Monday, February 2, 2009

Tame That Toon

The sweeping U.K. ban on "extreme porn" is so vaguely worded it could be applied to almost anything that some official might not like for almost any reason. Therefore opposition to it continues to grow in many quarters. Latest to join the fray are comic book artists, not usually amenable to organized political action, this monster legislation poses enough of a threat to get them away from their drawing tables and speak up:

Comic Book Fans Protest UK 'Extreme Porn' Law

By Edward Duncan
LONDON - Goodbye, Batman and Punisher? Britain's new extreme porn laws could even lead to the banning of comic books, opponents said.

Comic book collectors, fans and stores in the UK have voiced discontent regarding two laws: The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which takes effect in February, and the Coroners and Justice Bill, currently in Parliament.

According to the Telegraph, protesters claim the legislation could make owning mainstream comics illegal in Britain.

The law defines "extreme pornography" as any "extreme image" produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal, which could even apply to pin-up-like comic book splash panels of big-breasted glamazon super-heroines battling evildoers.

The British government defines an "extreme image" as anything "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene." Critics have said what is deemed offensive, disgusting or obscene is much too vague.

"Isn't that how Batman, Punisher, Judge Dredd get anything done? A kick in the balls would constitute this, and a kick in the balls is a well-trodden part of humor," Britain's Comic Shop Voice organization said in a statement to the press.

Comic Shop Voice expressed concern that some Japanese-style "manga" comics, featuring young-looking characters, could also be banned under the new laws.

"Because this is a minefield for the law, it then falls on the police to enforce it," the organization said. "And it is their judgment that could lead to a prosecution."


  1. Hi, my name is Courtney Trouble. I run the feminist & queer porn site http://www/, and the blog I would love to add you to my blog roll, can you count me in under your "for us" link roll? thanks!

    xoxo courtney

  2. Courtney:

    I can't speak for Ren, who is the founding mother for this place, but I'd have no opposition to adding your blog to our Blogroll. I'm sure that she would have no problems either, it's just a matter of her getting here whenever she can.

    You do have a great blog and a great site, in any case.


  3. There's a few people I've been wanting to add to the blog roll, but we haven't updated it for a while now. (And take off a few of the now-unfortunately-dead blogs, MoPornNorthampton and SugarBank.) When I first came up with the list (which Ren then posted), it was basically 1) other blogs of folks who blog here, 2) people from the sex-poz and anti-censorship blogosphere who were also clearly porn positive, and 3) people from the porn world who blogged. What I listed is what came to mind at the time, but if I put together the list now, it would definitely be larger. And, yep, I'd definitely like to add your RealQueerPorn blog to the list.

  4. Back on the topic of the original post, its good that the comics community is concerned about this, because comics (both pornographic and non-porn adult comics), are a target of censorship almost as much as regular pornography is. Alison Bechdel and Phoebe Gloeckner both come to mind as respected comics artists who have been targeted by censors in the last few years. I can only imagine what the UK's broad and vague "extreme porn" law leaves comics artists there open to.