Tag Archives: customs

Help The CBLDF With Be Counted Member Drive & Artists to the Rescue Auctions!

Official Press Release

Be Counted — Join The CBLDF Today!

The comics industry’s greatest creators are standing behind the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in Be Counted, a new membership drive that seeks to raise $100,000 for the organization’s legal and education work by October 31.  In addition to the CBLDF’s current rewards for membership, the organization is offering a variety of access opportunities, including lunch with legends, such as Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Mike Mignola and Gail Simone, and professional development reviews from top editorial experts, including Scott Allie, Dan DiDio, and Bob Schreck.  The Be Counted membership drive starts today and will continue through October 31, with new incentives added frequently.

Contributions to CBLDF made during this campaign will help the CBLDF in the following ways:

Legal Action

This September, the CBLDF must contribute 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.


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 visit www.cbldf.org to learn about all of the rewards offered in this important campaign, and to Be Counted by joining the Fund!


With the Canada Customs Case drawing closer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues its vital fundraising auctions with help from artists across the wide spectrum of the comic book industry. In an effort to raise over $100,000 by the end of October, artist supporters and Fund members have truly stepped up and provided benefit material ranging from pin-ups to original pages to covers, all in support of defending a comic fan from the threat of prison and hopefully setting a precedent that allows creators, retailers, publishers, fans alike to travel freely across the border without fear of persecution or harassment.

Artists such as Tony Harris, Camilla d’Errico, Cully Hamner, and Bernie Wrightson have all donated art, generating over $2,000 in one week. With many more cartoonists generously donating original works, the Artists to the Rescue benefit campaign continues into Fall with an exciting new round of gorgeous pieces of comic book art.

The current round of auctions includes a wide variety of amazing works, most notably several incredible pieces from the private collection of Stuart and Kathryn Immonen. This set includes a page from the classic Epic Comics adaptation of FAFHRD AND THE GREY MOUSER by modern master Mike Mignola, as inked by the late Al Williamson. Also included is a Mignola character study of Dr. Strange’s companion Wong, from the Marvel Graphic Novel classic DOCTOR STRANGE & DOCTOR DOOM: TRIUMPH AND TORMENT. These pieces represent a portion of the extremely generous donation from the Immonen’s collection, with more to be auctioned in the coming weeks!

Around the Tubes

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Yay, it’s a long weekend!  Here’s some news to keep you entertained this Saturday.

Around the Blogs:

Mashable – Green Lantern Game Tests Teens Via Motion Capture [PICS]Pretty interesting way to pitch milk and the Green Lantern.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – Anime North 2011 Panel Discusses Recents Attacks on Manga at Canadian BorderI am so nervous to go to shows across the border now…

MovieWeb – The Avengers Has Thanos as a Second Villain?Bet you there’s a lot of easter eggs too.  In other news, the sky is blue.

Kotaku – Week in Comics: Mega Man vs. Wolverine vs. Spider-Man vs. BatmanKotaku checks out this week’s releases.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Comic Book Resources – Detective Comics #877

Comic Book Resources – Planet of the Apes #2

CBLDFNews Molly Crabapple Donates Massive Mural! Update to Canadian Seizure Crisis & More!

Official Press Release

CBLDF Auctions Massive Molly Crabapple Original

Molly Crabapple wanted to make a huge statement about her support for Free Speech. With attacks on comics on the rise and border searches increasing, Crabapple saw a need to do her part. So, she created a monstrous masterpiece to benefit CBLDF a masterpiece that you can bid on!

Created during the Stumptown Comics Festival and measuring in at 8 feet high and 7 feet wide, every inch of the piece is covered with Crabapple’s intricate pen work. A true participatory performance piece, it incorporates suggestions from convention attendees, from tentacles to bottles of scotch. As staggering as the dimensions of piece are, it is all the more stunning for the amount of detail Crabapple incorporated into it.

“I love the energy of creating something massive surrounded by a crowd,” says Crabapple, “and to feed off that energy and draw something that I love. It was an honor to make an art monster for CBLDF.”

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein adds, “As the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, Molly has been an adamant supporter of Free Speech and CBLDF. She’s an established name in the fine art world and a rising star in comics. It’s a privilege to have her support for CBLDF, and the piece she created is nothing short of spectacular.”

The auction for this artistic tour de force is live now. Bids can be placed online here.

