Why I support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund enough to go to a not-so-great convention.
As I mentioned in my last post, I attended Wizard World Philly 2009 to volunteer at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table. So, I thought I'd tell you a little about that organization and why I chose to support it in this way (other than I didn't have the resources to give money myself).
Since 1986, the CBLDF has been working to protect the First Amendment within the comic book industry. Historically, comics have been associated with youth. Even as they have become mainstream and more adults are reading them, they remain an easy target for people who would censor a writer's work, because it's one of the few industries in which it's still easy to do so in the name of the children.
As a writer, I understand how important it is to be allowed to express yourself in a way that makes your story successful, or allows non-fiction to get your point across. As an adult comic fan, I want to be allowed the choice to read what I want and when, and I firmly believe that it is up to parents to keep objectionable material away from their children. More than that, I think that parents should be willing and prepared to discuss objectionable material with their children. Children armed with information are less vulnerable than those who are not.
So, I spent two days shilling a variety of signed collectibles for a good cause. Creators like Neil Gaiman, Brian K. Vaughan, and Frank Miller all donated books. Artists like Jeff Smith, Amanda Conner, and Matt Wagner donated prints. Then there were unique items exclusive to the CBLDF, like the fragrances inspired by Neil Gaiman's novels! All of these items are also available at their website. Visit www.cbldf.org.
I'll leave you with a word from Neil Gaiman, who provides a unique perspective regarding the First Amendment: