Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Oni Press team up for new anti-censorship initiative and fundraiser party

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has been leading the charge against graphic book banning since 2002. With new leadership, and book bans back in vogue across the country, CBLDF is back in action with a new initiative, in collaboration with Oni Press, the award-winning publisher of graphic novels such as Scott Pilgrim and Gender Queer, the latter of which is currently the most banned book in the country. As part of this Fight Censorship, Read Comics! program, CBLDF will be sponsoring a welcome party and art auction at San Diego Comic-Con. The fundraiser event will feature newly commissioned artwork by a variety of high profile comic creators, including Gender Queer creator Maia Kobabe as well as Matt Kindt (Mister Mammoth) and Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, the twin brother artists behind Daytripper and one of my personal favorites, Casanova. (Bá also did the artwork for a little indy book called The Umbrella Academy).

Here's a peak at some of the artwork, along with details about the fundraiser party on Thursday, July 20 in San Diego:

Free for CBLDF members and the general public with a suggested voluntary donation at the door to support the CBLDF's ongoing work in supporting the cause of free speech and creative expression, the annual party will be hosted at The Westgate Hotel's Terrace Under the Stars from 8 pm to 12 midnight PT. (An SDCC badge is NOT required to attend.) On behalf of Oni Press, the first 50 attendees will receive a free "Secret Edition" variant cover of the latest issue of the publisher's science-fiction anthology, XINO #2, featuring artwork by rising star Nick Cagnetti (Pink Lemonade); while the first 200 will receive a free FIGHT CENSORSHIP, READ COMICS! two-piece button set.


During the evening's events, Oni Press will also be offering 50 signed copies of the GENDER QUEER: DELUXE EDITION hardcover with a bookplate signature by creator Maia Kobabe with all funds benefiting the CBLDF. High-quality, 11×17" prints of Kobabe's FIGHT CENSORSHIP, READ COMICS! illustration will also be available at the Oni booth (#1829) through the week with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the CBLDF.

There will be additional artwork and collectibles auctioned off as well, from a wide range of contributors including Abrams ComicArts, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Entertainment, Dynamite Entertainment, Valhalla Entertainment, DSTLRY, and artists Becky Cloonan (Gotham Academy), Justin Greenwood (Torrent, Stumptown), Maria Wolf Lopez, and more.

"Yet again, the comics industry finds itself battling an incessant wave of censorship dedicated to stifling creativity, marginalizing creators, and diminishing the impact of comics and graphic novels with the power to change minds and lives," said Hunter Gorinson, the Publisher and President of Oni Press. "In 1954, in 1986, and again in our present moment, our medium has faced this same reckless compulsion many times – but now, more than ever, it's vital that all corners of the global comics community come together to reject the impulse toward censorship that has risen up to target important works like GENDER QUEER and many dozens more. Thanks to the ardent support and unrelenting work of the CBLDF, we know it will not succeed."