Comic Review: Defend Comics : FCBD Special (CBLDF)

wpid-wp-1399034280628.jpegAs you head to your comic shop for Free Comic Book Day, remember the guys and gals of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. They are a huge part of the modern comics experience, defending comics-related freedom of speech cases. They publish Liberty Comics periodically, which are sampler comics with artists and writers from around the comicsphere. This year, they’re putting out a couple of books for Free Comic Book Day, one of which is Defend Comics.

Similar in structure to Liberty Comics, the comic contains six standalone stories, each one related to freedom of speech, censorship, and the like. It opens with a statement from Allison Baker and Chris Roberson, co-publishers from Monkeybrain Comics.

The first story, “The Amendment That Made a Right Out of ‘Wrong’,” features Roberson’s character, Edison Rex. It’s structured like an old advertisement and a message about freedom of speech and the First Amendment. This is a fun way to share the message and educate the reader.

My favorite story in the bunch is also the longest: a history of the Comics Code by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey that originally appeared in their seminal work, Comic Book Comics. (If you’re not familiar with this work, while you’re checking out free comics on Saturday, ask your local comic proprietor to get you a copy. It’s a well-researched, tongue-in-cheek, and highly educational history of comics.)

The book also contains an Amelia Cole story, “Strange Truths”, and a few one-page stories by Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier. It closes with a comic about Banned Books Week by Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese. It’s a poignant observation about the difference between banning books and allowing people to make their own decisions about what’s appropriate for kids to read.

This would be a lot of comic for 5 bucks, but this Saturday you can get it for free! You can learn about the CBLDF and the importance of their work in our little comics world.

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