Who is Afraid of Comics?
From Fifties horror comic books to the Oz and Nasty Tales trials to today’s fears about manga and webcomics, comics have been the targets of censorship, moral panics, police raids, strict codes of content, controversial obscenity prosecutions, even an Act of Parliament that is still in force. What is it that makes this medium seem so dangerous to certain parties?
Paul Gravett, co-curator of the British Library’s landmark 2014 exhibition, Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK, explores this history, examines how comic creators and readers have fought back, and considers the current climate for freedom of expression.
With thanks to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a U.S. non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium.
Banned Books Week was initiated by the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982 in response to an increasing number of challenges in the US to books in schools, bookstores and libraries, and in particular, books aimed at children or young adults.
Islington Library and Heritage Services, along with the British Library and Free Word, are celebrating Banned Books Week and drawing attention to censorship and free speech working alongside the American Library Association.
Paul Gravett is a London-based freelance journalist, curator, lecturer, writer and broadcaster who has worked in comics publishing and promotion since 1981. He is co-director of the festival Comica.London and the publishing house Escape Books. In 2016 he has co-curated Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics at House of Illustration, London, and The Story of British Comics So Far… Cor! By Gum! Zarjaz! at The Lightbox, Woking.
You may also like
Our Right to Read: Part of Banned Books Week 2017
- Wed 27 Sep 2017
- 6:30pm - 8:15pm
- Free Word Centre
Join us as we explore what happens when ideas are censored, and celebrate our freedom to read and write.
Listen: They're Your Rights - Fight for Them
Listen to the launch of 89up's report They’re Your Rights: Fight For Them, which looks at the potential threat to human rights following Brexit. Hear from the experts about what you can do to fight for your rights.
Listen: Arguing with Reality
How do writers reflect current pressures in characters, in their work? How do they engage with alleged realities when creating their own fictional versions? Listen to John Freeman in conversation with Benjamin Markovits and Joanna Kavenna.