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Thursday, August 07, 2003

High court
shuns comic
speech case


August 7, 2003
By Franklin Harris
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Jesus Castillo's 2000 obscenity conviction for selling a comic book. The court let stand his sentence of 180 days in jail, a year of probation and a $4,000 fine.

Although the decision is unsurprising, given how few cases the court agrees to review, it leaves a dangerous precedent unchallenged. As of now, comic books are the only medium of artistic expression without the presumption of First Amendment protection. Why? Because comic books "are for kids."


This is an interesting article, mostly for pointing out in microcosm the sheer societal stress of cultural evolution. TRANSMETROPOLITAN used the word 'fuck' more often than Stephen King, PREACHER had angels and demons screwing and masochistic cops getting buttfucked by male prostitutes, WATCHMEN had the Comedian beating and raping the first Silk Spectre and all these are available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And even at that, those topics aren't a tenth as vile as what you can find in the latest "edgy" novel (although that's mostly going on reviews that I've read, rather than those selfsame novels, excepting Palahniuk and Bukowski, who seem to make people cringe), and all those topics (and pretty much anything else that makes people gasp) are fair game for just about any movie with artistic pretentions.

So, the question is easy: how long 'fore comics DO actually become split between the trad "Approved by the Comics Code Authority" superhero books and "Graphic Novels" that get to dive headfirst into anything they want. I notice that nobody said a damned thing about Art Spiegelman's "Maus". Was that because it was about the Holocaust? There was swearing and bloodshed, etc., etc. Dunno. Maybe it's okay to show nasty stuff if it's historical (or kinda historical, anyway, although you'd think that kids might be even MORE drawn to cats and mice than big ol' motherfuckin' demons).

*GAH* I don't fucking care. I just spent the last three hours getting my soul kicked in by Queens traffic. Motherfucker. Elmsford jobs SUCK.

I'm out.



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