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Friday, August 02, 2002

Just spent the last five-and-a-bit hours on the phone, listening (and occasionally contributing, I hope) to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Annual Board Meeting. Now feeling absolutely brain dead. Feeling like I ought to be making an impassioned plea to all of you to take out (or renew) memberships in the CBLDF, but I'll save that for a full essay here on another day. Right now I need bed...

O sod it.

Well, I'm not going to write the essay, not at this time of night after five hours of conference call. But I'll quote from the District Attorney in Texas, in his summing up to the jury who recently sentenced a comic store clerk to prison for six months for selling an undercover cop a rude manga title. (The DA's explaining why the jury should ignore the expert witnesses who came in to explain that the comic in question was adult comics, and art, and deserving of first amendment protection):

"And, again, why are we here? This medium, the medium that this obscenity is placed in is done so in an appealing manner to children. Comic books, and I don't care what type of evidence or what type of testimony is out there, use your rationality, use your common sense. Comic books, traditionally what we think of, are for kids. This is in a store directly across from an elementary school and it is put in a medium, in a forum, to directly appeal to kids.�


Remember that one. Comics are only for kids. Doesn't matter if the manga title in question was sealed, marked for over 18s, and in the off-limits to kids section of the store in question. Comics are for kids. The DA says so, and the jury believed him.

And yes, we're appealing it. And we've spent at least $40,000 on the case so far (and managed to win the other case they brought at the same time).

So tell your friends who read comics, and who don't. Tell your friends who only read manga. Repost this where people will see it. Link to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund site at http://www.cbldf.org/index.shtml or straight to their commercial site at http://www.cbldf.com (which is the place you can buy cool stuff).

And if you're at Comic Con in San Diego over the next few days, go and find the CBLDF table. They have all sorts of cool stuff there (including, I believe, a load of Frank Miller signed comics). And you can sign up there, and tell them they're doing a good, hard and necessary job. 'Cos they are.
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