International

Bill Teoh: From Comics Censor to Comics Retailer

September 16, 2014
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Bill Teoh: From Comics Censor to Comics Retailer

Bill Teoh, the 80-year-old owner of one of the few comic book stores in Singapore, took an unlikely path to that business. Before opening Comics World in 1987, Teoh was a police inspector on the censorship board that reviewed and often banned comics imported into the city-state. In a recent video from Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia,…

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Indian State Allows Pre-Emptive Arrest for Online Obscenity, Copyright Violations

August 28, 2014
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Indian State Allows Pre-Emptive Arrest for Online Obscenity, Copyright Violations

In the state of Karnataka in southern India, Minority Report has come true. Actually, the state’s so-called Goondas Act — an umbrella law covering offenses from bootlegging to gambling — has long allowed police to put habitual offenders in “preventive custody” for up to a year before they offend again. But just this month Karnataka’s…

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On the Border of Fourth Amendment Rights

August 15, 2014
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On the Border of Fourth Amendment Rights

As evidenced by the Ryan Matheson case, one of the risks we face as comics fans is the search and seizure of electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops when we cross international borders. Two recent decisions in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie seemed to offer some hope that our cell…

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In Defense of Smoking Scarecrows

August 11, 2014
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In Defense of Smoking Scarecrows

Last week, we reported on the controversy that erupted over Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Scarecrows’ Wedding, which depicts a smoking scarecrow. Donaldson and Scheffler are also the creative force behind The Gruffalo, one of the most beloved children’s series in the United Kingdom and a series that has found a significant following here…

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CBLDF Executive Director to Speak About the Comics Code at London’s Orbital Comics

August 8, 2014
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CBLDF Executive Director to Speak About the Comics Code at London’s Orbital Comics

Next week, CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein takes the fight for the freedom to read to London, where he’ll speak at the British Library on August 17. At 7:30 p.m. on August 14, he’ll join comics fans at Orbital Comics to speak about the history of the comics code. From the event page: Legacy of…

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Parents Fume Over Smoking Scarecrow

August 5, 2014
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Parents Fume Over Smoking Scarecrow

First it was Santa Claus, then Bone. Now some parents are calling for the censorship of a new book by British children’s author Julia Donaldson because it shows a scarecrow smoking a cigar. Even though The Scarecrows’ Wedding portrays smoking as a risky behavior (especially for a scarecrow), at least one Amazon reviewer said the…

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CBLDF Executive Director Takes Fight for the Right to Read to London

August 4, 2014
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CBLDF Executive Director Takes Fight for the Right to Read to London

On August 17, CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein will take CBLDF’s fight for the freedom to read on another international trip, this time to the United Kingdom for “Sex, Censorship and Sensibility” at the British Library Conference Centre in London. Held in conjunction with the COMICA, the London International Comics Festival, which takes place August…

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Singapore: Northstar’s Wedding Passes Muster Because Another Character Objects

July 31, 2014
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Singapore: Northstar’s Wedding Passes Muster Because Another Character Objects

Everyone knows by now that the wedding of gay Archie character Kevin Keller is too hot for Singapore’s Media Development Authority, which recently banned retailers from importing Archie: The Married Life 3 because it was “not in line with social norms.” But what about the other big same-sex wedding in comics, that of Northstar and…

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Partial Victory in Singapore: Two Out of Three Books Back in Libraries

July 22, 2014
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Partial Victory in Singapore: Two Out of Three Books Back in Libraries

Singapore Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim last week reversed course on the planned destruction of two children’s books that had been pulled from public library shelves, instructing the National Library Board to instead have the books restored to library collections but moved to the adult section. The two books that earned a partial reprieve…

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Russian Media Watchdog Says Avengers May Incite Violence, Cruelty

July 18, 2014
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Russian Media Watchdog Says Avengers May Incite Violence, Cruelty

A Russian government media regulator is investigating an upcoming Avengers comic as “propaganda of a cult of violence,” possibly resulting in an official warning to Swedish publisher Egmont which distributes the books in Russia. The government is particularly concerned about the character Vanguard, who bears a Soviet hammer and sickle on his chest, and his…

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