Month: September 2011

Manga Is Not A Crime!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund are pleased to announce that the Crown has withdrawn all criminal charges in R. v. Matheson, the case previously described as the “Brandon X case,” which involved a comic book reader who faced criminal charges in Canada relating to comic books on his computer. The defendant, Ryan Matheson, a 27-year-old comic book reader, amateur artist, and computer programmer has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

The total legal costs of this case exceeded $75,000. After taking the case last summer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund contributed $20,000 to the defense, and the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund contributed $11,000. The CBLDF also participated in shaping the defense, including recruiting expert testimony for the trial. The organization is currently seeking funds to help pay off the $45,000 debt Matheson incurred as a result of his case, and to create new tools to prevent future cases. To make a contribution to these important efforts, please visit

Learn more about the shocking details of this case and how you can support the CBLDF’s efforts to fight back!

Comics College Report: Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak Talk Self-Publishing

This past Saturday, dynamic duo Fred van Lente (Action Philosophers, Incredible Hercules, Comic Book Comics) and Greg Pak (Incredible Hercules, Incredible Hulk, Vision Machine) kicked off the season’s Comics College with a two hour workshop on the secrets of self-publishing. The intimate workshop covered the relationships among creators, publishers, distributors, journalists, and retailers. Van Lente and Pak brought comics and books to hand out to attendees and shared their personal journeys to success. more


With the Canada Customs Case drawing closer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues its vital fundraising auctions with help from artists across the wide spectrum of the comic book industry. In an effort to raise over $100,000 by the end of October, artist supporters and Fund members have truly stepped up and provided benefit material ranging from pin-ups to original pages to covers, all in support of defending a comic fan from the threat of prison and hopefully setting a precedent that allows creators, retailers, publishers, fans alike to travel freely across the border without fear of persecution or harassment.

Keep reading for a look at the latest pieces up for auction, including gorgeous pieces by Mike Mignola and Charles Vess!

OUR LOVE IS REAL Auctions and Events Benefit CBLDF

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is currently raising money for an incredibly important case — a case that could potentially set a precedent that would protect comic book content crossing the border into Canada. With this urgent case on the horizon, the creators of Our Love Is Real, one of the most provocative comics of 2011, have come to the aid of the CBLDF, offering a series of exciting fund-raising events to benefit this vital case!

Keep reading for more information about the auctions and an exciting new addition to CBLDF’s Comics College!

Creators and Retailers Unite for CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 Signings

CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 hits shelves on October 12. In celebration, retailers around the world are having signings with several of the creators who contributed to the best LIBERTY ANNUAL yet!

CBLDF is delighted to have the support of retailers and creators not only for CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011, but also for UNITED AGAINST CENSORSHIP, a series of in-store signings that will take place the day the book hits store shelves! Click through to find an event near you!

First Amendment Center Comments on Doonesbury Censorship

This week, the print edition of the Chicago Tribune chose not to run Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury comic strip because it did not meet their “standards of fairness.” The strip included excerpts from Joe McGinniss’s upcoming biography of Sarah Palin, and the move by the Tribune has many decrying the silencing of satire.

First Amendment Center President Ken Paulson offered his opinion in a recent column for the First Amendment Center website.

Publishers Weekly Reports on SPX

CBLDF wasn’t the only group to have a stellar Small Press Expo — Heidi McDonald and Calvin Reid reported on the event for Publishers Weekly, noting SPX’s record-breaking attendance and great sales!

PW cited the attendance of comics superstars Chester Brown and Craig Thompson, the latter of which debuted advance copies of his new graphic novel Habibi to benefit the CBLDF, as a large part of the reason SPX was so successful this year. You can read PW’s full report, including coverage of CBLDF’s attendance at the show, here.

Larry Marder’s CBLDF Liberty Cards Diary: CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards are ON SALE NOW!

Help support free speech by picking up Cryptozoic Entertainment’s CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards, in stores NOW!

Hi, Friends of Liberty!

After a year of collaboration, preparation and production with Cryptozoic Entertainment, I finally had the finished product in my hands: factory sealed, unopened boxes of CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards.

Like any project I’ve ever worked on, there is always that nervous moment when you take the product out of its shipping case and are about to discover if everything actually came out the way it was intended.

I decided to open up five boxes and see what treasures were hidden inside.

Keep reading for pictures of the cards Larry discovered in his boxes!

HABIBI by Craig Thompson, SPX Exclusive Edition

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is proud to premiere Craig Thompson’s eagerly awaited graphic novel Habibi! Through a special arrangement with Random House, benefit preview editions of 100 signed and numbered copies of the graphic novel are available to donors who contribute $100 or more to the CBLDF. Habibi hits stores on September 20.

These exclusive editions were first available at the Small Press Expo in 2011, and come with a beautiful letterpress bookplate, designed by Mr. Thompson.

Craig Thompson says, “It’s very exciting to be able to launch HABIBI at SPX in a way that gives back to the CBLDF. I got my start in small press comics, and have always been supportive of the CBLDF. Being able to help out in this way, and to appear at the show with Habibi feels like a homecoming.”

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, HABIBI tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, circumstance, and love. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world fueled by fear and greed.

At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance; a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and the magic of storytelling.

All proceeds from these exclusive editions will immediately benefit the First Amendment legal work of the CBLDF.

Get your copy of this CBLDF exclusive edition!

SPX Raises $12,500 for CBLDF!

Last weekend the art comics world stepped up their support for CBLDF by contributing $12,500 towards our program work during SPX 2011!

Comics royalty, including Craig Thompson, Roz Chast, and Sara Varon, performed exclusive fundraisers for the Fund. Thompson premiered his new magnum opus Habibi in a special signed and numbered preview edition of 100. Varon signed her brand new graphic novel Bake Sale, and Chast made original drawings to benefit the CBLDF and the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program. The Fund also hosted the first Jeff Alexander Memorial Benefit auction, which raised $2,200. A limited number of copies of the Habibi preview edition are available now in the CBLDF Rewards Zone, along with copies of Bake Sale.