Tom Neely & Dylan Williams Speak Out On Their Customs Seizure Experience

Artist Tom Neely and publisher Dylan Williams were stopped and searched by Canada Customs on their way to the Toronto Comics Art Festival. Customs officers seized copies of two items they were bringing to the festival, Black Eye, an anthology of comics Neely contributed to, and Young Lions, a graphic novel by Blaise Larmee. The CBLDF caught up with Neely & Williams over email when they returned to the United States to learn more details about their ordeal. Full Story

Larry Marder’s CBLDF Liberty Cards Diary #1

CBLDF President Larry Marder begins a series of blogs taking you behind the scenes of the CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards with a first hand diary of his experiences putting the set together! Today he shows off how the set’s sketch cards came to be, and takes you with him as he visits Rob Liefeld & Scott McCloud to get them embellishing the cards!  These diaries will appear every Tuesday and Thursday in May!

Plus, have you been keeping up on our volunteer & supporter profile series The Good Fighters?  Here are some terrific interviews you may have missed:

The Good Fighters: Jeffrey Brown

The Good Fighters: Darick Robertson

The Good Fighters: Terry Moore

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It’s a new week and there was definitely some interesting news when it came to comics yesterday.  While you were reading your work email that built up over the weekend, here’s the news you might have missed.  And remember, it’s Tuesaday so head over to Twitter and discuss #comicmarket with others who love comic books.

Around the Blogs:

Publishers Weekly – Digital Graphic Novel on CIA’s 1953 Iran CoupThis is definitely on the “to read” list.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – How to Keep Customs From Seizing Your ComicsI’m also going with, don’t take comic books across the border.

The Beat – Comic-Con finally gets its SlamDance: TR!CKSTERCrossing my fingers I get accepted as “press.”

Bleeding Cool – Bryan Hitch Teases Creator Owned Comic For 2012It’ll be ever more interesting to see how creator owned plays out with the major publishers.

Kotaku – Batman Goes Multiplayer First-Person Shooter with Gotham City ImpostorsAnother comic book related video game to look forward to.

Kotaku – Before Playing Gotham City Impostors Read Batman: ImpostorsDC’s knocking it out of the park when it comes to comic books that tie into video game releases.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

The Comics Journal – Stigmata

Kuriousity –Twilight the Graphic Novel (Vol. 01)

Comics Seized at US/Canadian Border

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The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund warned about it, but The Comics Journal is reporting that Rotland Press + Comic Work”s Black Eye anthology was confiscated at the US/Canadian border.  Tom Neely was traveling to TCAF this weekend and when he crossed the border the copies of Black Eye he had were grabbed due to the fact they’re “obscene” by customs.

According to Neely:

… They took ‘em. I tried to get them to just ship them back to me at home, but they said they were required to send it to Ottawa for review… if they found the material to be ‘obscene’ they would take ‘further action.’ I asked what ‘further action’ meant and he said they would just destroy them. Or there is a chance they might ship them back to me.

It was the page of Onsmith’s gags that they first saw… I tried to tell them that it was ‘parody’ and ‘humor’ and the rest of the book had essays on the history of dark humor… the customs guy was really cool and understanding, but he said he just couldn’t let them through. I just hope ‘further action’ doesn’t involve being arrested the next time I try to cross the border.

This news absolutely makes me think twice about crossing the border to events such as Fan Expo.

CBLDF Issues Advisory On Border Searches & Comics

Official Press Release

CBLDF Issues Advisory On Border Searches & Comics

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today published the advisory document “Legal Hazards of Crossing International Borders with Comic Book Art.” The advisory was created in response to an increasing number of reports from travelers who have been stopped, searched, and/or detained by customs agents because of comic book art they carried in print and electronic forms. CBLDF legal counsel Robert Corn-Revere prepared the advisory for the Fund’s constituents and members.

“Most people do not know that their constitutional rights are not guaranteed, even from U.S. Customs agents, when they cross international borders,” Corn-Revere said. “Their books, papers, laptop computers, and even cell phones are subject to routine search and possible seizure by the government, even without any suspicion of criminal activity. This is important to know in an age when many people carry with them a great deal of highly personal information in electronic form.”

The CBLDF’s advisory shines light on Immigrations and Customs Enforcement policies pertaining to the search of information, and also explains how border searches lack traditional legal protections otherwise afforded to speech. Finally, the document offers suggestions for avoiding intrusive border searches and protecting the safety of your information.

The CBLDF Advisory is available here as a Word document, and here as a PDF file.

About the CBLDF

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit them online at www.cbldf.org.