No one likes these letters. But that doesn’t make them any less important. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund needs our help. As I write this letter, their experts are preparing to testify on behalf of Christopher Handley, a private collector who faces up to 20 years in prison for possession of manga that the Federal Government has deemed obscene. If convicted, Handley’s case will set new precedent that would make it easier for the government to prosecute private citizens for possession of art, and make art even more vulnerable for prosecution. As special consultant to the defense, the CBLDF is fighting to stop this from happening.
Handley’s case shows why it’s important that we support the CBLDF. For more than 20 years, the Fund has been going to court to defend retailers, creators, and now, readers who are singled out by prosecutors because of comics. They arrange and pay for the best counsel, an expense that would bankrupt most of us. When you contribute to the Fund, you’re helping real people and safeguarding our First Amendment rights.
Because of your support, the Fund makes a difference. Your donations helped them march to victory in their defense of Rome, GA retailer Gordon Lee. For nearly three years Gordon was fighting a prosecutor’s office that grossly overcharged him at the start of the case, and proceeded to cause multiple delays, including throwing out and refiling charges a year and a half into the case, and creating a mistrial when the case finally went before a jury. Over $100,000 was spent to defend Mr. Lee.
Without our support, the CBLDF can’t perform this important work. Please join me in supporting the Fund by taking this opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation. There are lots of ways to do this – you can sign up for membership, donate a piece of artwork or a rare comic book from your collection, or buy premiums from their website. And cash donations are always appreciated, of course.
If you’re a creator or publisher, you can also donate some of your time to the Fund by signing for them at conventions and events, donating signed copies of your work, or something even more creative. If you’re a retailer, why not host a CBLDF fundraiser at your store or sign up for retail membership?
However you decide to help, now is the time. The Fund is standing up for our rights as readers and creators. We need to stand behind them with our financial support so they can keep doing their important work. Please make your contribution to the CBLDF today.