Report Censorship

CBLDF is committed to supporting the comics community. Fill out our form to request assistance or report censorship today!

Report Censorship

CBLDF is committed to supporting the comics community. Fill out our form to request assistance or report censorship today!

The Good Fighters: Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown finds truth in the personal and intimate details that dominate our lives. Even his most autobiographical work is relatable, adeptly capturing the unease we all occasionally feel as we go about life.

Brown’s first book, Clumsy, defined his ability to articulate the bittersweetness and awkwardness that follows most people around, an ability that is further demonstrated in Ignatz winner I Am Going to Be Small, Unlikely, Little Things, and Funny Misshapen Body. Brown is also an established humorist and absurdist, as shown in the observational humor of Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Cats Are Weird and the superhero parody Incredible Change-Bots.

In person, Brown is quiet but articulate, a keen observer of the people and things around him — he always seems to be looking for the next drawing or story. On the eve of his Incredible Change Bots art opening at Brooklyn’s Scott Eder Gallery, Brown took a moment to talk about his motivations for supporting free expression in this installment of The Good Fighters .

CBLDF Looking for a Law Student Intern

Attention current law students! Are you looking for a way to support CBLDF and build your resume at the same time? Here’s your chance: CBLDF is looking for a law student summer intern!

The CBLDF law student summer intern will research, draft, and coordinate publication of short articles in bar journals directed at criminal law practitioners. The work is expected to take all summer and may be extended into the Fall semester. A full-time summer commitment is expected. Betsy Rosenblatt, CBLDF Advisory Chair for Outreach and Education, will supervise the internship. Supervision will be electronic, so you can work from anywhere!

The internship is offered on a volunteer basis, but we are willing to work with your school to provide school credit. Interested law students should e-mail a cover letter, resume, and writing sample on or before May 20, 2011.

CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards Are Coming This Summer!

Available For Preorder Now! This summer CBLDF and Cryptozoic Entertainment are teaming up to bring you the CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards, a 72 card set telling the story of comics censorship, with a ton of great sketch and autograph chase cards by the greatest talent in the comics industry! This month the CBLDF will be showcasing spoilers and highlights from this exciting card set every Tuesday and Thursday, but today we hit the basics.

What Are The CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards?

This trading card set showcases the legal struggles comics have fought, from the historic 1950s Senate Subcommittee hearings and the 1970s conviction of Zap Comix to the modern day! This base set brings home the stories of the CBLDF’s battles. Comics retailers fighting for their lives against local authorities; artists being harassed by mammoth corporations; readers being attacked by the federal government — the Liberty Cards show the price of Free Speech!

In addition to the base set, special hand drawn sketch cards and autograph cards by some of the top talent in the comic book world will be featured! Erik Larsen, Charlie Adlard, Rob Liefeld, Frank Quitely and Terry Moore are just a few artists who will be doing sketch cards. Plus, autographs can be found from such names as Geoff Johns, Neil Gaiman, Jeff Smith, Gail Simone and Robert Kirkman.

ALL proceeds from this set benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Ask Your Retailer To Preorder Yours Now!

Check back Thursday for a first look inside the set!

Release Date: Summer 2011
Packs: 5 cards per pack; 24 packs per box
MSRP: $3.50 pack
Base set: 72 Cards
Chase Sets: Two 9-card chase sets
Inserts: Autographs and Sketch Cards

CBLDF Auctions Neil the Pencil-Necked Weasel

Legislatures across the country are cutting budgets, and often one of the first targets of these cost-cutting measures is arts programs. A politician in Minnesota recently made these attacks personal, targeting CBLDF Board Member, Newbery Medal winner, and best selling and critically acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, calling him a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

The money in question is a fee Gaiman received from Minnesota’s Legacy fund for a four-hour speaking engagement. You can read more about the Legacy fund — which supports Minnesota Public Radio, public broadcasting, minority groups, various cultural heritage projects, and more — and the personal attack here and here.

Gaiman’s fans have taken this as a call-to-arms, taking the issue to their representatives and the Internet. They’ve demonstrated some astounding creativity and talent. Tracey Carlson channeled her concern into art, crafting an adorable handmade “pencil-necked” weasel that she asked to be auctioned to benefit the First Amendment work of CBLDF.

This is your opportunity to express your concern over the attacks on arts and free expression. When even well-known creators like Neil Gaiman aren’t immune to these attacks, we should recognize that the support of Free Speech is more tenuous than ever.

Please register your disdain for those who would stifle other’s speech, and show your support for Gaiman and the CBLDF by bidding on this adorable pencil-necked weasel now!

Canada Customs Seizes Black Eye & Young Lions

Last weekend cartoonists crossed the border for TCAF, the Toronto Comics Art Festival, where several were greeted with intrusive customs searches that led to the seizure of at least two comics titles — Black Eye, an anthology, and Young Lions, a graphic novel by Blaise Larmee.

Tom Neely, a contributor to Black Eye was the first to release word of his ordeal through Facebook status messages. Neely explained that copies of the Black Eye anthology were seized, and would either be returned to him or destroyed, pending “further action,” prompting the cartoonist to write:

“I just hope “further action” doesn’t involve being arrested the next time I try to cross the border. They went through everything in our car. Opened every suitcase and looked through every book.”

In the The Comics Journal comments thread where the story broke, Black Eye editor Ryan Standfast noted that copies of Blaise Larmee’s Young Lions were seized from Sparkplug Comic Books publisher Dylan Williams.

Current coverage of this story includes: The Comics Journal, Ryan Standfast, Robot 6, and The Beat.

The CBLDF is investigating these incidents, and will continue to report on developments as they occur.

This incident is part of a recent, growing trend of customs searches and seizures of comics that the CBLDF has been following. The CBLDF has issued an advisory for travelers on crossing borders with comic book materials that is available here as a Word document, and here as a PDF file.

TCJ: Black Eye Anthology Confiscated at US/Canada Border

The Comics Journal reports that copies of the anthology Black Eye were confiscated from artist Tom Neely when he was entering Canada for this weekend’s TCAF festival.

According to Neely:

“… They took ‘em. I tried to get them to just ship them back to me at home, but they said they were required to send it to Ottawa for review… if they found the material to be ‘obscene’ they would take ‘further action.’ I asked what ‘further action’ meant and he said they would just destroy them. Or there is a chance they might ship them back to me.

This incident is part of a recent, growing trend of customs searches and seizures of comics that the CBLDF has been following. The CBLDF has issued an advisory for travelers on crossing borders with comic book materials that is available here as a Word document, and here as a PDF file.

The Good Fighters: Darick Robertson

Darick Robertson is the kind of guy you’d like to share a beer with — he’s always ready for a laugh with friends and fans alike. He’s also the sort to foment revolution over that beer, with a wicked twinkle in his eye.

The co-creator of the critically acclaimed series Transmetropolitan with writer Warren Ellis and the artistic rogue behind the raucous series The Boys, Robertson has been drawing funny books for nearly 20 years. His work has been praised by Wired Magazine and Rolling Stone and he counts many of the Hollywood elite among his fans, but Robertson invariably remains a warm and humble presence at conventions, always willing to do a little bit extra for the fans who’ve supported him through the years.

With the pending release of Transmetropolitan: All Around the World — the sale of which benefits CBLDF — we checked in with Robertson for this edition of The Good Fighters.

CBLDF Raises $3000 at LA Times Festival of Books

It was a sunny weekend in Los Angeles, and a sunny weekend for CBLDF last weekend, as CBLDF joined book lovers from around the world at one of the largest book festivals in the U.S., the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Supporters helped CBLDF raise $3,000 during the festival!

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein, President Larry Marder, and volunteer Pam Noles caught some rays and the enthusiastic spirit of the festival, filling folks in about the Fund’s mission to protect the First Amendment for the comics community. Pam took some great photos, so read on for the gallery!

Transmetropolitan: All Around the World on Bleeding Cool

Transmetropolitan: All Around the World celebrates the groundbreaking hit series by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Dirk Manning (Nightmare World) checked in with Susan Augér, the project manager and driving force behind Transmetropolitan: All Around the World, and book designer and contributing artist Pete Venters.

