Exploring the Legacy of Fear: the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund come to London

Comic Book Legal Defense Fun "Liberty" Image


As part of his flying visit to the UK this month, Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund will host a special talk at London’s Orbital Comics on Thursday 14th August 2014, entitled Legacy of Fear: The History of the Comics Code; and ; and take part in a discussion on “Sex, Censorship and Sensibility” at the British Library Conference Centre on 17th August.

The event will start at 7.30pm with some light refreshments, then hand over to Charles, so don’t miss a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history of the US Comics Code (that subsequently influenced laws still in force here) and the CBLDF’s role.

Sixty years ago, comics were placed on trial in the United States in a nationally televised Senate subcommittee hearing that had shattering repercussions. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Executive Director Charles Brownstein presents the shocking history of moral panic that led to this historic hearing and the subsequent birth of the Comics Code Authority, a censorship body that regulated the medium’s content in the United States, with global implications. Learn the truth behind Fredric Wertham and his book, Seduction of the Innocent; encounter the moment that turned EC Comics Publisher William Gaines into the iconic force behind Mad Magazine; and discover the long-term impact of the Code on comics in the USA and beyond in this lively presentation.

On Sunday 17th August 17, Brownstein will take part in a discussion titled “Sex, Censorship and Sensibility” at the British Library Conference Centre, held in conjunction with the COMICA, the London International Comics Festival, which takes place 16th – 17th August in the British Library. Brownstein will again discuss how past comics censorship informs modern threats against comics.

Brownstein joins Tim Pilcher, author of Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, and Robin Ray, alias erotic comics maestro Eric Von Gotha, to reflect on the lessons we can learn from past trials, bans and censorship of comics and on the threats to freedoms in publishing today.

There’s more details on that event here. For more details about the COMICA festival — which features special guest Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds), and international creators such as Pat Mills (Charley’s War), Alys Jones (Beyond the Wire), Emmanuel Guibert (How The World Was), Matilda Tristram (Probably Nothing), Ian Williams (The Bad Doctor) and more — visit the British Library website here.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is an American non-profit organization created in 1986 to protect the First Amendment rights of comics creators, publishers, and retailers covering legal expenses.

• Legacy of Fear: The History of the Comics Code 7.30pm Thursday 14th August, Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA. More information on Facebook here and the Orbital Comics web site: www.orbitalcomics.com

• Sex, Censorship and Sensibility 12.30 – 1.30pm Sunday 17th August, Conference Centre, British Library, Tickets: £5, (£4 Over 60s) and £3. More details here

• Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: http://cbldf.org

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