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Dragon Ball, Vol. 3

Dragon Ball, Vol. 3

Manga | Wicomico County Public Library in Maryland is conducting an “internal reconsideration” of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball after the popular series was removed from a combined elementary/middle school library last week due to depictions of nudity and sexual situations. The public library has pulled the manga while it decides in what section the T-rated series should be shelved. [The Daily Times]

Publishing | Deb Aoki gets more details from Viz Media Senior Editor Eric Searleman about the publisher’s relaunched original comics initiative, which began accepting submissions last week: “We’re hoping to publish a wide range of comics by a diverse group of creators. A lot of people are expecting Viz Media to publish manga (or comics that look like manga) but we don’t plan on limiting ourselves, in any way. It doesn’t matter to us if you draw like Tite Kubo or Darwyn Cooke. If you’ve got an awesome idea for a comic book, we want to see it.” Simon Jones provides commentary. [, Icarus Publishing]

Viz Media

Viz Media

Publishing | Viz Media also is looking to fill four staff positions. [Japanator]

Events | Coverage of Lynda Barry, Paul Buhle and Harvey Pekar at the just-wrapped Wisconsin Book Festival. [A.V. Madison, The Cap Times]

Conventions | The second annual Tsubasacon, an anime convention held over the weekend in Huntington, West Virginia, drew an impressive 900 attendees. [WOWK]

Conventions | This Big Apple Comic-Con preview-cum-profile paints a rosy picture of Wizard Entertainment CEO Gareb Shamus and his convention and magazine empire. [New York Post]

Retailing | Cabin Fever Comics has opened in Longmont, Colorado, providing the city with its first comic store since Time Warp closed three years ago. [Times-Call]

From "Logicomix"

From "Logicomix"

Sales charts | Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, which centers on the life and work of logician and philosopher Bertrand Russell, debuts as the No. 1 paperback on The New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller List. [The New York Times]

Graphic novels | Speaking of Logicomix, John Handoulis looks at the surprise international success of the book, which was released last year in Greece. [AFP]

Webcomics | Lauren Davis spotlights a selection of horror titles. []

Creators | “Failed cartoonist” Jeff Kinney talks about his insanely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. [The Baltimore Sun]

Creators | Illustrator David Small discusses his well-received memoir Stitches: “I tried to be completely candid, but without the complaining quality or, for that matter, the philosophizing that makes so many memoirs unreadable for me. I took my tone from the memoirs I’ve been moved by, most of which were from the events in Europe during World War II. In these brief, usually harrowing memoirs, there is a remarkable lack of adjectives because the facts stand alone. If you get caught up in, as it were, ‘customizing’ your story (the way they customize, or tart up cars), it detracts from the verisimilitude, which should be the goal of any memoir.” [The Washington Post]

Creators | Your Berkeley Breathed profile for the day. [New York]

Walt Disney's Comics #699

Walt Disney's Comics #699

Creators | Arthur de Wolf talks to Giorgio Salati, who wrote the “Ultraheroes” storyline in Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories. [Disney Comics Worldwide]

Creators | Lora Innes discusses her webcomic-turned-print comic The Dreamer. [The Trades]

Creators | Congratulations to Mike Baron and Ann Fisher, who were married on Oct. 10. [Living On Mars]

Blogosphere | MangaBlog writer and Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson has launched a blog devoted to webcomics news. [Paperless Comics]

Art and design | Todd Klein wraps up his study of Legion of Super-Heroes and related logos through the decades. [Todd’s Blog, Todd’s Blog]

Comics | Ben Morse recalls The Secret Defenders and JLA: Incarnations. [The Cool Kids Table]

Comics | Marc Russel counts off “five superheroes rendered ridiculous by gritty reboots.” [Cracked]



“an ‘internal reconsideration’ ”

Defined as “Damage control for negative publicity”.

Banning books is one of those stories the media loooooves to cover. And the reaction to banning books is usually swift and decisive in the negative. So they’re trying to soften the blow. And as is traditional, the reaction and resolution to a controversial event is not nearly as heavily covered as the event.

RICHARD WILNER is a tool. Who is he? The writer of the New York Post piece on Gareb Shameless. Why is he a tool? 2 possible reasons: he is a tool for promoting Shameless with this highly inaccurate puff piece, or a tool for letting himself be so easily duped.

Vinnie, it doesn’t have to end negatively. In another well-publicized case, Blankets and Fun Home were pulled from a library’s shelves temporarily. The library then put together a committee that created a new collection development policy that would defend keeping those books, and restored them to the library’s shelves. Of course, it was a public library. In this particular case, it is a school library that serves elementary and middle school grades. A book or series rated for Teens may not be considered appropriate for the collection, whether it’s manga or a novel, simply because it’s not rated for the school’s reading audience. I am a school librarian who works in a preK-8th grade school, so please understand I know what I’m talking about here.

I’m well aware this can end well, and I hope it does. But when the first reaction from the superintendent is that he’s “going to get the book pulled as soon as I can get to a phone”, there are some divots in the fairway that need replacing.

They responded to the complaint, which they have to do, or they open themselves to a lawsuit in today’s overly litigious world. But their initial reactions came off as far too gleeful over the move, and that was what caused the backlash more than anything else.

The folks at Newsarama report that the library also has Dr. Slump in the manga section open to kids as well. I’m in the middle of writing the library a note, suggesting they move that one as well. Like Dragon Ball, it has a lot of burlesque “Slap and tickle” kind of comedy, including a running joke about his wife ever finding his collection of nudie magazines. Again, maybe not as all-ages as the cute chibi-style art suggests.

Brigid Alverson

October 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm

There’s a crucial distinction that is getting blurred here. The first challenge to Dragon Ball came in an elementary school library; since the book is rated 13+, that may not be an appropriate place for it to be.

Taking all 24 volumes off the shelf in a *public* library is a different matter. First of all, a public library serves a larger audience, including, presumably, many people over 13. Secondly, removing 24 volumes over a few panels in volume 1 seems excessive; my understanding (I haven’t read the series) is that Viz started “editing” the volumes more severely after the first one due to complaints about the very subject matter called out here. Hopefully the librarians there are well informed and will figure this out quickly and get the books back on the shelves where they belong, in the library’s “Teen Zone.”

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