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40 Years On, One Man’s Vulgarity Is Still Another’s Lyric

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Cohen v. California — a decision that still shapes how the First Amendment is interpreted and protected today.

The First Amendment Center took a moment to remember the case, which centered on one man’s First Amendment right to protest the Vietnam War by wearing a jacket bearing profane language. In 1968, Paul Robert Cohen was arrested in California for disturbing the peace by offensive conduct. Cohen’s conviction was ultimately overturned by a majority decision in the Supreme Court.

CBLDF Joins the Superheroes at HeroesCon!

Today finds your plucky CBLDF crew headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, for Heroes Convention 2011! For all three days — June 3-5 — you’ll find CBLDF at booth 130/132 with a cornucopia of signed premiums and amazing artists!

Executive Director Charles Brownstein and Development Manager Alex Cox will be on hand with the East Coast premiere of CBLDF’s new “I Read Banned Comics” t-shirt and the CBLDF-exclusive Frank Quitely print and postcard sets (signed, of course!).

You can also expect to find amazing artists hanging out in the CBLDF booth, making art for your donations. So far, we have Becky Cloonan (Demo, American Virgin), Brian Stelfreeze (Domino, Wednesday Comics, Gun Candy), Rebekah Isaacs (Angel & Faith, DV8, Hack/Slash), and Dean Trippe (Project: Rooftop) on deck to sketch. We’re still lining folks up, so be sure to watch this space or run by CBLDF booth 130/132 to get the latest schedule!

Don’t miss CBLDF, at booth 130/132 this weekend at HeroesCon, June 3-5, 2011, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina!

Jason “J.Gonzo” Gonzalez Has Some Serious Love for CBLDF at Phoenix Comicon

Memorial Day has come and gone, and with it, the eleventh iteration of the Phoenix Comicon. Jason Gonzalez, the creator of the lucha libre magnum opus La Mano del Destino, was on hand with his trusty CBLDF donation jar. Every fan who donated got a gorgeous sketch from Gonzalez, who sent us some pics to share.

Anime North 2011 Panel Discusses Recents Attacks on Manga at Canadian Border

If you’re in Toronto this weekend, a fan of manga and anime, and looking for some like-minded folks, Canada’s fan-run Anime North kicks off today.

CBLDF may not be there in person, but we’ll be there in spirit on Saturday, when Paul Stockton moderates a panel discussing the recent attacks against manga and comics at the Canadian border. Stockton is the co-founder of Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, which does what we do in Canada: CLLDF assists retailers, distributors, publishers and creators who run afoul of Canada’s obscenity laws.

Stockton’s panel, tentatively titled Manga Under Attack By The Law, takes place on Saturday, May 28, at 2:00 p.m. You can get more details on site at the convention or from the Anime North website.

Cryptozoic Entertainment Launches Free Digital Comics App, Benefitting CBLDF

We first teamed up with Cryptozoic Entertainment to create the CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards, with proceeds going to the Fund. We’re taking a second step in our partnership and our shared dedication to Free Speech as Cryptozoic enters the world of digital publishing. Cryptozoic has launched a comic reader with top-quality content for the iPad™, iPhone™, and iPod Touch™, with a percentage of the profits dedicated to benefit CBLDF.

To celebrate the exclusive release of Blizzard™ manga on the Cryptozoic Comics app, Cryptozoic is offering a free download of the full 160-page manga, Warcraft: Legends Vol. 1, for the first week of its release (through June 2nd)!

CBLDF Congratulates Christopher M. Finan, Recipient of the 2011 FTRF Roll of Honor Award!

CBLDF is delighted to congratulate Christopher M. Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and friend of the Fund, for winning the 2011 Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) Roll of Honor Award!

As president of ABFFE, Finan helps defend the First Amendment rights of booksellers and their customers. His activism on behalf of Free Speech is further solidified by his longtime involvement with the Media Coalition, which defends the right to produce, sell, and have access to print and digital entertainment, and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Like CBLDF, targets of Finan’s activism include the “harmful to minors” statutes that would curtail creative free expression.

Larry Marder’s CBLDF Liberty Cards Diary #3

One day towards the end of the summer of last year, not long after I was voted by the Board of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to be its next President, I was shooting the breeze with John Nee, the CEO of Cryptozoic Entertainment in Irvine, California, in his office. In walked Cory Jones, President & Chief Creative Officer, and Scott Gaeta, COO. They had an interesting proposal for CBLDF:

A set of CBLDF trading cards.

CBLDF Invites You to the 2011 BOOK EXPO AMERICA MEMBER PARTY!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is having a membership party to kick off Book Expo America, and we want you to be a part of it! Sponsored by IDW, the CBLDF Book Expo Welcome Mixer happens this Tuesday, May 24!

The CBLDF is inviting the book industry out for a welcome mixer on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Publishing professionals, booksellers, librarians, and creators are all invited to kick off BEA. The party is free for all BEA attendees and NYC comics and book professionals and retailers!

Transmetropolitan: All Around The World Now Available to Order

Transmetropolitan: All Around The World — the most hotly-anticipated art book of the year — is now available for order from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Celebrating Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s dystopian classic, all proceeds from the sale of Transmetropolitan: All Around The World benefit the First Amendment work of CBLDF. Transmetropolitan combined black humor, political scandal, and moral ambiguity to look into the mind of gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem and The City he inhabits. Aided by his embattled Editor and his two Filthy Assistants, Jerusalem blazes a path through a futuristic world of skyscrapers and technological wonders, dark alleys, and unspeakable depravity.

Transmetropolitan: All Around The World is a lovingly crafted and designed tribute to a seminal work. Contributors include:

Aaron Alexovich, Stephanie Buscema, Jim Calafiore, Stefano Caselli, Cliff Chiang, Richard C. Clark, Kevin Colden, Molly Crabapple, Camilla d’Errico, Kristian Donaldson, Ryan Dunlavey, Gary Erskine, Richard Friend, Dan Goldman, Cully Hamner, Lea Hernandez, Phil Hester, Rantz Hoseley, Matt Howarth, K Thor Jensen, Seth Kushner, Jonathan Luna, Milo Manara, John McCrea, Moritat, Dean Motter, Darick Robertson, Jimmie Robinson, Stuart Sayger, Tim Seeley, Fiona Staples, Bryan Talbot, Pete Woods, and many, many others.

Only a limited number of copies are available, so place your orders now!

Larry Marder’s CBLDF Liberty Cards Diary #2

Hello again!

As promised, we’re taking a sneak peek at more of the one-of-a-kind artist sketch cards that will be randomly inserted in packs of CBLDF LIBERTY TRADING CARDS. Today’s cards all feature artists’ individual interpretation of Matt Wagner’s GRENDEL.