The court dismissed it based on First Amendment and due process grounds.
Circuit Court Judge Pamela Baskervill has dismissed the case that sought to label the graphic novel Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and the novel A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. K. Maas as obscene and illegal to sell.
The judge found that the statute pursuant to which the petitions were filed violated the First Amendment and the constitutional right to due process. You can read the judge’s full decision here.
Jeff Trexler from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund served as Kobabe’s co-counsel and offered more details on the decision in a lengthy Twitter thread.
“Normally an obscenity statute works the way you’d expect a criminal statute to work: a person produces, possesses, distributes, etc. certain material, gets arrested on obscenity charges, gets convicted or found not guilty,” he posted. “Virginia Code § 18.2-384 is different. It provides that a citizen or attorney of any VA county/city in which sale or commercial distribution of a book occurs can initiate a proceeding to have the book declared obscene. When that happens, the judge can issue an order to show cause that the book is not obscene & can also issue a temporary restraining order against the sale or distribution of the book!”
Continue reading “Virginia judge dismisses case against ‘Gender Queer’”
The move comes a week after the Virginia Beach school board removed the book from library shelves.
Virginia State Delegate and lawyer is seeking a restraining order against Barnes and Noble and Virginia Beach Schools “to enjoin them from selling or loaning” the graphic novel Gender Queer and the novel A Court of Mist and Fury to minors without parent consent, according to Book Riot.
On his Facebook page, Tim Anderson, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, says he is seeking the restraining order on behalf of his client, Tommy Altman, who is currently running for U.S. Congress in Virginia.
“Today, the Virginia Beach Circuit Court has found probable cause that the books Gender Queer and a Court of Mist and Fury are obscene to unrestricted viewing by minors,” Anderson posted. “My client, Tommy Altman, has now directed my office to seek a restraining order against Barnes and Noble and Virginia Beach Schools to enjoin them from selling or loaning these books to minors without parent consent.”
The move follows a decision from last week by the Virginia Beach school board to remove Gender Queer from shelves in the school district’s libraries.
Continue reading “Virginia politicians seek restraining order to prevent Barnes & Noble from selling ‘Gender Queer’ to minors”
“It’s the Mueller Report… with pictures… and funny.”
I’d be very disappointed if Shannon Wheeler, creator of Sh*t My President Says, wasn’t working on a comic book adaptation of the Mueller Report.
“It’s the Mueller Report… with pictures… and funny,” Wheeler said in the press release.
Wheeler will once again work with his Oil & Water collaborator Steve Duin to adapt the more than 400-page legal document assembled by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on his investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 U.S. election. IDW promises they’ll produce “a comprehensive, understandable and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.”
Continue reading “Of course Shannon Wheeler is working on a Mueller Report adaptation”
Matt Furie unleashes lawyers against the “Alt-Right” use of the cartoon frog.
Matt Furie is taking back Pepe the Frog—and he’s not holding back. Last month, the creator of the cartoon frog sent his lawyers after Eric Hauser, who had used Pepe as one of the lead characters in a painfully Islamophobic children’s book, and now those same lawyers have issued a flurry of cease-and-desist letters and DMCA takedown requests to other copyright infringers and those who host them.
Matthew Gault reports on Motherboard that cease and desist orders have been sent to Richard Spencer, Mike Cernovich, Tim Gionet (a.k.a. “Baked Alaska”), and the r/the_Donald subreddit. The C&D letters explicitly state that the next step will be to hit the infringers in the wallet:
Furie’s legal team makes clear that Furie plans to ask Spencer, Cernovich, and Baked Alaska for money in addition to demanding they stop using Pepe’s image: “After we have received confirmation that you have ceased infringement, we will contact you to discuss what additional information we need from you to calculate the appropriate amount of damages,” the letters read.
Furie’s legal team has also issued DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown requests to Amazon, Google Play, and Reddit, naming specific pages that host infringing images. Gionet’s book Meme Magic: Secrets Revealed, which has Pepe on its cover, is no longer available on Amazon, and Google Play has dropped his app Build the Wall: The Game. (Apple has already banned Pepe from its App Store.)
Continue reading “Feels good, man: ‘Pepe’ creator serves notice on copyright infringers”
Rep. John Lewis’s memoir of the Civil Rights movement is not ancient history. It’s the guidebook we need today.
I keep coming back to March.
It’s not something I thought would happen. It’s a good book, true, but now more than ever, it’s a necessary book.
