Editor’s note: One very important aspect of a free society is charity. Organizations that do good and people who need help rely on the giving of others to sustain themselves. Since we at TOL advocate for a free society, we also advocate for giving, particularly around the holiday season. With that spirit in mind, we are going to spend this week telling you about our favorite charitable organizations to help guide some of your end-of-the-year giving. Check out Addie’s recommendations! If you’re hankering for more giving, check out the rest of our giving series!
I first learned about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund through a story about a manga collector in Iowa getting arrested for purchasing obscene material. As a manga reader and collector myself this made me furious. Yes, the material he was reading described as “obscene visual representations of minors engaged in sexual conduct” may be uncomfortable for many (including myself), at the end of the day all he did was buy manga — no child was actually harmed.
Although, of course, companies should be able to make decisions on what they host on their sites when it comes to obscene items (which is ironic giving the prevalence of “monster erotica” on Amazon), when individuals are arrested, comics are banned, or artists and businesses are getting screwed over, I get a bit ticked off.
Short of becoming a lawyer myself, a viable alternative is to donate.
CBLDF calls itself a “non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.”
They have assisted in quite a few cases involving comics, which can be viewed here and have information on other cases as well.
There are three ways to support CBLDF: by becoming a member (which gets you cool stuff), donating any amount and through purchasing goods from their store. I’m interested in buying Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, which might be a late Christmas gift to myself and also supports a nonprofit I like.
I think it’s great that CBLDF assists artists and comic lovers by protecting their First Amendment rights. As the government continues to trample on our rights, I am in full support of organizations that fight back.