In Defense of Comics.

Has anyone been keeping up on the Christopher Handley case? You know, the guy with copious amounts of “child pornography” found in his possession. Yeah, that’s the one. Well it’s still going on, with just as much drama as it had when the case was first brought to court.

Now, I think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a comic book, for crying out loud. It’s manga – it’s art. If you’re lazy here’s a summary: Handley was arrested for having in his possession less than 10 yaoi manga which depicted young men in homosexual positions – some consisting of “objectionable panels.” Because it is MANGA and drawn in Japan, it has the usual style; the men look younger than they are with no pubic hair. This, according to the prosecutors, falls under the PROTECT Act, and he is now being charged for having been found with child pornography.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m sure that for the large number of books and anime and manga that Ash and I own, that we could both be prosecuted for this same “felony” simply because some of the drawn women are in risky situations. Have you seen Asian people? They DO look younger than they are almost 90% of the time! It’s not a stereotype – it’s a fact. They’re lucky. Not to mention the fact that this is also a felony that thousands of people can be charged with. If they’re sticking to this, what is going to come next? They’re going to sue the comic book stores that sell the merchandise? I don’t get it. I don’t understand how this can even really happen. And why did this man, of all the people in the world who read yaoi, get chosen for this media circus?

“They found his manga, and found some objectionable panels,” Gaiman said. “He’s been arrested for having some drawings of rude things in manga. I’m sorry, but if you went through my comic collection, you could arrest me if you’re going to start doing that. It’s just wrong.”

Neil Gaiman obviously agrees with me in this article from MTV. The whole thing is ridiculous. I’m crossing my fingers that the case doesn’t stick and we can all laugh at this in years to come. The fact that it’s already gone on for over a month is just sad and pathetic.

I should get back to work.