Not two decades ago, the word "comics" for most people conjured up an image of garishly-colored, poorly-written fantasy stories featuring unstable grown men wearing underwear outside of their clothing. For many it still does. In recent years, however, the stigma has begun to fade, and the artistic potential of the comics medium has been able to grow, thanks in part to artists like Alan Moore, art spiegelman, Neil Gaiman, and Will Eisner. While the veil of social stigma is slowly being lifted, the law has lagged behind the new enlightened viewpoint, and in many places comics are still considered, from a legal standpoint, cheap mass media and children's entertainment, rather than a valid form of artistic expression. Because of this fact, creators must constantly struggle against outside forces telling them what they can and cannot say or draw. Retailers are constantly berated by groups telling them what they can and cannot sell. And as a result, readers are left without the ability to decide for themselves what they can and cannot read.
Enter the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The CBLDF is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the legal battles that need fighting if the young comics medium is to grow. In the large scheme of things, comic book censorship is what caused the negative stereotype of comics to be perpetuated. To allow censorship to thrive is to keep an interesting and unique artistic medium from evolving into anything other than pulp stories and children's fantasies.
Help fight censorship. Sponsor our Blog Party and keep comics interesting.
P.S. Thanks to the anonymous first sponsor. $20 within the first two hours of setting up this site. Not bad.
P.P.S. I would have added Frank Miller and Scott McCloud to the above list of influential artists, but I thought the list was getting too long.