From October 27 to September 3, the American Library Association, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and a dozen other organizations made up of creators, publishers, teachers and journalists will be celebrating Banned Books Week. Well, maybe "celebrating" is the wrong word for a 33 year-old campaign designed to raise awareness of censorship by championing books that were challenged or banned from libraries across the country, but there's at least one good reason to have a good time with it.
To mark the occasion, the folks over at Humble Bundle have launched a pay-what-you-want collection of banned and challenged comics, including Jeff Smith's Bone, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen and more --- complete with reasons why they were challenged.
Just as this year's comics-centric Banned Books Week was coming to a close, an Illinois school board has unanimously voted to keep Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis on the reading list of a local high school.
According to the State Journal-Register, a Glenwood High School parent complained to Principal Jim Lee (yes, that's his name) about the book, questioning why a teacher would ask students to read a book about Muslims on September 11. The parent also complained about a scene that shows a dismembered body and a man being tortured. Thankfully Lee just plain wasn't having it.
Censorship is a serious issue. It's one of the reasons that we here at ComicsAlliance always show our support to organizations like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and rally behind creators who have been subjected to governmental restrictions on their work.
Occasionally, though, there are incidents of people pushing to get books banned that slide right past concerning and directly into the world of hilarious ineptitude.
Such is the case with Reverend Phillip Missick of Texas's amazingly named King of Saints Tabernacle Church, who pushed for the Cleveland, TX public library to remove manga like Matsuri Hino's Vampire Knight from its library, owing, of course, to it being a demonic product of Satan that would drag otherwise saintly children directly into the gaping maw of Hell itself. That, of course, is nothing new. What makes it amazing is that he didn't stop there, going so far as to declare pretty much everything around the manga to be the product of Satan, including a few Harry Potter toys, a bouquet of dried roses, and the actual room itself to be "occultic and demonic."
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