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Comics and Censorship

A Discussion at WonderCon

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, the Comics Code Authority regulated and censored the content that comic books produced. There was what the industry considered “The War on Comics” and it resulted in books being canceled, and a seal of approval being required for anything that went to print. We then move to a time of book burnings, something that could be dated back to any point in societal conscious memory. Whether it be the actual content created or what society deems appropriate, censorship has always existed. Unfortunately we are returning to a time where censorship is a problem.

Censorship inherently restricts the flow of information. It is, by nature, the suppression of ideas. This can be anything from a board member questioning a teacher's chosen curriculum to a library having to screen or review certain books to deem them “appropriate”. Now the problem with this is that it's also a disproportionate problem. No one is screening books and comic books written by straight men. Libraries, book stores, comic book distributors are specifically screening books that mention or center LGBTQ characters. Because for some reason it has gotten into the minds of those calling for book bands that LGBTQ = Porn. Now obviously those with brain cells know that this is untrue, but the people screaming for book bans can’t read and they certainly aren’t capable of critical thought. Parents are asking libraries to put content ratings on books because they can’t be bothered to read the things their child is interested in. Here’s a thought, parent your child and no one else.

The removal of the freedom to choose, is the removal of “permission” to create these stories in the first place. If LGBTQ and POC stories are the only things being targeted and pulled from the shelves, and pushed out of publishers, that really kills the drive to write these stories. But these stories are important. No one is alone in their feelings or in their experience and when people feel like they are, that is what contributes to poor mental health. Look at the suicide rates during the isolation portion of the pandemic, we are meant to share our stories and our experiences. Not being able to do so is quite literally, dangerous. A parent’s concern and discretion about what their child reads should affect exactly no one else. Why are we asking, demanding even, PUBLIC libraries to not carry things YOU personally don’t like? Not only is that batshit insane and straight up narcissistic but it's how totalitarian governments start. These people would die if they read 1984.

In order to combat these yells for censorship this website:

Has compiled a resource for librarians, teachers and parents. Each resume has all the information necessary to combat the idea of censorship for the most popular challenged books.

Access to information = Safety. Places like public libraries should be a safe place for everyone and by banning comics or books with LGBTQ characters you are telling all these young queer kids that they shouldn’t exist. You are telling them that they are wrong, that who they are is inappropriate. We aren’t banning religious books but how many priests have raped little boys? This mindset is ridiculous and harmful. Censorship will never be something that is okay. If you don’t want to read something then don’t. You should be reading everything your child reads as a parent anyway. Oh yeah….STOP TELLING OTHER PEOPLE WHAT THEY CAN AND CAN’T DO. It's unamerican to sit there and say “well we have to ban this because it's inappropriate for my little Timmy”. Your personal rights are YOURS, they are personal and you don’t have a right to infringe upon other people’s personal freedoms.

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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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