SDCC 2015: Everything CBLDF!

Comic-Con is almost upon us, and CBLDF is excited to once again to be part of the action! We’ll be joining thousands of comics fans from around the world, and you’ll find us at booth 1918 with exclusive premiums, informative panels, and the best party at Comic-Con, all to benefit our important work defending the right to read comics!

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from CBLDF at SDCC…


An Evening with Raina Telgemeier

July 7, 2015 • 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library

Graphic novel superstar Raina Telgemeier, the best-selling author of Smile, Sisters, and Drama, is coming to the San Diego Central Library in downtown San Diego, on Tuesday, July 7 at 6:00 PM for “An Evening With Raina,” a free event to help you get ready for Comic-Con International! Come hear her talk about her mega-popular all-ages graphic novels. Bring your questions and find out what’s next for Raina at this special event presented by Comic-Con International and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, in conjunction with the San Diego Public Library.

RainaGraphic_1Raina is a global phenomenon! Her three books, Smile, Drama, and Sisters—along with her four books based on Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-sitters Club—total a staggering 3 million copies in print, placing her at the forefront of the children’s graphic novel boom. The writer/artists just celebrated her third straight year on the New York Times Bestseller list! Her efforts to champion kids’ right to read include speaking out for Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week 2015 celebrates Young Adult books, and the rights of young readers everywhere to read fearlessly!

This popular comics creator is a special guest at Comic-Con International this year, but you don’t have to have a badge to see her in this special early appearance at the San Diego Central Library! “An Evening with Raina” is co-sponsored by Comic-Con and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, on Tuesday, July 7 at 6:00 PM in the Neil Morgan Auditorium, located at 330 Park Blvd., in downtown San Diego. Admission is free, but seating is limited for this special event. CBLDF will have books available for donations.

Our friends at the Library have set up a Facebook page for this special event. Please visit it at and let us know if you’re going to join us on Tuesday, July 7th for this very special evening!


CBLDF: Spinner Rack Revolution: The Secret History of Free Speech in Magazine Comics

July 9, 2015 • 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Room 30CDE

In the 1960s and ’70s, publishers fled from spinner racks to magazine stands to escape the bounds of the Comics Code Authority. While comic books continued to labor under the stigma of low-value, juvenile speech, the larger-format magazine comics broke out, giving artists a safe haven to openly deal with adult content, provide more horror and suspense, and be frank about sexuality. Magazines like Mad, Creepy, and Eerie paved the way for a generation of titles that included Heavy Metal, Vampirella, Epic Illustrated, 1984, and Savage Sword of Conan to break new ground for a general audience and loosen the reins on some of comics’ top creators. CBLDF deputy director Alex Cox reveals the untold history of magazine comics, reviewing the impact of publications from Warren, Marvel, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and more!

CBLDF: Why Are Diverse Books Banned?

July 9, 2015 • 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Room 30CDE

When the American Library Association released their latest annual list of the most challenged books, a disturbing trend was noted: Books that increased the diversity of what is available to readers were more likely to be challenged. What is it about diversity that seems to encourage censors? Join CBLDF and library and education professionals Candice Mack (President, Young Adult Library Services Association), Erwin Magbanua (Programming & Special Events Coordinator, San Diego Public Library), Carla Riemer (Librarian, Claremont Middle School, Oakland, California), Carol Tilley (Associate Professor, University of Illinois), and more for a discussion of why diverse books are challenged and how we can defend them. Moderated by CBLDF Editorial Director Betsy Gomez.

CBLDF Podcast Live: Banned Authors Speak Out

July 9, 2015 • 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library

Join Jeff Smith (Bone) and Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer) for an in-depth discussion of what it’s like to be the author of a banned book. CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein hosts this special live podcast celebrating Banned Books Week and examining the stakes of censorship for creators, librarians, and most of all, readers.

