CBLDF staff gather defense materials for each individual incident. We currently seek funds to develop more substantial preventive tools, including joining an important anti-censorship coalition that protects the right to read.

Please Be Counted. Please join the CBLDF today!

Retailers — Be Counted In Diamond’s CBLDF Member Drive!

In this month’s Diamond Previews, Retailers and Comic Shop Owners will find the most important item they will order this year — their CBLDF Retailer Membership! Retail Members are a vital component to the ongoing work of the CBLDF, and this Thursday is the deadline to sign up your store on the Previews order form and support the Fund en masse!

With the help of the retail community, over the past year the CBLDF has supported the rights of comic stores by fighting unconstitutional laws that would have affected the sale and display of comics in Utah, Massachusetts, Alaska, and California. The CBLDF’s efforts were even cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. EMA, where the CBLDF’s brief outlining our industry’s struggle with censorship in the 1950s and beyond was included as part of the court’s decision to strike down a California law that would have given states the right to regulate violence. The CBLDF continues to keep watch and fight against laws that affect the Direct Market’s ability to do business.

Retailers that join this month will receive a number of incentive items, including variant covers of Action Comics 1, Ultimate Spider-man 160, and Liberty Annual 2011, signed by Frank Quitely, and an assortment of CBLDF branded items, such as signage, window clings, and a print set including Conan signed by Darick Robertson, In Reilig Oran signed by Neil Gaiman and Tony Harris, Echo signed by Terry Moore, and The Boys signed by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. These items and more are available as a Thank You to our retail members.

Right now the CBLDF needs help to defend a case that could affect the rights of individuals and stores everywhere. Right now a comics reader is facing a year in prison and registering as a sex offender because a Canada Customs agent unjustly accused of him of possessing child pornography because of horror and fantasy manga on his laptop. This case is important because it raises important precedent questions about the artistic merit of comics, and the right to sell adult comics to adult readers.

For twenty-five years, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has protected the rights of stores, and the rights of their customers. If you are a retailer, please help the CBLDF continue to stand up for the rights of our industry. Sign up for Retailer Membership on this month’s order form, and help us protect the First Amendment rights you depend on to do business!