A man in Iowa has been arrested for being in possessions of “obscene mangas”, those of lolicon and yaoi in nature. His trial will happen on December 2, 2008, and who of all people’s backing him up? Neil Gaiman is, that’s who! He happens to be representing the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund.
Big kudos to Gaiman, who has the strength and the courage to speak out against such violations like these and for supporting someone who’s probably being trialled for all the wrong reasons. Yes, children and youth needs to be protected, but unless this guy actually did molest children and copied the acts he learned from these mangas, by owning such obscene mangas doesn’t automatically make him a “bad” person.
I will admit that I love my yaoi mangas. This news frightens me in ways that shouldn’t be possible. This kind of news makes me realize just how oppressive the world can be on individual freedom. I understand the reasoning for having these obscenity laws. I work with children and youth, so I understand completely! But should they be applied to comics? To literature? To arts?