Web-Flyer_webCBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party

July 9, 2015 • 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Westgate Hotel (1055 Second Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101)

Kick-off Comic-Con with comics’ greatest creators at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Comic-Con Welcome Party, sponsored by Image Comics and comiXology, with a special gallery display from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab! The fun starts at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, at the Westgate Hotel, where CBLDF welcomes you to Comic-Con for a night of amazing creators, astonishing artwork, and outstanding exclusives! RSVP now:

Meet Great Creators! Every year the greatest creators in comics drop in at the CBLDF Welcome Party. Confirmed attendees so far this year include Scott Snyder, Jock, Jeff Lemire, Kieron Gillen, Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Tim Seeley, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Joshua Williamson, and dozens more who are expected to drop in over the course of the night!

Get the Exclusive Goods! The first 200 attendees will receive a free gift bag, with exclusive items from Image Comics, comiXology and CBLDF! RSVP now:

Smell Awesome at the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab/Trading Post! Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab will be debuting their Profanities series, with a selection of limited edition Expletives that will only be available at the CBLDF Welcome Party. Proceeds from every sale at the CBLDF Welcome Party benefit CBLDF!

Get First Dibs on CBLDF Exclusives! CBLDF has been working hard to put together an exclusive assortment for Comic-Con attendees! We have an all-new tote bag featuring art by the terrific Vanesa R. Del Rey (Hit); an embroidered Comic-Con souvenir patch and new CBLDF t-shirt, both designed by Brian Wood (Starve); and the CBLDF-exclusive variant of Star Trek Green Lantern from IDW Publishing and DC Comics!

Preview the Incredible Items in CBLDF’s Comic-Con Auction! Get a first look at the amazing original art up for grabs at Saturday’s CBLDF Comic-Con Auction, including pieces by Jim Lee, Kelley Jones, Jeff Smith, Matt Kindt, Gilbert Hernandez, J. Scott Campbell, Herb Trimpe, Jeffrey Brown, Greg Ruth, Ray Fawkes, Tyler Crook, and many, many more!

Get New Neil Gaiman Art From Neverwear! Neverwear has an ever-growing line of items based on the works of author Neil Gaiman and is an ardent supporter of CBLDF! Neverwear will support the Fund at the SDCC Welcome Party by premiering “Hope,” a new print by Chris Ridell, along with classic designs by David Mack, Jim Lee, Olivia, and Jouni Koponen. Proceeds from sales at the CBLDF Welcome Party benefit CBLDF!

Come support Free Speech and experience the best party at Comic-Con during the CBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party, Thursday, July 9, at the Westgate Hotel (1055 Second Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101), from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.! This party is FREE for CBLDF Members. Non-members: Suggested $10 – $20 donation at the door, please. You can RSVP here:


12:00 p.m.: Paul Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes, Dr. Fate)

1:00 p.m.: Denis Kitchen (Best of Comix Book, Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen)

4:00 p.m.: Kody Chamberlain (Punks)


CBLDF: Banned Comics

July 10, 2015 • 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Room 30CDE

It’s hard to believe that books are still banned in the United States, and yet each year hundreds of incidents are recorded. CBLDF springs to action in these cases, providing expert support for the librarians and individuals who fight back when calls to censorship arise. CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein and editorial director Betsy Gomez examine the comics that have been banned and challenged this year, showing how they fit into recent trends in comics censorship. They’ll also preview Banned Books Week 2015, celebrating Young Adult books.

CBLDF: Comics and The Real World: Using Graphic Novels as Tools of Tolerance

July 10, 2015 • 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Room 30CDE

Jimmy Gownley (The Dumbest Idea Ever, Amelia Rules!), Jonathan Hennessey (The United States Constitution, Gettysburg), Aron Steinke (The Zoo Box), Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware, Dragons Beware), Eric Kallenborn (Alan B. Shepard High School Palos Heights, IL), Cecil Castellucci (The PLAIN Janes), Matthew Holm (Babymouse), Betsy Gomez (CBLDF), Tracy Edmunds (Reading With Pictures), and moderator Meryl Jaffe, Ph.D. (Raising a Reader! How Comics and Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Learn to Read) demonstrate how graphic novels can be used to teach and empower students to feel, access and comprehend historical and cultural events, as well as more fully understand diverse figures in history and fiction and even grasp concepts in science and math. There will be lesson and reading suggestion handouts and time for Q&A.


