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The Spirit of Giving – Get The Best Holiday Gifts When You Support CBLDF!

Celebrate The Spirit of Giving this holiday season by getting once-in-a-lifetime presents for the fans in your life in support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! When you do, The Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation will make a contribution to the CBLDF for every donation and membership placed during this campaign!

CBLDF is offering the best presents in comics, including graphic novels personalized to the fan in your life by icons including Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Frank Miller, Dan Clowes, Robert Kirkman, Dave Gibbons, and many more. Plus you’ll get an exclusive Will Eisner gift card that tells them your gift helped do good for comics!

When you support the CBLDF’s Spirit of Giving drive between now and December 16, the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation will make a contribution of $1 for every donation and gift order placed on the CBLDF’s website. In addition, they will contribute $5 for each new, renewing or gift membership made from now until December 31!

Be a hero this holiday by giving the most unique gifts that make a real difference when you support the CBLDF with the Spirit of Giving!

CBLDF Be Counted Membership Drive Closes at Midnight Tonight!

Last month, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund asked the comics community to Be Counted as members of the organization, and set a fundraising goal of $100,000 by October 31 to support their important legal and education work. Today, the Fund has raised over $77,000 of that goal, thanks to the generosity of those who heard the call to Be Counted, and the professional community supporting the campaign. Today, the CBLDF is asking anyone who hasn’t joined or renewed their membership the organization yet to sign up to protect free speech, and to take advantage of some of the unique rewards they’re offering to thank supporters during the drive!

All members signing up to Be Counted by 12 Midnight pacific time on October 31 will be able to receive signed thank yous, including the 2011 CBLDF Member Card featuring Green Lantern, and signed by Geoff Johns, with other rewards for members signing up at higher levels including signed prints from Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, and original art from Matt Wagner, Jeffrey Brown, Cliff Chiang, and more. If you’re not sure if you’re a member, you can see the current year member list here.

The Fund also has opportunities left for Lunch With Legends, including one last Neil Gaiman tea date, and lunches with Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Frank Quitely, and more. For aspiring pros, we also have professional development reviews withKaren Berger, Tom Brevoort, Dan DiDio, Gail Simone, Jennifer L. Holm & more!

If you’re not able to make a lunch date, the Fund also has some exclusive thank you drawings from Neil Gaiman, Frank Quitely, Chris Burnham, and Matthew Holm for members signing up during this drive.

The CBLDF exists because of the grassroots support of the comics community. If you value free expression, we’re asking you, right now, to please Be Counted as a member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to help us perform our important work.

Geoff Johns, Neil Gaiman & Garth Ennis Rewards For Everyone Signing Up To Be Counted!

Since launching our Be Counted membership drive, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has raised over $61,500 of our goal to raise $100,000 for our important work by October 31. We’ve gotten this far because of the generous support of comics readers, creators, and business professionals, all of whom donated their money and time to support the CBLDF’s vital mission. With days left to go, we’re asking you to help us reach our goal by making a membership contribution today.

This week, we’re thanking everyone who can support the CBLDF by offering signed incentives for supporters who can join at our $25, $50, and $100 levels, in addition to the terrific opportunities for original art and Lunch With Legends for our higher level donors. From today until midnight on October 31, we’re proud to offer the following thank yous for those who sign up to Be Counted as CBLDF members:

$25 MEMBER— Members who join CBLDF at our $25 level will receive their 2011 Member Card, featuring Green Lantern and signed by Geoff Johns! This offer is good while supplies last.

$50 SUPPORTER — Members who join CBLDF at our $50 level will receive a CBLDF exclusive print of The Boys signed by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson! This offer is good while supplies last.

$100 ADVOCATE — Members who join CBLDF at our $100 level will receive a CBLDF exclusive print of In Reilig Oran, signed by Neil Gaiman and Tony Harris, as well as the signed The Boys print and the signed Green Lantern Member Card! This offer is good while supplies last.

These offers also apply to folks who can join the CBLDF at higher levels, which include rewards like Lunch With Legends such as Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, and Dave Gibbons, or professional development reviews with Scott Allie, Karen Berger, Tom Brevoort, Dan DiDio, Gail Simone, Jennifer L. Holm & more!

CBLDF Receives Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today announces that it has received the intellectual property rights to the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval in an assignment from the now-defunct Comic Magazine Association of America, which administrated the Code since the 1950s.

