The best defense?

September 20, 2007

New York Magazine’s Vulture column picks up on the Eightball kerfuffle:

“Having read the comic, which was later included in Clowes’s Pantheon-published graphic novel, Ice Haven, we can say that calling this comic book ‘borderline pornography’ is hilarious. Dude, Gossip Girl is borderline pornography. This is an extremely non-salacious art comic by a guy whose work is so tame these days he’s currently the Times magazine’s cartoonist of choice.”

Was there a compliment in there?


The rest of the story

September 20, 2007

More details on the Eightball #22 controversy are available in the New Haven Register. Most interesting to me is the reaction of the father of the unnamed student, who chafes at being viewed as a reactionary censor:

“‘I’m extremely upset with the administration for not following through with their word of contacting the parents,’ the father said. ‘It looks like we got some teacher fired (over) a Harry Potter novel or Catcher in the Rye.’

“His wife said she became especially concerned when her daughter told her Fisher asked her ‘how the book made her feel,’ although the mother added that she has no idea ‘what his intention was.’

“‘She was victimized by him to begin with and over and over again for 2½ weeks now,’ she said. ‘We just feel like if people understand what he had given her, then they would understand that it’s not our daughter’s fault.’”

It’s an extremely thorough and nuanced report from Rachael Scarborough King, delving into aspects that normally aren’t considered in stories like these. The piece also gives a lot more detail than the badly written fear-news sound bytes at WTNH.

By way of example, one of Scarborough King’s sources is Charles Brownstein of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:

“‘Somebody could do a superficial glance of the material and not put the contextual pieces together, thereby perhaps seeing a panel with violence, perhaps seeing a panel with nudity and taking the image out of context as something that it’s not,’ he said. ‘The more people are educated about the category, the less those sorts of misunderstandings occur.’”