Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is launching an all new Summer Reading Challenge to encourage a diverse and continuous reading habit through graphic novels and comic books! Are you up for the challenge? Join the CBLDF Summer Reading Challenge and read a new graphic novel each week this summer!
The Coronavirus crisis impacts all of us. At CBLDF, we’re here to serve the community, so this week we’re sharing resources that can help you cope with the challenges we’re all facing. We have created new tools, including a comprehensive state-by-state clearinghouse resource for f ...
She Changed Comics: Name Your Price eBook & Free Lessons For Remote Learning
Celebrate Women’s History Month with She Changed Comics, the untold story of the women who changed free expression in comics. To help provide for our community, CBLDF is making the digital edition of She Changed Comics pay what you want ...
CBLDF is committed to helping parents, educators, and students turn challenges into triumphs in remote learning situations. Check out all the free resources we have for you to help keep your kids interested and learning, including lesson plans and discussion guides for more than 50 graphic novels! ...
Comic book retailers are the foundation of the comic book industry as we know it. They serve as beacons of light in increasingly troubled times, hubs in their communities where people can find the stories that they need. CBLDF is working to do whatever we...
Support CBLDF With (Almost) Everything You Buy Online!
There’s an easy way to fight for free expression with everything you buy online: designate CBLDF for your Amazon Smile donations! When you shop at smile.amazon.com, a nonprofit of your choosing will get a portion of the proceeds,...
Remote Retailing: Connecting with Your Customer Online The COVID-19 Crisis is causing massive disruptions to the way retail stores conduct business. With the need for social distancing and an influx of mandatory business shut-downs, retailers are now required to find innovative ways to...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium. Our work takes us into courtrooms, classrooms, conventions and libraries all over the United States where we provide legal aid, education, and advocacy to protect th ...
The CBLDF is excited to be attending Baltimore Comic Con! From August 20 – 21, you can find us at booth 1404 with a full array of great donation premiums and opportunities to support Free Speech! Come by and say hello, learn about our current case work, and check out some of our new exclusives!
We will have new t-shirts from John Cassaday and Matt Wagner and a new version of the hugely popular “I READ BANNED COMICS” t-shirt. Our kid’s section features great new premiums, such as signed copies of Raina Telgemeier’s Eisner-winning memoir Smile and the smash hits Babymouse and Squish by Jennifer and Matt Holm.
We will also have the two newest benefit fragrances from Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, La Mano Del Destino and El Nuevo Puritano, as well as an accompanying print by graphic designer, writer, and artist J. Gonzo! All this, plus an assortment of signed books, donated by publishers and creators, all of whom are helping us fight for Free Expression.
A comics fan is facing jail time, and CBLDF needs your help now! Show your support for CBLDF and Free Speech by visiting us at booth 1404 during Baltimore Comic-Con, August 20-21!
The new Conan movie hits theaters today, and you can show your support for both your favorite barbarian and CBLDF!
CBLDF is delighted to offer an array of Conan items to coincide with the release of the new movie. Up for grabs in the CBLDF online donation center are two gorgeous prints: one by Transmetropolitan and The Boys artist Darick Robertson and the other by legendary illustrator and Marvel Zombies artist Arthur Suydam!
Legendary Cartoonist Frank Miller has been a staunch supporter of the CBLDF since the organization’s very beginning in 1986. As outspoken in his defense of free speech as he is talented at the drawing board, Miller has earned the Defender of Liberty Award in recognition of all his work on the CBLDF’s behalf, and he continues to support the Fund by providing exclusive signatures on his classic works, as well as donating books from his private collection.
Read on to find out more about exclusive Frank Miller items available only from CBLDF!
Bob Schreck, Editor in Chief for the comics division of Legendary Enterntainment, took a moment to talk to Alex Zalben at MTV Geek about his experience editing CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011, which hits shelves on October 12. MTV Geek also has an exclusive sneak peak at the Grendel pages from the issue.
Schreck sums up the Liberty Annual for Zalben:
The Liberty Annual is designed to help raise money and awareness every year by bringing great creators together to tell stories about freedom of speech. Scott Dunbier started the series in 2008, my friend Jamie Rich helmed the second edition in 2009, and Larry Marder edited the third book in 2010. Every year Eric Stephenson and the good folks at Image Comics volunteer their efforts to publish the book and Richard Starkings and JG Roshell at Comicraft do the production. It’s a great team effort.
Read on for more about Schreck’s interview with Zalben.
Banned Books Week takes place September 24 through October 1. In celebration of Banned Books Week, book lovers around the country are encouraged to make a YouTube video of themselves reading a banned book. From the School Library Journal:
Librarians, bookstores, and others celebrating the freedom to read from September 21 to October 1 are encouraged to take part in this year’s Virtual Read-Out on YouTube. The criteria are simple: create a video that’s less than two minutes long of anyone reading a book that’s been banned. If you choose to talk about a personal experience battling censorship, then feel free to extend the video to three minutes.
Comic books are often challenged in libraries, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a sponsor of Banned Books Week. Imagine your library without graphic novels such as Craig Thompson’s Blankets, Jeff Smith’s Bone, or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home — CBLDF helped protect these books and more when they were challenged. Now, you can film yourself reading these books to celebrate Banned Books Week!
Find out more about the Virtual Read-Out and Banned Books Week here.
Celebrate your right to read and support CBLDF’s defense of free speech by making a donation or becoming a member today!
Writing exclusively for the CBLDF, Yuricon founder Erica Friedman discusses the CBLDF’s important efforts against Canada Customs.
There is a gap here, in between actions and words, in between discussion of freedom of expression and actual freedom of expression. It is not a small gap – it is a tiger pit. It is a gap that is, right this very second, affecting all of us in the manga community. The gap lies in between our stated right to express ourselves freely and recents actions of authority to strip that right from us.
This issue not a rhetorical one to me. I am about to leave the country to attend a comic event called Girls Love Fest. It is focused entirely on comics with lesbian themes. This is the genre that I have worked on promoting for more than a decade – and for the first time in my life, I am not sure that I can purchase these comics and bring them home with me. Because I cannot be sure that a reasonable person would understand that the comic of two cute girls holding hands, saying they like each other and kissing is not offensive. I cannot presume that the people hired to “protect” us are reasonable at all. Why should they be? These people have been given imprimatur to be unreasonable and suspicious. I want to support these artists, and share their work…but I may not be able to. I certainly have to look at each book more critically and think “what would TSA make of this?”
Writing on his Daily Kos community blog, Bruce McFarling makes a passionate case about the CBLDF’s fight against Canada Customs.
Some things I can write, some things I cannot. My outrage at the obscenity of these Customs Officials using child pornography laws as an excuse to try to throw a comic book reader into jail because they do not like the drawings on his laptop and/or ipod and/or ebook reader … that’s not something I think I can express.
And this blurring of boundaries by authorities to steal the authority to suppress what they have no reasonable right to suppress … all that a Customs Officer has to do to suppress any comic book that they disapprove of for being too sexually explicit is to decide that one or more of the individuals protrayed is underage. Pity the poor fool that has bought some digital copies of classic R. Crumb out of sixties and seventies nostalgia.
Outspoken CBLDF board member and First Amendment champion Neil Gaiman believes in the First Amendment so strongly that he’s giving you the shirt off his back when you make a contribution of $50 or more to the CBLDF!
The CBLDF is proud to offer a limited selection of signed t-shirts from Neil Gaiman’s personal wardrobe, a most unique thank you for your support of the CBLDF’s First Amendment legal work!
Each signed t-shirt is straight from Neil’s own collection, and will be chosen at random in the size of your choice, while supplies last.
This donation will help fund the defense of Free Speech, and you can own a unique piece of memorabilia from one of the most beloved creators in contemporary culture!
Support CBLDF With The Industry’s Greatest Creators in CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 from Image Comics!
United We Stand Against Censorship! That’s the message from Image Comics, over two dozen of the industry’s greatest creators, and our friends at DC Comics and Marvel Comics, who have all banded together to deliver the greatest CBLDF benefit comic yet — CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011!
Famed comics editor Bob Schreck, Editor-in-Chief of Legendary Comics, and Assistant Editor Greg Tumbarello view censorship as the ultimate form of bullying and have gathered an all-star team of comics creators to tell powerful stories that take a stand against censorship. CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 comprises 48 powerful pages of all new stories and art. The proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the ever-important First Amendment work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
CBLDF debuted a number of new shirts during Comic-Con, including all new shirts from Matt Wagner and John Cassady and new colors and women’s sizes for CBLDF’s popular “I Read Banned Comics” shirt! If you missed us at Comic-Con, you can now get these shirts online!
Finally, CBLDF’s I Read Banned Comics shirt now comes in yellow on black in both men’s and women’s sizes. You can also get the shirt in blue on white in women’s sizes. The original shirt is available here.
These shirts are sure to move fast, so get yours now!
CBLDF, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and J. Gonzo scored a K.O. with their epic tag team debut of LA MANO DEL DESTINO and EL NUEVO PURITANO during Comic-Con International. If you missed us at Comic-Con, you can still jump in the ring: These CBLDF-exclusive scents are now available online!
The wicked wrath of moral panic: unmoving, rigid oak, dry leather, tonka, gunpowder tea, and pious olibanum with a core of perverse and furtive vanilla bean, bay leaf, clove bud, and lime.
You can purchase each fragrance individually, here and here, or you can get them as a set. The set includes a gorgeous, limited-edition full-color print from J. Gonzo, inspired by his new 6-issue comic series La Mano del Destino. Help take censorship to the mat by picking up these CBLDF exclusive scents and print today!
Dozens of creators have contributed bonus cards, including autograph cards and sketch cards, to the series! Cryptozoic has been keeping a running tally of the creators who’ve lent their talents, and you can find the latest updates here.
Bleeding Cool has posted audio and video for several panels from Comic-Con International. Among them is a recording of CBLDF: 25 Years of Protecting Creativity, which took place on Saturday, July 23, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm in Room 9. The panel description:
When the CBLDF was established in 1986 it was to defend a retailer who faced jail time for selling mature comics to an adult reader, because the common belief was that comics were for kids. Today, comics are a widely respected literary form, and they got there in part thanks to the Fund’s 25 years of protecting the industry’s creativity in court. Come learn how the CBLDF has stood up for comics in this informative presentation of their history, and look ahead towards the issues facing readers today.
Moderated by CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein, the panel offered a comprehensive history of comic book censorship and CBLDF’s work to prevent it. You can listen to the entire panel here.
John Hogan with Graphic Novel Reporter recently took time to speak to CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein about CBLDF and how it’s mission has evolved over the last 25 years.
In addition to getting the latest details on CBLDF’s Canada Customs Case, Hogan asked about the specific challenges comics face. Brownstein succinctly described how the focus of CBLDF’s efforts has changed from protecting small retailers to protecting collectors themselves:
The challenges are always changing. When the CBLDF started, our work was most urgently needed to protect small comic book stores from prosecutions by local authorities because of mature readers comics they sold to adults. In the ’90s, our work shifted to help artists who were being prosecuted by authorities. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, the pendulum shifted back to helping retailers, and at the same time fighting against laws that targeted the internet and that would have made it impossible for retailers to display “harmful to minors” material—work protected for adults, but nebulously illegal for minors because of nudity and sexual content. Now we are seeing an increasing surge of prosecutorial efforts directed at readers for the comics they own and on their digital devices.