10:00 a.m.: Matt Kindt (The Valiant, Rai, Mind MGMT, Revolver)

11:30 a.m.: Jeff Lemire (The Valiant, Essex County, Sweet Tooth)

2:30 p.m.: Fábio Moon (Daytripper, BPRD 1947, Casanova)

4:00 p.m.: Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, BPRD 1947, Casanova)


CBLDF: Comics in the Classroom: Real-World Ideas for Engaging Your Students with Comics

July 11, 2015 •  12:00pm – 1:00pm
Room 30CDE

Comics are more than just great entertainment, they’re an incredible tool for learning. Creators Cecil Castellucci (Odd Duck, The PLAIN Janes), Nathan Hale (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales), Matthew Holm (Babymouse, Squish), Matt Phelan (The Storm in the Barn, Bluffton), and Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden) and educators Rose Brock and Dr. Meryl Jaffe discuss how comics can be used to engage students in the classroom. Get real-world suggestions for ways to integrate comics in the classroom, to expand on lessons with comic-based activities, and to encourage student participation. They’ll also have lesson and reading suggestion handouts and time for Q&A. Moderated by CBLDF editorial director Betsy Gomez.

CBLDF: Comics Censorship in 2015

July 11, 2015 • 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Room 30CDE

Although free expression is seen as a basic human right, censorship is rampant in the United States and around the world. CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein and editorial director Betsy Gomez present an overview of the censorship crises facing cartoonists in 2015, from the violence and legal prosecution occurring around the globe to domestic attacks on young adult books in libraries and schools across the country. Learn how comics and books are being challenged, and what you can do to fight back.

Events for Community Engagement

July 11, 2015 • 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Shiley Special Events, San Diego Central Library

Annual events like Children’s Book Week, Star Wars Reads, and Banned Book Week are celebrated at libraries all over the country. How can graphic novels be included in these programs, and introduced to communities through them? Join this conversation with Charles Brownstein (CBLDF), Kuo-Yu Liang (Diamond), Gina Gagliano (First Second), and Kat Salazar (Image). Moderated by Eva Volin (Alameda Public Library).

CBLDF Protecting Comics in Libraries

July 11, 2015 • 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Shiley Special Events, San Diego Central Library

Comics and graphic novels are achieving more acclaim than ever, which is leading to increased demand, and unfortunately a rise in challenges. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund executive director Charles Brownstein spotlights the current landscape of graphic novel challenges and shares the organization’s most recent resources and success stories. Come share your perspectives, and learn more about how you can be a part of protecting comics.

unnamedCBLDF Live Art Auction

July 11, 2015 • 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m
Hilton Bayfront, Sapphire CD

IDW Publishing and San Diego Comic Art Gallery proudly present the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Comic-Con Art Auction on Saturday July 11 at 8:00 PM! Bid on original art by some of comics’ greatest creators, including Jim Lee, Charlie Adlard, Kelley Jones, J. Scott Campbell, Jeff Smith, Stuart Immonen, Tula Lotay, Dan Brereton, Sam Kieth, Ming Doyle, Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Matt Kindt, Gilbert Hernandez, Jeffrey Brown, Greg Ruth, Fabio Moon, John Livesay, Gabriel Ba, Tyler Crook, and dozens more! Plus, IDW is opening their vaults to provide rare, signed, or out of print items including Artist Editions and IDW Limited editions that feature Stan Lee, Kevin Eastman, Herb Trimpe, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Gerry Conway and more! All proceeds from this auction benefit the First Amendment legal work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Doors for the auction open at 7:30 PM with a viewing, cash bar, and hors d’oeurves. IDW executives, staff, and creators will be on hand to talk about upcoming projects. The auction begins at 8:00 PM. Before the auction, please visit this page to preview art — art will be added as it comes in. Please RSVP for your bidder number at

This auction is open to all – YOU DO NOT NEED A COMIC CON BADGE TO ATTEND!