Manning asked Augér to describe the project in two sentences:

Transmetropolitan: All Around the World is an art book. It is a book created for the purpose raising money for the comics community through donations to the CBLDF and the Hero Initiative.

Venters adds:

The Transmet art book is a unique opportunity to see the borderline-insane world of Transmetropolitan through the eyes of a broad spectrum of artists and writers who have one thing in common: They’re all fans.

Proceeds from the sale of Transmetropolitan: All Around the World benefit the First Amendment work of CBLDF. A limited number of copies of this gorgeous album will be available from CBLDF in late spring.

You can find the in-depth interview with Augér and Venters along with some images from the upcoming release on Bleeding Cool.

CBLDF Celebrates World Press Freedom Day

Thanks to the First Amendment, I’m free to write these words — and you’re free to read them. —Gene Policinski, First Amendment Center

The First Amendment Center took a moment to recognize the freedom of the press that makes the United States so unique, citing that 84% of the nearly 7 billion people in the world do not share in this freedom. You can read their article about World Press Freedom Day here.

World Press Freedom Day takes place each year on May 3. It was started in 1993 by the UN General Assembly, with the following in mind:

[World Press Freedom Day] serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom — a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

CBLDF will be taking a moment to enjoy the work of our favorite political cartoonists and journalists today, all the while keeping in mind that the freedom our press enjoys does not extend to the rest of the world.

You can learn more about World Press Freedom Day here.

CBLDF Gets Festive at LA Times Festival of Books

This weekend, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books takes place on the campus of the University of Southern California, and CBLDF is on hand to celebrate in the sun with hundreds of stellar author guests and thousands of book lovers!

Executive Director Charles Brownstein and President Larry Marder will be joined by Good Fighter Pam Noles at booth 843 in the green-flagged Childs Way area of the festival. You’ll find them at a booth well-stocked with autographed premiums for bookworms of all ages and CBLDF’s new “I Read Banned Comics” t-shirt, all in support of the First Amendment work of CBLDF.

Started in 1996, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival brings together the people who create books and the people who love to read them. One of the largest book festivals in the United States, it attracts 140,000 book lovers each year!

The Los Angeles Times Book Festival takes place May 30 – April 1, 2011, starting at 10:00 a.m. each day. General admission to the festival is free, so come out to support CBLDF at booth 843!

The Good Fighters: Angela Moeny

Angela Moeny claims to have the best jobs — paid and unpaid — and when you talk to her, you can do nothing but believe her claim. She’s as enthusiastic a librarian and educator as anyone could find. A staunch youth advocate, you can find her working as an elementary school librarian, spending her summers with a youth theatre ensemble, and running events such as book fairs. Moeny recently joined the ranks of CBLDF volunteers, and we’re delighted to have her aboard!

Also a professional photographer, writer, compulsive doodler, urban chicken farmer, comics junkie, and more, Moeny recently took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to CBLDF in this installment of The Good Fighters.

Wired Talks Transmetropolitan Art Book

This May will see the release of the Transmetropolitan art book, which celebrates the visionary dystopian comic series by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Funded entirely by a Kickstarter donation drive, proceeds from the sale of the book benefit CBLDF and The Hero Initiative. has an exclusive preview of artwork from the book. They touched base with CBLDF about the project:

Transmetropolitan is one of those rare works that functions as a compelling genre story, perceptive science fiction and cutting social satire all at the same time,” said Charles Brownstein, executive director of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, in an e-mail to “The series uses edgy, and sometimes taboo, topics to address the changes that are happening to our society, and that’s what expressive speech is supposed to do. Transmet does it exceedingly well.” also spoke with Ellis, Robertson, and Brian Pulido of The Hero Initiative about the project. You can catch the full article and exclusive images here.

Chief Justice Roberts and the First Amendment

The nomination of John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court in 2005 caused considerable protest among politicians and law experts, many of whom voiced concerns over Roberts’ typically conservative stance in his decisions.

The First Amendment Center recently analyzed Roberts’ decisions regarding First Amendment cases, starting with the idea the “Conservatives are often portrayed as hostile or indifferent to First Amendment issues.” They found that Roberts “has not been a disaster — far from it.”