The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is pleased to welcome Katherine Keller as the newest member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Keller joins Larry Marder, President; Milton Griepp, Vice President; Jeff Abraham, Treasurer; Dale Cendali, Secretary; Jennifer L. Holm; Paul Levitz; Andrew McIntire; Jeff Smith; and Chris Powell in overseeing the organization’s important work protecting the freedom to read.
A card-wielding CBLDF member since the late 1990s, Keller started working for University Libraries, UNLV in 1994 as a student worker and took a full time staff position in 2000. Her duties for University Libraries have included public service on the reference and circulation desks, as well as behind-the-scenes positions in technical services. Currently, she works at UNLV’s Curriculum Materials Library, which works closely with UNLV’s College of Education. Her duties for the CML include outreach and instruction about graphic novels and comics.
Katherine’s rediscovery of comics back in 1992 lead to her 1997 marriage to Ralph Mathieu, owner of Las Vegas’s award-winning Alternate Reality Comics. In 1998 it led to her helping to found Sequential Tart, an independent webzine by women who love comics and pop culture.
In 2007, when the CBLDF needed help to pay for the defense of Gordon Lee, she organized a fundraising membership drive that raised $5,000. She followed this in 2008 with another appeal that raised over $2,000 to help in the defense of Christopher Handley.
“Without the foundation provided by the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of expression, all other freedoms enumerated in the Bill Of Rights crumble, for it is the bedrock upon which they rest,” Keller says. “I joined the CBLDF because I saw a real need for comics to have a ‘superhero’ to protect them, a need rooted in the wrongheaded idea that only certain kinds of stories could or should be told in comics. The CBLDF’s swift, vigorous, and thorough defense of creators’, retailers’, and publishers’ First Amendment rights has always impressed me. It was an honor to write that first check.”
Of her new position on the Board of Directors, Keller comments, “Given the experience and expertise of the current Board, I am both humbled and excited about being able to bring what I know about comics retailing, libraries, and education to such a group. New channels for publication and dissemination of information are bringing great changes to every aspect of All Things Comics, and I look forward to being a part of the CBLDF’s continued growth and advocacy in response to this evolution.”
In addition to the CBLDF’s board, Katherine is currently on the steering committee for the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival, an event put on through the Clark County Library District as part of their effort to promote reading and literacy in Southern Nevada. She is also interested in transmedia and transformative works, and in addition to being invited by Henry Jenkins to appear UCLA as part of a panel of transmedia and comics, she is also a supporter of the Organization for Transformative Works.
About Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
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. CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals. www.cbldf.org