A Canadian prairie city best known for it’s petroleum industry and western motif is showing it’s geeky side this weekend.
The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (CCEE) is currently taking over the city in full force, and the people and even it’s mayor are fully embracing it. All of the CCEE’s 56,000 tickets were gone before it even started.
The event kicked off Friday morning with a parade that weaved it’s way though the downtown core all the way to Olympic Plaza. The parade was marshalled by the cast of Torchwood, who led a contingency of cosplayers, guests and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi gleefully rolled along in a Delorean, sporting a very McFly red vest. At the plaza, where they were greeted by an army of Storm Troopers, where Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi white-hatted various Expo guests, which is Calgary’s unique equivalent to being awarded the key to the city.
The Canadian cartoonists who just completed a successful Indiegogo campaign to publish their homegrown superhero anthology True Patriot are back, but this time they aren’t in it for themselves: They’ve just launched a second Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the Red Cross.
As the text on the Indiegogo page explains:
Canadian customs has long had a reputation for being quick to seize any comics they find potentially obscene, and Tom Neely learned that the hard way this morning, as Canadian customs officers reportedly confiscated the five copies of the Black Eye anthology that he was bringing with him to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Ryan Standfest, editor/publisher of Rotland Press + Comic Works, which publishes Black Eye, emailed Neely’s account of the incident to The Comics Journal:
… They took ‘em. I tried to get them to just ship them back to me at home, but they said they were required to send it to Ottawa for review… if they found the material to be ‘obscene’ they would take ‘further action.’ I asked what ‘further action’ meant and he said they would just destroy them. Or there is a chance they might ship them back to me.
Black Eye is an anthology of dark humor, which was funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign; apparently a page by singly named artist Onsmith is what first caught the customs officer’s eye. The book also contains work by Ivan Brunetti, Lilli Carré, and Paul Hornschemeier, among others, and essays by Jeet Heer and other luminaries, and an interview with Al Feldstein … it’s hard to argue that this anthology wouldn’t have redeeming features. Nonetheless, the customs agent wouldn’t let it through, and kept talking about “further action,” which certainly sounds ominous.
Although Neely seems to have been taken by surprise, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund issued an advisory just two months ago about taking comics across international borders.
And this certainly isn’t the first time this has happened. Continue Reading »