After being cleared of any wrongdoing, Ryan Matheson speaks out for the first time about the injustices he suffered at the hands of Canadian authorities because of the comics he had on his laptop. After the jump, he details the mistreatment he suffered in Canada and the profound trauma involved in defending himself against a monstrous, false accusation. He also expresses his gratitude to the many supporters who made contributions to aid his defense. Read Ryan’s full statement after the jump.
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Early comic book censorship in the United States was fueled by fears many adults had over a burgeoning youth culture that they could not understand and that they perceived as violent. Even today, would-be censors continually — and incorrectly — argue that comic books and other media are bad for children, something that has yet to be proven by valid scientific study.
The fear of youth culture as a driver for censorship isn’t unique to the United States, as a recent AFP article over at The Raw Story makes clear. The article relates how the banning of books in Vietnam, in particular books and comics aimed at youth culture, has actually driven sales of the books rather than keeping them out of readers’ hands. Keep reading…
Throughout November, the American Library Association presents “Intellectual Freedom Across the Globe,” a series of online learning opportunities focused on intellectual freedom issues. CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein will be participating on November 9, during a webinar on comics and manga censorship around the globe, and you can join in! Registration for the November 9 session closes today, don’t miss out!
Keep reading for more details in the official press release…
To meet Kathryn and Stuart Immonen is a bit like meeting a modern-day Nick and Nora Charles. Sure, they’re a bit more profane, but they have all the sharp and witty repartee of the bantering married duo that defined the Thin Man movies. (You can enjoy some of this banter on their blog.)
The Immonens have been in the comic biz for several years, working individually and together. Their work is irreverent, entertaining, and classic. Stuart is known for his distinctive art style and storytelling ability, on display in the cult hit Nextwave and most recently in the hit series Fear Itself from Marvel Comics. Kathryn is known for her fearless, honest writing, with several Marvel titles under her belt, including the beloved Patsy Walker: Hellcat, Wolverine and Jubilee, and Heralds. Together, they created Moving Pictures, a critically acclaimed web comic and graphic novel set during the Nazi occupation of Paris.
The Immonens recently donated several pieces from their personal art collection to the CBLDF as part of our Artists to the Rescue campaign. They also took a moment to answer a few questions for The Good Fighters.
CBLDF thanks the Immonens for their generous donation and support. Please help support CBLDF’s First Amendment legal work by bidding on the pieces they donated to CBLDF, making a donation, or becoming a member of the CBLDF!
With the Canada Customs Case drawing closer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues its vital fundraising auctions with help from artists across the wide spectrum of the comic book industry. In an effort to raise over $100,000 by the end of October, artist supporters and Fund members have truly stepped up and provided benefit material ranging from pin-ups to original pages to covers, all in support of defending a comic fan from the threat of prison and hopefully setting a precedent that allows creators, retailers, publishers, fans alike to travel freely across the border without fear of persecution or harassment.
Keep reading for a look at the latest pieces up for auction, including gorgeous pieces by Mike Mignola and Charles Vess!
John Hogan with Graphic Novel Reporter recently took time to speak to CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein about CBLDF and how it’s mission has evolved over the last 25 years.
In addition to getting the latest details on CBLDF’s Canada Customs Case, Hogan asked about the specific challenges comics face. Brownstein succinctly described how the focus of CBLDF’s efforts has changed from protecting small retailers to protecting collectors themselves:
The challenges are always changing. When the CBLDF started, our work was most urgently needed to protect small comic book stores from prosecutions by local authorities because of mature readers comics they sold to adults. In the ’90s, our work shifted to help artists who were being prosecuted by authorities. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, the pendulum shifted back to helping retailers, and at the same time fighting against laws that targeted the internet and that would have made it impossible for retailers to display “harmful to minors” material—work protected for adults, but nebulously illegal for minors because of nudity and sexual content. Now we are seeing an increasing surge of prosecutorial efforts directed at readers for the comics they own and on their digital devices.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Schwarzenegger v. EMA, a case addressing whether states can ban the sale of violent video games to minors without also violating the First Amendment. A full transcript of oral arguments has been made available here. Coverage emerging since arguments concluded yesterday indicate that the Court appears skeptical towards the California law’s constitutionality. After the jump, we gather the news and analysis.