Robot 6

Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Legal

Legal

Legal | Twin brothers in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, have been sentenced to three months in jail for possessing anime- and manga-style images depicting children in sexual situations.

David Scott Hammond and James Cory Hammond, 20, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography after police discovered the images downloaded on their home computer last November. Although David Hammond’s attorney said his client didn’t realize it was illegal to download cartoon pornographic images of children, the prosecutor asserted that, “Every one of these images involves the victimization of children. The victimization wouldn’t happen in the first place if there weren’t people there to look at this material.”

Earlier this month, lawmakers in Alaska began considering a bill that would expand the state’s child-pornography laws to include cartoons. And in June a U.S. appeals court upheld the conviction of a Virginia man who was prosecuted, in part, under a 2003 federal statute outlawing possession of cartoon images depicting the sexual abuse of children. [The Chronicle Herald]

Viz Media

Viz Media

Publishing | The San Francisco headquarters of Viz Media was closed for two days this week after an unexpected downpour on Monday caused storm drains to overflow, flooding parts of the city. [Anime News Network]

Publishing | Just last week we were reporting that Villard had acquired the rights to Fated, a graphic novel written by Michael Jackson and Gotham Chopra. Now comes word that the Random House imprint paid $800,000 for it. Illustrated by Mukesh Singh, artist of Virgin Comics titles Gamekeeper, Devi and Jenna Jameson’s Shadow Hunter, the black-and-white book is due out in June. [Crain’s New York Business]

Publishing | On the day of the release of the 34th Asterix album — Asterix and Obelix’s Birthday: The Gold Book — and just a week before the series turns 50, Hugh Schofield asks whether it’s time for the little Gaul to hang up his helmet: “… While The Gold Book will doubtless sell as well as ever, the continuing commercial success of the Asterix series masks a painful reality that many fans prefer to ignore: For the past 30 years — ever since [writer René] Goscinny’s death in 1977 — the books have been frankly second-rate.” [BBC News]

Cla$$War

Cla$$War

Publishing | Ben McCool talks to publishers Eddie Deighton and Ben M. Shahrabani about the return of Com.x, a company that launched with a bit of a splash in 2002 with Cla$$War and Razorjack before fading away a couple of years ago. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Dragon’s Horde, the only comics and used-paperback store in Danville, Illinois, will close on Nov. 20, a casualty of the recession and a 2007 fire that wiped out most of its inventory. “I decided two weeks ago that I could close the store now on my terms, or close it soon afterwards because I just couldn’t pay my bills,” said owner Richard Garrison. [The News-Gazette]

Retailing | The Village Voice has selected Brooklyn store Rocketship as New York’s Best Comics Outpost. [The Village Voice]

Naruto, Vol. 46

Naruto, Vol. 46

Sales charts | I somehow missed the debut of the 46th volume of Naruto on last week’s USA Today’s bestseller list. But this week Masashi Kishimoto’s wildly popular manga series slips 29 places from No. 110 to No. 139. [USA Today]

Conventions | The first Bellingham ComiCon will be held on Saturday at the Hampton Inn near Bellingham International Airport in Bellingham, Washington. Guests will include Paul Chadwick, Michel Gagne, Bob Smith, Brandon Jerwa and Eric Trautmann. [Bellingham ComiCon]

Conventions | Sarah Morean posts her report from last weekend’s Alternative Press Expo. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | R. Crumb talks about his much-publicized adaptation of The Book of Genesis:  “I don’t think Genesis is a good place to look for spiritual guidance or moral guidance. I don’t believe it’s the word of God. … At the same time, I think the stories are very powerful. I’m not out to ridicule them or belittle them.” [The Associated Press]

North 40 #5

North 40 #5

Creators | USA Today gives a boost to Wildstorm’s North 40 miniseries by way of a Q&A with creators Aaron Williams and Fiona Staples, and a seven-page online preview of Issue 5. I hate the interface — the same one used for the serialization of the Superman strip from Wednesday Comics — but the interview is pretty good. [USA Today]

Creators | Geoff Boucher profiles Adam Byrne, “producer”/cover artist of The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft. [Hero Complex]

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Comments

5 Comments

“The victimization wouldn’t happen in the first place if there weren’t people there to look at this material.”

I try to give the benefit of the doubt to reports from foreign press that something may be lost in translation, because the statement as given here is absurd on its very face. Children wouldn’t be victimized if there weren’t people who looked at lolicon? Really? I’m pretty sure there are some recorded instances of child abuse by people who don’t have loli collections.

Standard disclaimer: I despise the stuff, but as long as no actual minors were harmed in its creation, it should be legal. I’m pretty much with Gaiman on this: if you want to support free speech, at some point you have to support speech that turns your stomach.

I think the First Amendment would protect it in the US, though the cases you mention here haven’t gone to the Supreme Court.

You left out the previous sentence; “Every one of these images involves the victimization of children. The victimization wouldn’t happen in the first place if there weren’t people there to look at this material.”
To me that sounds like that they’re saying that the crime isn’t only possessing depictions of minors performing sexual acts, but that the victimization of fictional characters is also immoral and illegal.
But either way, it is a completely asinine argument.

I don’t think that’s what he’s saying; I took it as a rephrasing of the sentence I quoted — essentially, a “vicious circle” argument.

First off, yuck.

Second, I think this ruling is silly. Will charges be made against people that own comics depicting murder? Let’s change part of their argument to fit another atrocity and violation…

“Murder wouldn’t happen in the first place if there weren’t people there to look at this material.”

It just doesn’t make sense.

Matt Groening better make sure he doesn’t visit Canada, or he might get busted for animal cruelty to Itchy and Scratchy.

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