It should not be necessary. We were supposed to be reading March, Rep. John Lewis’s memoir of the Civil Rights movement, as history. The final volume ends on a triumphant note, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. When we closed the book, we were supposed to be closing the book on the terrible history of Jim Crow in America.
Except we haven’t. Before Lewis and his co-authors, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, were even finished with the third volume, the Supreme Court rolled back the protections of the Voting Rights Act. In preparation for the 2016 election, many states closed down registration sites, purged the voter rolls, restricted polling places and hours, and in the case of the North Carolina Republicans, actually sent out a press release bragging about suppressing black votes.
Continue reading “Reading for Resistance: What I Learned from ‘March’”
Follow the hashtag #shitmypresidentsays to see, well, what the president has to say in illustrated form.
Shannon Wheeler took one for the team and read all 30,000 of Donald Trump’s Tweets as research for his new book, Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump. And on Thursday, he will rise to the occasion again: Trump has threatened to live-Tweet his reactions to former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before Congress, and if he does, Wheeler will live-draw the live Tweets—”bringing vital new insight to these important contributions to American presidential history,” according to Chris Staros, publisher and editor of Top Shelf Productions.
To catch this first draft of history as it unfolds, follow @muchcoffee (Wheeler’s Twitter) or the hashtag #shitmypresidentsays.
Continue reading “Shannon Wheeler to live-draw Trump’s live tweets of Comey testimony”
Update #2: OK, I’m convinced. It’s a hoax. Christian Hoffer did the basic fact-checking I should have done and asked the law firm directly if the letter was real; they denied it.
Update: Have we been taken in by fake news? Uh… There’s at least one source claiming this isn’t real.
If you’re a politician, being lampooned by cartoonists is part of the deal, and even Donald Trump seems to understand that. Where he draws the line is when someone other than him might make some money from it.
Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed just posted a letter from Trump’s attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, on his Facebook and Twitter, demanding that he remove an altered image of Trump from his social media posts or (per his client’s wishes, he specifies) “we will ‘have your [redacted] in a sling by lunch.'”
Continue reading “Donald Trump Slaps ‘Bloom County’ Creator with C&D [UPDATE: It’s a Hoax!]”
Françoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman made headlines back in January with the release of “Resist!,” their free, tabloid-sized, crowdsourced publication featuring comics and commentary that was distributed during the women’s marches across the United States.
In July, Resist! is grabbing back, as the second issue arrives just in time for America’s birthday. The second issue of Resist!, a comic book-sized 96-page anthology of comics and cartoons, will be handed out during the July 4th weekend by volunteers and in the comic shops that ordered it. Per the release, “distribution of Resist! is intended as an Independence Day celebration of the First Amendment, of our diverse country and of our resilience.”
Continue reading “Second issue of ‘Resist!’ storms into comic shops July 4”
‘Big Hard Sex Criminals’ also among the most challenged books, according to the American Library Association.
Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer and Raina Telgemeier’s Drama topped the list of 2016’s most challenged books, according to the American Library Association. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Big Hard Sex Criminals also landed in the top 10 as the seventh most challenged book of 2016.
Continue reading “‘This One Summer,’ ‘Drama’ top list of most banned books of 2016”
Publisher/distributor J.T. Yost shares more on his current fundraiser.
Birdcage Bottom Books, which publishes minicomics and distributes for other small presses and individuals, is running a fundraiser through the month of February: 50% of the sales of selected comics will go to the ACLU. This is a great opportunity to pick up minicomics by rising and accomplished creators such as Glynis Fawkes, Whit Taylor, Hazel Newlevant, Kevin Budnik, and Jonathan Baylis, and help a great cause at the same time.
I checked in with J.T. Yost, who runs Birdcage Bottom and publishes his own comics there, to find out more about the fundraiser—and ask for some personal recommendations!
Continue reading “Birdcage Bottom benefit backs ACLU”
Brigid Alverson kicks off a new column highlighting comics that explore issues in the news, starting with an interview with Sarah Glidden.
Reading for Resistance is a new column highlighting comics and graphic novels that shed light on issues in the news.
On Saturday, everyone was talking about refugees. Six years ago, Sarah Glidden made a journey through parts of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria with a group of independent journalists who were focusing on refugees and their situation throughout the region; they were accompanied by a veteran of the Iraq War who was recording his own reflections. Last September, Drawn and Quarterly published Glidden’s graphic memoir of that trip, Rolling Blackouts.
Continue reading “Reading for Resistance: “Rolling Blackouts””