If you are unavailable for the live auction, but still interested in bidding, please send a list of the pieces you are interested in with the HIGHEST donation you would be willing to bid. If the high bid on the auction floor is below your highest bid, your final bid will be 10% higher than the last highest bid on the floor.

Your bids should be delivered to Betsy Gomez ( by MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME July 10th to be eligible. You will be contacted immediately after the auction with any winning bids.


11:30 a.m.: James Asmus (Quantum & Woody)

1:00 p.m.: Michael Cho (Shoplifter)

4:00 p.m.: Scott McCloud (The Sculptor, Understanding Comics)


CBLDF: You Can’t Draw That! Live Art Jam

July 12, 2015 • 12:15pm – 1:45pm
Room 5AB

Join Michael Cho, Denis Kitchen, and special guests celebrate creative freedom by making live art before your eyes. Join the CBLDF and these great creators as they share their perspectives on censorship and make once-in-a-lifetime art to benefit the Fund’s important work. Get a chance to watch live art being created, learn about censorship, and bid to win the pieces made here to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.


11:30 a.m.: Mike Johnson (Star Trek / Green Lantern)

1:00 p.m.: Robert Venditti (X-O Manowar, Green Lantern)


Comic-Con is just around the corner, so you know what that means, right? EXCLUSIVES! CBLDF has been working hard to put together an exclusive assortment for Comic-Con attendees, and we have so many must-haves that you better walk quickly (there’s no running in the exhibit hall!) to booth 1918 when the show opens on July 8!


First, we have the most important of all items at a show like Comic Con, the almighty TOTE BAG. This bag features art by the terrific Vanesa R. Del Rey (Hit) and is perfect for stuffing full of comics!


Next is something for members only (and of course, anyone can join right on the show floor at booth 1918). It’s the CBLDF CONVENTION SURVIVAL KIT. There’s the CBLDF LOGO TOTE BAG (you will absolutely need two tote bags to survive Comic-Con!), a CBLDF PIN, a LANYARD showing your support for free speech, the urgent and vital HAND SANITIZER, and of course, a WATER BOTTLE. Stay hydrated, guys. Come on.


Next, we have a new item in our line-up: an EMBROIDERED COMIC-CON SOUVENIR PATCH. This one is going to be hot! Designed by writer/designer/storyteller Brian Wood (DMZ, Starve), this is being made in super limited quantities, so get to booth 1918 quick, or they will run out! This is not a drill!


Hey, did someone say they wanted a new t-shirt? A t-shirt designed by Brian Wood, who moonlights as an awesome CBLDF fashion designer? Well, we can take care of that for you: We are premiering the NEWEST CBLDF T-SHIRT at this show! And it looks awesome, right? This design will be on a light grey shirt, Made in the USA!


Finally, what’s Comic Con without an exclusive cover? Well this year is a big one, as two of the handsomest men in fiction collide in thhe CBLDF exclusive variant of STAR TREK GREEN LANTERN, from IDW Publishing and DC Comics! This cover is by CBLDF regular Tony Shasteen (who created this awesome t-shirt), and is EXTREMELY limited. EXTREMELY.


For the people who need more than a tote bag, we have made a limited number of CBLDF MESSENGER BAGS. This handy bag has a fully embroidered Lady Liberty as drawn for the 2015 Member Cards by the talented Michael Cho (Shoplifter)! The bag will be available to our members at a reduced donation.

Guys, do not delay! Get to Booth 1918 tout de suite upon entering the hallowed halls of Comic-Con. This stuff will not wait for you!.