Banned Books Week Announces Comics Focus | ALA 2014

Reblogged from Library Journal

The 2014 American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Las Vegas this week set the stage for Banned Books Week, scheduled for September 21-27, 2014. This year, Banned Books Week will shine light on banned and challenged comic books and graphic novels. On the show floor, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which provides legal support and expertise to readers, authors, and librarians, debuted a new handbook offering rundowns of commonly challenged comic titles, myths about banned books, and ideas for programming around Banned Books Week. (For more on the new resources, see

The last couple years in particular have seen some high profile challenges of comic books and graphic novels, including theremoval of some financial support from the College of Charlestonafter it included Alison Bechdel’s coming of age graphic memoir Fun Home in a school-wide reading program and the restrictions placed on Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis in Chicago public schools.

Comic books are frequent targets for censorship for a number of reasons, CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein told LJ. For one thing, many people still see comic books as a low art form, and the free speech and expression of authors and artists has a similarly low value associated with it. The graphic nature of the medium also mean it depends on static images that are easy to take out of context, said Brownstein.

Nevertheless, the recent spate of high profile challenges to comics makes the medium a natural way to shine a light on censorship. “Comics are a great way to engage readers with the real problem of censorship today,” said Brownstein. Read more>>