The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund began its 2012 membership drive, in earnest today, offering various rewards and incentives to those who pledge support the free speech non-profit dedicated to protecting the comic book industry from censorship. The initiative is led by a new membership card illustrated by ComicsAlliance favorite Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), who casts the CBLDF's Liberty mascot in an image that recalls the beautifully designed and inspirational Works Progress Administration Posters of the 1930s.

"I wanted the membership card art to evoke patriotism and reflect our proud legacy of free speech, while also reminding us of the need to defend it vigorously," Chiang told ComicsAlliance. "Free speech is the cornerstone of our industry, so it's vitally important to support the efforts of the CBLDF."

The wallet-sized, Chiang-illustrated card is included with every level of CBLDF membership, which can also include other incentives like apparel, bags and, naturally, comic books.

You can learn more about those rewards and take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Chiang's membership card below.The CBLDF's 2012 membership drive was developed by Alex Cox, who created the initial Liberty design before passing it on to artist Tony Shasteen, whose vision was further refined by Chiang for the striking membership card illustration.

"We love the image that Cliff created for our 2012 member card!" said CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. "He has created a modern take on the classic image of Liberty and placed her in a context that says everything about the CBLDF's important work. We're proud to have this image to reward our members for signing up and elated that Cliff was able to create such a flawless visual statement about what the CBLDF stands for."

Initial Liberty design by Alex Cox

Further refinement by Tony Shasteen

Historical images of Liberty

Color sketch by Cliff Chiang

Final CBLDF membership card by Cliff Chiang

The complete CBLDF membership drive press release:


Fight Censorship! Celebrate Liberty! Join the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today!

Today, The CBLDF unveiled its 2012 Membership Drive, featuring the best incentives and benefits in the free speech community, starting off with a stunning membership card by superstar creator Cliff Chiang! Channeling the classic depiction of Liberty through the influence of WPA art and comic book iconography, Chiang has created a powerful membership card that you'll be proud to keep in your wallet. CBLDF offers membership plans for donors in every budget, each with its own premiums and benefits, and all of them are tax-deductible!

Joining the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund puts you on the front line of the fight against censorship! Your membership dollars provide the tools to fight back when comic book readers, retailers and artists are muzzled, censored, or attacked! When you become a CBLDF member, you are proclaiming that comics are important and that you are a protector of their First Amendment rights!

Membership starts at $25 per year, and every membership includes Chiang's amazing membership card. At the $50 Supporter level, members receive a membership card, a car window decal, and a button set that includes a badge that proudly proclaims membership in the CBLDF.

The $100 Advocate members receive all of the Supporter premiums and also their choice of a CBLDF Tote Bag, featuring art by the great Sergio Aragonés; our popular "I READ BANNED COMICS" t-shirt; or a CBLDF branded water bottle, featuring the gone-but-not-forgotten Comics Code Authority emblem.

With a $250 Defender membership, donors receive the Supporter package, and their choice of TWO of the Advocate premiums. With the $500 Protector membership, members receive the entire Supporter and Advocate packages. At the Protector level, members will also have their name listed in a special "Thank You" section of the LIBERTY ANNUAL 2013, and they will receive a limited edition, full-color print of the membership card artwork, numbered and signed by artist Cliff Chiang!

The $1000 Champion membership includes everything in the other membership premium packages, plus the member's choice of an autographed hardcover, signed on an exclusive "CBLDF Champion" bookplate, from one of the following creators:

WATCHMEN, signed by Dave Gibbons

MAUS, signed by art spiegelman

PREACHER Deluxe Edition vol. 1, signed by Garth Ennis

Y THE LAST MAN Deluxe Edition vol. 1, signed by Brian K. Vaughan

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, signed by Neil Gaiman

Of course, the number one benefit of membership is peace of mind. You'll know that there's someone at the other end of the phone when a retailer gets busted or an artist is brought up on charges for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Become a member of the CBLDF today, and help protect comics in 2012 and beyond!


Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.

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