The Comics Code Seal comes to the CBLDF during Banned Books Week, a national celebration of the freedom to read, and just a few months following a decision in the U.S. Supreme Court where Justice Scalia cited CBLDF’s brief addressing the comics industry’s history of government scrutiny and the subsequent self-regulation the Comics Code represented. Dr. Amy Nyberg, author of Seal of Approval: The History of Comics Code has prepared a short history of the Comics Code Seal and the era of censorship it represents exclusively for CBLDF that is available now in the Resources section of cbldf.org.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, “As we reflect upon the challenges facing intellectual freedom during Banned Books Week, the Comics Code Seal is a reminder that it’s possible for an entire creative field to have those rights curtailed because of government, public, and market pressures. Fortunately, today comics are no longer constrained as they were in the days of the Code, but that’s not something we can take for granted. Banned Books Week reminds us that challenges to free speech still occur, and we must always be vigilant in fighting them.” Full Story

Celebrate Banned Books Week with the Virtual Read-Out

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!


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 at SDCC: The Roundup

Comic-Con has come and gone, and with it, another exciting week of events with CBLDF!

From the debut of new t-shirts and new Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab fragrances to CBLDF Master Sessions with some of the biggest names in the industry to our annual benefit auction, the Fund had a great week at Booth 1920, talking to supporters old and new and getting the word out about our Canada Customs Case, thanks in large part to Bonfire Agency and their new consumer ad campaign.

Read on for more photos and coverage of CBLDF’s trip to Comic-Con!

The Good Fighters: TFAW’s Andrew McIntire and Elisabeth Forsythe

To help fund its fight for Free Speech, CBLDF relies on many people, including the retailers who keep us in comic books and graphic novels. Retailers support us by becoming members, leaving a collection can on the counter, and putting on events in their stores to benefit CBLDF.

In the case of Things From Another World’s Senior Director of Retail Operations Andrew McIntire and Marketing Manager Elisabeth Forsythe, helping CBLDF has become a bit of an obsession. Three years ago, they launched an annual campaign to collect original art donations for CBLDF’s auction at Comic-Con International, helping the Fund raise thousands of dollars in the process. Each summer, they dedicate themselves to soliciting and gathering donations from comics creators around the world, making sure CBLDF has an amazing array of original art up for bid. From this art, they make a series of autograph cards that both promote the auction and CBLDF.

McIntire and Forsythe are both diehard comics fans, with a knowledge and love for the medium that few can stand up to. They’re off to a good start with this year’s auction, as you can see here, and we took a moment to talk to them about CBLDF and their perspective on Free Speech as retailers in this edition of The Good Fighters.

Please support the CBLDF’s defense of Free Speech by making a donation or becoming a member today!

CBLDF Applauds Ruling Invalidating Alaska Censorship Law!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund welcomes today’s decision to bar enforcement of an Alaska criminal statute that the Federal District Court held threatened to reduce all speech on the Internet “to only what is fit for children.” The court permanently barred enforcement of that statute because it violates First Amendment rights of free speech.

The CBLDF participated as a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by Alaska booksellers, librarians, a photographer, and other First Amendment and media organizations through the Media Coalition. Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline held that Senate Bill 222, which could have made anyone who operates a website criminally liable for posting material deemed “harmful to minors,” would have chilled free expression. “There are no reasonable technological means that enable a speaker on the Internet to ascertain the actual age of persons who access their communications,” the Court held. “Individuals who fear the possibility of a minor receiving speech intended for an adult may refrain from exercising their right to free speech at all – an unacceptable result.” [more…]

Please support the CBLDF’s defense of free speech issues like this by making a donation today!

CBLDF Looks to Canada Customs Case

Last week, CBLDF announced that we are forming a coalition to defend a new case involving an American citizen facing charges in Canada that could result in a minimum sentence of one year in prison and registering as a sex offender.

In 2010, an American citizen, computer programmer, and comic book enthusiast in his mid-20s was flying from his home in the United States to Canada to visit a friend. Upon arrival at Canadian Customs, a customs officer conducted a search of the American and his personal belongings, including his laptop, iPad, and iPhone. The customs officer discovered manga on the laptop and deemed it child pornography. Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison.

Since the announcement, more information about the case emerged in the ensuing media coverage. more

CBLDF needs your help! Please make a monetary contribution here. Find out more on the case here. If you or someone you know is traveling internationally, please read our Advisory on traveling with comics before getting on the plane.