Manga Reader Charged for Obscenity

Alan Kistler

Alan Kistler is a freelance writer who has contributed to and He is a freelance video editor who occasionally acts in independent film projects. His blog is located at

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8 Responses

  1. ed zarger says:

    I guess it's the cynic in me that wonders where we gave up any right to expect privacy from the postal service. Was this a case of terrorism or racketeering? Was this a case of an election coming up for someone, and looking for a patsy to make the authorities look good? There's got to be a better place to spend government money and acumen.

    • Alan Kistler says:

      I don't think that's cynical at all, I think that's a valid question. I mean, did the box that said "MANGA" somehow look like a bomb?

  2. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    Okay – so if he was ordering this Manga through the mail – then Handley himself could not have known exactly what the book would present until he saw it. Does that mean he could even be convicted of obscenity if he had ordered an Archie comic and this Manga was sent by mistake? This whole community standards thing has always been a ticking time bomb.

    • Alan Kistler says:

      I think at this point, the genie is out of the bottle. And yes, community standards is, by itself, such an arbitrary term that it's scary. I mean, I know a few communities that would find what I talk about with friends in a public place to be shocking.

  3. Dragon Rider says:

    I have taken the liberty of posting this in the forums at Drunk Duck and forwarding it to twenty of thirty people who Author and Draw comics that are anywhere from Action to Adult.I am so glad to see these people ignoring a previous Supreme Court Opinion on this subject. As I recall it said something about as the characters were pen and ink formed and not real or depictions of real people there was not age involved.

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      Yeah – I believe the original law needed a victim to procecute – and they limited the obcenity charges to photos and film images because of that. But I think the switch to community standards opened the door to letting people go after anything. Essentially – if your community decides that wearing funny hats is obscene – they can go after anyone in a baseball cap.

    • Alan Kistler says:

      It is nice to know they're spending money on this rather than, say, an actual pedophile, isn't it?

  4. Yeah Yeah... says:

    I think that this is ridiculous. He hasn't hurt anyone, so why is he taken away… it's so creepy to think that someone is watching what you order & is tracking you down like the way that they tracked him. Mangas aren't something people should be charged with… even if there are nudity & whatnot in it. Come on! Playboy & a whole bunch of porn is a thousand times worse!