Apr 30, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 795: True North II, 1991

https://www.comics.org/issue/50554/

The first of the inevitable slew of comics I've picked up at the con this weekend. This issue features 53 different creators (so I will not be tagging them all) doing 2-4 page stories about censorship. It's perhaps a little-known fact that the Canadian border is (or was) quite restrictive on what kinds of comics could be shipped to comic stores in Canada. This comic comes about as a direct result of the Toronto police actually raiding stores in the city, and, I think, Aircel Publishing's warehouse, on charges of distributing pornography to minors and obscenity. Back when I had my comic store, Diamond Comics simply refused to ship anything even remotely "mature" across the border because there was no way they could guarantee that the comics would ever reach the stores they were meant for.

The editorial on the back page articulates the argument against this kind of censorship quite well. Derek McCulloch notes that "[m]any of the comic books I find myself...called upon to defend are ones I find personally repugnant...No matter what I may think of this title or that, though, there is presumably someone out there who...read them and enjoy [sic] them; it would be a gross kind of hubris for me to think my opinion of the material superseded anyone else's." This is absolutely the crux. While we have governments in place to maintain a particular level of civilized discourse and conduct, such strictures have a way of becoming restrictures, when one person, or a small group of people come to believe that the way they think of things is obviously the best way.

Oh. Right. We live in Trump's world now. You know these things already.

Some of the comics in today's selection were really cool, some not quite to my taste. But that's the point of art, right? We all have our own tastes, and we should all be able, as long as we're not hurting anyone, to indulge them.

To be continued.

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