This holiday season, The Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation is encouraging everyone who believes in the CBLDF’s important work protecting the freedom to read comics to become a member or give a gift membership in the organization. When you do, they will contribute $10 for each new membership and $5 for every renewing membership made from now until December 31!
Every member of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a vital contributor to our efforts to protect the First Amendment. Your member dollars directly provide the support we need to offer expert legal defense, education, and advocacy for comics and the growing community of individuals engaging with them. Membership in the CBLDF costs as little as $25 a year, and are tax-deductible in the year given.
At each level, CBLDF offers handsome thank you gifts for your membership, including a membership card by Cliff Chiang for all donors, as well as t-shirts, tote bags, prints, button sets and other thank yous at other levels. In addition to the CBLDF’s regular selection of thank you gifts, if you join or give a gift membership between now and December 31, we will send you, or the recipient of your gift a special edition vinyl sticker set featuring five of the CBLDF’s most popular images: Cliff Chiang’s logo; the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval; Manga Is Not A Crime; I Read Banned Comics; and Michael Kupperman’s “Ghost of Wertham” appearing by popular demand as CBLDF merchandise for the first time. With every gift membership, we will also send an exclusive card featuring Will Eisner’s The Spirit that tells them your gift helped do good for comics!
Carl Gropper of the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation says, “The CBLDF is as important today as when it was founded over 25 years ago. It was always important to Will Eisner, and the Foundation is thrilled to be able to continue to help. We must maintain our vigilance over our rights and liberties and stop those who would try to take them away for any reason. Please consider a membership or renewing your membership during the holiday season.”
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT GIFT MEMBERSHIPS
In the memo section of the checkout area, please specify “This is a Gift” and any short message you would like on the gift card. Please ensure the shipping address matches the address of the person you are sending the gift membership to.
To ensure timely holiday delivery, we must receive your gift membership order by December 12. If you have questions about whether a member kit will reach you in time for a specific day, please email Alex Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org
International donors, please note, we are happy to ship anywhere in the world, but due to extended international shipping times and potential customs delays beyond our control, we cannot guarantee these items will arrive for Christmas delivery.
Here’s How Your Donation Will Be Used
Expert Legal Defense: When a First Amendment emergency becomes a criminal case, CBLDF springs to action. Thanks to our efforts, earlier this year Canadian authorities dropped all criminal charges in the case of Ryan Matheson, an American citizen who was wrongfully accused at the U.S. / Canadian border of importing child pornography on his laptop, when in fact, what he had on his computer was humor and fantasy manga. CBLDF provided substantive support in the form of legal resources and expert witnesses. We also contributed $30,000 to Ryan’s legal fees, and we are currently working to pay off the remaining $34,000 in legal defense costs. Ryan appeared at NYCC to tell his story. You can read his words or listen to a recording of the panel to learn how CBLDF members made a difference in his life here.
Preventative Legal Action: The CBLDF is most successful when you don’t hear about our work. That’s because our powerful legal team is working to defuse First Amendment emergencies at the first sign of trouble. For instance, this summer, we were successful in ending an investigation involving a comics reader in Idaho who was turned into police by an intimate partner. That partner maliciously alleged that the comics this reader owned were child pornography and obscene. They weren’t. Our lawyers asserted that truth and made the case go away before it went to court. CBLDF’s expert legal team is available at a moment’s notice to respond to First Amendment emergencies like these thanks to the monetary support of our members.
Proactive Library Support: Comics are an important, and often misunderstood facet of 21st Century libraries, making them the target of frequent challenges. CBLDF stands up for the freedom to read when these challenges happen. Most recently, we sent a letter of support to Bill Ptacek, a Seattle area library director commending the library for standing up for the intellectual freedom of its patrons in the face of an attack in the media for offering manga in the library’s adult collection. In September we spoke out against the ban of the graphic novel SideScrollers in Connecticut, and published dozens of resources as part of our sponsorship of Banned Books Week. Efforts to ban specific comics titles keep happening and constant vigilance is necessary to keep them accessible to the public. CBLDF members make it possible for us to do that work.
Commitment to Education: The modern era is bringing more readers to comics from more places than ever, but it’s also bringing new threats. That’s why CBLDF is committed to providing a growing education program that elevates awareness of the rights that the people who read, circulate, and make comics are guaranteed by the First Amendment, and how those rights are endangered. We do this by delivering presentations to lawyers, librarians, students and readers all over the United States. We also maintain a website that strives to be the internet’s best resource for information about comics censorship. CBLDF.org maintains a daily news blog and a rich and growing resources section, with case studies on Banned Comics, Case Files that include a growing library of original court documents, rich historical sections on Comics Censorship History, the Comics Code, and manga censorship, and much more.