Oct 4, 2012

Banned Graphic Novels/Comic Books

Excerpt from Persepolis
I've gotten really into graphic novels as of late, both academically and recreationally.  Academically speaking, graphic novels and comic books are great for boosting vocabulary, spatial reasoning, and interest in reading.  They also provide a fascinating way to read stories and learn information.   Recreationally speaking, I just finished reading the first volume of the Fables series and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and I loved both. 


But like all things good, graphic novels and comic books are frequently challenged.  Many people see them as juvenile reads and are often upset when "that kid book" is full of nudity, foul language, and other graphic content.  In honor of Banned Books Week, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund put together a list of banned and challenged comics.  Here are some highlights from their list:

-Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama:

The library review committee recommended that the public school libraries in Wicomico County, Maryland remove the books from all school levels, even high schools, despite the publisher's recommendation that the books were for a 13+ audience.

-League of Extraordinary Gentleman: The Black Dossier, by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

This one is interesting.  In a Public Library in Kentucky, two library employees were fired for witholding the copy from patrons because of sex scenes.  Even librarians have their own agendas.  Some are in it to censor others based on their own beliefs.

-Maus, by Art Spiegelman

In Pasadena, California, the home of the Big Gang Theory characters, a Polish-American man was offended by the book's content and challenged it on the grounds that it was anti-ethnic and unsuited for its age group.  A library employee described the man as being uncomfortable with the book and wanting to keep others from reading it, which is censorship and an act that parents aren't allowed to extend to children who are not their own.

-Sandman, by Neil Gaiman

This is challenged in multiple locations for anti-family themes and language.  These challenges don't faze Gaiman because he knows that one of the best ways to get teens to read something is to ban it. #Footloose

-Sidescrollers, by Matthew Loux

In Enfield, Connecticut, this book was challenged in the public schools for it's language and sexual content.  The school's removed it from summer reading lists despite how their policies state that parents aren't allowed to dictate what other children should read based on their own personal beliefs.

-Stuck in the Middle, by Ariel Schrag

The Dixfield Maine public school system kept this book on their shelves, but on account of the sex, drugs, and language, requires students to get parental permission before they are allowed to check it out. 

Check out the rest of the list here!

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