Banned Books Week 2013: Taking comics seriously

Banned Books Week 2013 logo: Censored text
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

This year’s Banned Books Week starts Sunday, September 22.  This year’s website covers, among other challenges, an attempted ban of the graphic novel Persepolis.  This particular case highlights the role of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) in Banned Books Week.

The CBLDF has been a regular co-sponsor of Banned Books Week.  Indeed comics have had a long history of censorship struggles from the Comics Code through the rise of graphic novels such as Watchmen or Maus.

Comic books and graphic novels are not the only challenged books: none were on this year’s top ten  list of most frequently challenged books.  All the same such materials merit attention.  The CBLDF has even developed a guide on using them to promote a love of reading.

Novels I Mentioned

Moore, A., & Gibbons, D. (1987). Watchmen. New York, NY: DC Comics Inc.

Satrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis. New York, NY: Pantheon Books

Spiegelman, A. (1986). Maus: A survivor’s tale. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.