Superheroes don’t always defend us from mind-controlling supervillains or galactic invaders with 16 eyes and just as many tentacles. In the case of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, they stand bravely in the battle against censorship.
This may be coming from someone whose favorite pin says “All I ever needed to know I learned from banned books,” but it goes far beyond the lure of forbidden territory. Free speech is being threatened by everyone from high-ranking government officials to school boards and outraged parents. This is where the CBLDF swoops in with its proverbial cape. Even its mascot is a mashup of Lady Liberty and an illustrated heroine bursting out of a comic book.
Freedom of speech can be nebulous. Anyone can misconstrue anything, which is why you have schools censoring their curricula and even the TSA considering a separate book scan at airport security checkpoints. You know you need a hero when something branded as “offensive” can ignite a firestorm that blows up into a viral Twitter scandal. With the backing of legions of comic fans and bibliophiles, this organization has major courtroom superpowers when it comes to protecting our Second Amendment rights. Because assuming books that speak with raw emotion about issues such as addiction and suicide glamorize said issues is more ridiculous than the Joker’s latest beauty product commercial. So is suspending a librarian for “extremist” literature. Let’s not forget every cartoonist who was ever arrested for treason (these things actually do happen outside the U.S.) because of a politically incorrect pen.
Joining forces with the CBLDF is aiming a ray gun at censorship. No mask or paranormal abilities required—you can donate in your underwear via their website, and even get serious swag for your contributions, such as signed and super-limited-edition comics and graphic novels. Their partnership with Humble Bundle for The Humble Comics Bundle is all sorts of awesome, because you can pay what you want and receive a stack of comics with a particular theme (the most recent one was Eisner Award Winners). CBLDF also collaborates with other superpowered charities for this project, including the Hero Initiative.