A French Artist’s View of ‘Cinebook Censorship’

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British publisher of bandes dessinees albums Cinebook has come in for criticism from some quarters in the past for the relatively minor changes to the artwork in their Franco-Belgian originated books that have been made to make them more suitable for an English speaking audience.

These changes, which have been described as censorship, are normally made to remove female nudity in the titles with the simple expediency of a wisp of hair or a sheet or other material covering the character’s modesty. Sometimes this is awkwardly done and is obvious, while other times it can pass unnoticed unless it is highlighted on the book’s copyright page as being approved by the original artist.

Barra cen 2While these modifications may be seen by many as not required for a British audience, it has to be remembered that Cinebook have the international publishing rights to sell these books to the US, Indian and Arab markets as well as the UK, markets where nudity is less readily tolerated or banned outright.

On his personal blog artist Jérémy Petiqueux has written a short piece detailing the artwork changes to Slaves, the first book in Cinebook’s new 15+ rated Barracuda series, showing how his artwork was changed by giving before and after images.

He also notes that the same changes had to be made for the digital edition to ensure it would be published on Apple’s iTunes store.

Interestingly Jérémy highlights that the changes are made for the international market by Mediatoon, part of the Média-Participations group that includes bandes dessinees publishers Dargaud, Dupuis and Le Lombard, and not by Cinebook themselves.

• You can read Jérémy Petiqueux’s thoughts on these changes on his blog in the original French or via Google translation

• There are more details of Barracuda in French on the Barracuda Facebook page

• There are more details of Barracuda in English on the Cinebook website

• There are more details of Média-Participations and Mediatoon Licensing on their website

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Jeremy Briggs

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