Spanish Humor Magazine ‘Kidnapped’ by Printer for Anti-Pope Content
Another day, another religiously persecuted comic. Following last week's outcry over the Islam-inspired superhero cartoon "The 99" and numerous incidents of violence against cartoonists critical of Muslim extremists, a Spanish magazine has been (perhaps unlawfully) shelved by its printer for its unfavorable comment about a state visit by the Pope Benedict XVI. The publisher of humor magazine Retranca wrote that the new issue, which was timed to coincide with the Pope's visit to Galicia, has indeed been "kidnapped" by the printing company, Murcia Jimenez Godoy.The Retranca cover depicts the Pontiff in a shower of money, with a headline referencing the cost of his visit, which is three million Euros. According to The Comics Reporter, the caption says something along the lines "he's not bringing the usual loaves and fishes or the miracle of the host but making it rain dollars," which seems a rather valid point, and one that American pundits often make in reference to the cost of moving and protecting the President and his family around the globe.
Spanish news site laverdad.es says Murcia Jimenez Godoy is run by Catholics and quotes a staffer as saying this issue of Retranca contains "dishonest and disproportionate" attacks on the Pope and the church and that they do not wish to be involved with a publication that "attacks the pope in a scandalous manner." Additionally, the company contends that because they do not have a formal contract with the publishers of Retranca, they are not obliged to turn over the material, which we gather has actually been printed.
As Tom Spurgeon points out, the damage is only exacerbated by the Streisand Effect, with more people all over the world now seeing the "offensive" image than would have if the printer had simply delivered the issue without a fuss.