Monday, October 16, 2006

Modern-Day Book Burners Ban Blankets

The modern-day equivalent of book burners have struck again in the heart of conservative and ignorant America (a previous attack here). As reported at the Comics Reporter, and then picked up in local and blogospheric media, a library in Missouri has pulled from its shelves two graphic novels, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Blankets by Craig Thompson. I haven't read Fun Home, but Blankets is probably the most emotionally resonant graphic novel I have ever read. Of course readers will find drawings of boobies, a couple penises, teenage sexuality, sexual abuse, and a community of closed-minded religious conservatives in the book. They will also find a very moving and honest portrait of a young man growing up, and a thoughtful analysis of the way we make meaning in our lives through art.

Defenders of comic books and free expression generally have written to the library board in Marshall, Missouri, asking them to protect First Amendment rights. The letter also points out what seems like a no-brainer in this case: Blankets, at least, is not pornographic as the one complaining moron in Marshall claimed. Why closed-minded and conservative types will forever seek to deny aspects of the world around them is beyond me. To deal with difficult things that young adults face in their lives is noble, and literature that does this should be embraced by honest people everywhere.

The library has only temporarily removed the books from its shelves. I'm hoping they wisely decide to replace them. Stay tuned, as more meetings are expected this week.

[Thanks Marc!]

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