In 1997 — in spite of aid from CBLDF — Mike Diana became the first American artist to be convicted of obscenity in the United States. Diana is the controversial creator of the zine Boiled Angel, and his work contains graphic and often shocking depictions of society’s most serious problems: child abuse, date rape, and religious corruption.
Richardson Magazine recently interviewed Diana about his prosecution, conviction, and subsequent punishment. Diana describes his experience and how CBLDF got involved:
The first time I showed up to court to enter my plea I was mobbed with TV and radio reporters as well as two groups of concerned Christian citizens with protest signs. I plead not guilty and then contacted the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for help. They got me a lawyer, Luke Lerot, and after much red tape and attempting and failing to get the case thrown out or moved to Tampa, where we felt we would get a better chance at a fair jury, it was time a year later to go to trial.
I was railroaded in court, the prosecution told the jury I was a suspect in the Gainsville murders even though the real killer was caught and had plead guilty just days before my trial started. They claimed that the art in Boiled Angel was made for killers and would turn people who read it into killers…
You can read the full interview here. (Note: The article contains NSFW images.)