Today marks the first day of Banned Books Week, an annual event meant to draw attention to book challenges/removals/bans and other censorship or intellectual freedom issues. This year the event, which runs from September 21-27, will focus specifically on comic books/graphic novels. I’ve already written extensively about the unique history and issues involved in comic book censorship on this blog, so I thought I’d offer a round-up of the highlights, as well as Banned Books Week resources and ideas on how you can get involved. It’s also frequently challenged horror author Stephen King’s birthday today, so let’s hear it for banned horror, banned comics, and the twice-damned banned horror comics! Long may ye remain in our libraries.

For an overview of Banned Books Week, what exactly people mean by ‘banned book’, and the history of government and self-regulated comic book censorship, check out this article I was asked to write for last year’s Banned Books Week. Clearly, I jumped the gun by one year with the comic-centric focus.

For more about Banned Books Week and ways you can get involved, please check out the official Banned Books Week website, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, or the American Library Association. Whether you’re a librarian, parent, student, writer, or just a regular person who wants to help, there are all sorts of ways to defend your freedom to read, including the Virtual Read-Out, events across the country, and other easy ways to get involved. For a list of the most frequently challenged books in 2013-2014, the ALA has you covered. Are any of your favorites on here?

For more on comic book censorship:

Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin and “Weird Al” Yankovic Read Banned Comics – Let Comic Book Resources show you how these industry giants are helping

The Library We Need – Why comic books in the library are becoming more common and getting banned in the process

Lost Girls Pulled Off New Zealand Library Shelves – In Order For It Not To Be Censored – Apparently, graphic novels are so frequently challenged that preemptively removing seemed like a good idea

Too Cold Outside for Snowbirds to Fly – The Comics Code Authority, its legacy, and the wiggle room that led to modern comics tackling real-world issues

Take Back the Knight – Thoughts on Batman on the anniversary of the Dark Knight Massacre

The Most Dangerous Game – Video games, the CCA, and youth media scapegoating

Image shared from the CBLDF

Image copyright the CBLDF and Jeff Smith


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About boundandgaggedbooks

Shannon is a freelance writer and folklore buff. She has a degree from Hampshire College in Creative Writing/Mythology & Religion, with an emphasis on epic/oral traditions, their anthropological implications, and their modern counterparts. Her work can be found in Fabulously Feminist, Wolf Wariors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology, The Concord Monitor, Redhead Magazine, and The Climax.

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