In an interview with CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein, Blastr shares not only the history of the Fund and some of its most challenging cases, but the site also highlights the important educational work and publications being produced by CBLDF today. From the Liberty Annual to our newest project She Changed Comics, as Blastr notes, “No matter where they’re located, it’s clear the fund will keep fighting for the First Amendment rights of the comic book community.”
Since its founding by Denis Kitchen in 1986, CBLDF has defended comics retailers, comics creators, and stood behind the communities that see censors attempt to pull seminal and modern classics from library shelves and student’s hands. “The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund exists to protect the freedom to read comics. We perform that work through legal action, we perform that work through legislative monitoring, and we perform that work through education and advocacy,” Brownstein told Blastr.
The road to fighting for everyone’s’ First Amendment rights isn’t an easy one, but CBLDF remains dedicated to putting in the time and developing the resources so that the comics community doesn’t continue to face the blatant persecution it has historically been victim to. Moreover, as Brownstein reminds us, with the help of community members, this is a battle that everyone can fight in a more informed and educated way:
I think it’s important for your readers to know that A) if they have a problem, to call us immediately, because we have experts that can help in this, [and] B) this is still something that is out there and that law enforcement is going after, so creating better education about the value of comics and the value of manga, and that, unlike what customs agents think, manga isn’t a code word for porn, that it is simply another way of making comics, is really important.
Thank you Blastr for taking the time to talk about CBLDF’s mission and its important work! By sharing and supporting the work of the Fund we can, as Brownstein notes, “continue to create a culture of appreciation for comics value as free expression.”