Category: News Blog

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CBLDF’s Liberty Annual NYCC Variant Hits!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is proud to offer a special NYCC variant cover of the Liberty Annual 2010! Boasting work by some of the best creators in the industry, all proceeds from the Liberty Annual benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! This cover, limited to just 1,500 copies, features full color art by the WALKING DEAD’s Charlie Adlard, and will be available from the CBLDF at the con, but until Sunday you can preorder it here!

ComicsAlliance: Why Video Game Censorship Matters to Comics

Over at ComicsAlliance, David Brothers writes a compelling analysis of the issues at stake in Schwarzenegger v. EMA, and how they are critically important to comics.

This case, Schwarzenegger v. EMA, has nothing to do with comic books, so what’s up with Stan the Man and the CBLDF speaking out? Shouldn’t they be out there fighting whatever new boogieman is trying to censor comics? But while it may not be immediately apparent, by speaking out against video game censorship, Lee and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (our partner in the Monsters Project) are safeguarding the future of comics as well.

Read the full analysis here.

CBLDF & Dark Horse Cheer Free Speech Victory in Ninth Circuit!


The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Dark Horse Comics applaud a decision issued by United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that two Oregon statutes that criminalize distributing sex education and other non-obscene materials to minors are unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. The State of Oregon argued that the statutes applied only to “hardcore pornography,” but the Ninth Circuit found that they applied to much more, including Kentaro Miura’s manga “Berserk,” Judy Blume’s “Forever,” and Margaret Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale.” The plaintiffs did not challenge Oregon’s existing law making it a crime to contact a minor with the intent of having sexual contact. CBLDF and Dark Horse were among the plaintiff group challenging the statutes.

Mike Richardson, publisher of plaintiff Dark Horse comics says, “We were extremely happy to see these statutes overturned. Our Constitution’s First Amendment was intended to keep the hands of the government off the printing presses of America. Creators everywhere can breath a sigh of relief that these laws, open to interpretation and likely to be abused, have been put down.”

Full announcement and text of decision follow the jump!

ComicsAlliance & CBLDF Launch THE MONSTERS PROJECT!


ComicsAlliance is joining forces with the CBLDF for The Monsters Project, a month-long art exhibit and benefit auction showcasing the spooky, scary, and creepy best from comics brightest art stars!

Chris Haley of “Let’s Be Friends Again” got the ball rolling above with a monster-fied reinterpretation of a certain classic ’80s teen drama, and we’re issuing an open invitation to all comics artists for original art with a monster theme. Throughout October, the donated art will be featured on ComicsAlliance, auctioned online, and offered at San Francisco’s Alternative Press Expo (APE) to raise money for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The project is open to all creators, from big to small and mainstream to indie to webcomics, and a great way to have a little Halloween fun and support one of the most important causes in comics. Check out more details after the jump.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Urges Supreme Court to Reject New Restrictions on Speech in Video Game Censorship Case


Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA, urging the Supreme Court to affirm the Ninth Circuit’s decision that a California law banning the sale or rental of any video game containing violent content to minors, and requiring manufacturers to label such games, is unconstitutional.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund submits that, if allowed to stand, California’s law would reverse fundamental First Amendment principles by creating a new category of unprotected speech, diminishing the First Amendment rights of minors, and reducing First Amendment protection for new media. The CBLDF argues that the law under review is the most recent example of government improperly attempting to regulate content by using junk science, and calls upon a history of moral panics against media that includes the 1950s crusades against comics that crippled the industry and harmed the art form. The CBLDF asks the Supreme Court to deny California this attempt to roll back protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, as it and other courts have correctly done in the past.

Read on for the full release, and brief.

Yale Hosts “Superheroes in Court! Lawyers, Law and Comic Books” Exhibit

The Yale Law Library is hosting “Superheroes in Court! Lawyers, Law and Comic Books,” an exhibition of rare comics highlighting the cross section of comics and the law, in the real world and on the comics page. The exhibit is curated by Mark Zaid, a national security lawyer.

Writing about the show for the New York Times, John Schwartz highlights artifacts on display showcasing comics’ censorship challenges:

And, as with all works of literature, the comics have spawned First Amendment disputes, in this case pitting free speech against the dangers of harming young psyches with depictions of things like crime and horror. The show displays a report to the United States Senate, “Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency,” from 1955, and an American Civil Liberties Union report from the same year, “Censorship of Comic Books.”

The exhibit runs until December 16. Highlights are also on view at the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog.

THE CBLDF PRESENTS LIBERTY ANNUAL 2010

Berkeley, CA – 10 September 2010 – Image Comics and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are proud to launch the most exciting edition of their annual benefit anthology yet! THE CBLDF PRESENTS LIBERTY ANNUAL 2010 is powered by the donated time and energy of comic book luminaries to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

CBLDF’s LIBERTY ANNUAL 2010 boasts 48 incredible pages of story and art celebrating Free Expression! Previous volumes, published by Image Comics under the title CBLDF’s Liberty Comics, have so far raised more than $50,000 for the Fund.
Available Now!

Job Opportunities At CBLDF

The CBLDF is currently hiring for a new Development Manager, and has a variety of volunteer opportunities available in our New York home office, and for telecommuters. Read on to learn how you can be a part of the team that protects comics’ First Amendment rights!

CBLDF Joins Challenge To Alaska Censorship Law

CBLDF joins a coalition of organizations and local booksellers filing suit to block a broad Alaska censorship law that bans constitutionally protected speech on the Internet on topics including contraception and pregnancy, sexual health, literature, and art and also threatens retailers of books, magazines, movies and other media.

Signed in May by Governor Parnell and effective July 1, the law, Section 11.61.128 of the Alaska Statutes, imposes two severe restrictions on the distribution of constitutionally protected speech on the Internet and in book and video stores and libraries. The law could make anyone who operates a website or communicates through a listserv criminally liable for nudity or sexually related material, if the material can be considered “harmful to minors” under the law’s definition. In effect, it bans from the Internet anything that may be “harmful to minors,” including material adults have a First Amendment right to view. Also, a bookseller, video retailer, or librarian can be prosecuted if he or she is unaware that it contains nudity or sexual content and unknowingly sells, rents, or loans a book, video, magazine or other media to a minor whether online or in a brick and mortar location. Violators of either part of the law can be sentenced to up to two years in prison, must register as sex offenders and could be forced to forfeit their business.