Tagged: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Martha Thomases: The Living Supergirl

When I’m lonely, I read.

I read at other times, of course. But books, unlike humans, are always there for me. Books don’t move away, die, or vote for Trump.

I bring this up because it’s part of my New Year’s resolution.

All of us, no matter who we might be, occasionally feel like we don’t fit in. We aren’t cool enough, or we have a funny name. We might be too fat or too thin, too tall or too short, too rich or too poor. We could be too dark or too fair. We might speak differently than other people. We might be too butch or too femme, too queer or too straight, too old or too young. We might be too nerdy or too much of a jock. We might feel so different from everybody else that we don’t even have the words to describe all the ways in which we feel different.

There is no doubt in my mind that this has been true throughout recorded human history. However, modern technology makes it easier to track this phenomenon and quantify its dangers.

At the same time, there are ever newer and more technologically advanced ways to bully the kids who are most vulnerable.

When I was a girl, I often felt like the odd person out. I was too much in my head, worrying about how I appeared to other people, if they could see through me and knew what a sham I really was. At the same time, I felt like no one saw the real me, and I might go through life without ever being loved or accepted.

Naturally, I loved Supergirl.

The Supergirl of my youth was not the glamorous character you see on The CW every week. She was a girl with mousy brown braids (like mine!) who lived in an orphanage, with no one to confide in but her cat and her robot double hidden in a tree. When her cousin, Superman, finally revealed her existence to the world and she was applauded, I felt like that applause was a little bit for me.

Later, I would find other comics and books that seemed to understand what I was going through. Whether it was J. D. Salinger or Ray Bradbury or Will Eisner or Trina Robbins or David Sedaris or Caitlan Moran – among many others – I found company in books.

Still, it was Supergirl who really understood me.

Teaching children the value of reading is a wonderful thing. It’s a tool they can use to get them through their entire lives.

I don’t mean “value” in terms of money or career potential, although I am in favor of both cash and jobs. I mean that the entertainment, comfort and contentment that curling up with a book is even more valuable than dollars. Somewhere in the world, there is a novel or a series of personal essays that articulates how we feel. When we find that book, we feel understood.

I resolve to share my love of reading with kids who really need it.

So, how will I carry out this resolution? It would be lovely if each of us had the time and resources to reach out to as many young people as possible and teach them how much pleasure they can get from reading. Alas, that is not always true. Still, there are lots of other things we can do.

Do you have a few free hours? You could volunteer at your local library. What better way to share a love of reading than by directly modeling it in your own community.

Pressed for time and space? You can give your old books to charities that will distribute them to where they are most needed.

For better or worse, the books that are the most comforting to children and young adults are most likely to be the ones targeted by free speech antagonists. If I were the kind of person to believe in convoluted conspiracies, I might think that those in charge don’t want a citizenry that is self-confident, engaged and able to think for themselves. In any case, it is important for people all over the world to find those books that speak to them. Therefore, I’m going to continue to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. They’ve done good work for decades, but in the past few years, they’ve really upped their game in terms of making graphic novels available for schools.

In 2017, I resolve to do more of this. I urge you to consider doing the same.

Joe Corallo: Gotta Have Faith

Before I get started, I wanted to say I hope you enjoyed or are continuing to enjoy every Holiday you may have or are celebrating. I had a merry Christmas myself despite some people simply wishing me a “happy holidays!” I don’t know how I got through it either. And since this is my last column of 2016, a preemptive happy new year to you all as well.

Now that we got that out of the way, these last few days or so have been rough for science fiction, comic book, and music fans. Carrie Fisher, who has been enjoying a career renaissance, had suffered a massive heart attack and as of the time I’m writing this is in stable condition, but is still in intensive care. We wish her a full and speedy recovery.

Peter David, one of my favorite comic book writers as well as a seasoned novelist and TV writer who co-created a favorite TV show of mine as a kid, had a fall in his home last week. While we weren’t sure exactly what was causing his health issues, he has since been released from the hospital and just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family. Again we all wish Peter David a full and speedy recovery.

As far as music goes, 2016 has been devastating. David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, George Martin, Phife Dawg, Merle Haggard, Vanity, Prince, Maurice White, Joey Feek, Dale Griffin, Pete Huttlinger, Sharon Jones, John Berry, Leon Russell, Frank Sinatra Jr., Greg Lake, Alan Thicke, Rick Parfitt and more were joined by George Michael on Christmas day. His passing was not only that of an incredibly talented musician who sold over 100 million records in his lifetime between Wham! and his solo work, but of an unapologetically gay icon.

Both Carrie Fisher and Peter David have a lot of work in comics. Though Carrie Fisher isn’t in comics herself, her likeness as Princess Leia has appeared in hundreds of comic books for nearly four decades. George Michael doesn’t have much of a connection to the world of comics outside of some spoofs in Mad Magazine. That’s soon to change as Valiant Entertainment is planning a variant cover based on the album jacket for George Michael’s hit album Faith for the first issue of their new ongoing comic of the same name. The proceeds will go to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an important protector of first amendment rights for comics and their creators. I’m encouraging everyone to pick up that cover. If that’s not your thing, but you still want to support the CBLDF click here to learn more.

While looking up instances of George Michael appearing in comics, I uncovered a comic series I was unfamiliar with called Wham!. The comic was created by Leo Baxendale and published by Odhams Press in Britain between 1963 and 1968. It ran for 187 weekly issues. Leo Baxendale created strips for Wham! that were seen as rip-offs of his work-for-hire strips back at The Beano which he wrote for year beforehand and is still being published to this day. In a way, Wham! was kind of the Image Comics of British children’s comic strips in the 60s.

It’s funny what you accidentally learn sometimes doing research. That said, I’ll be mourning the loss of George Michael this week while trying to hold out hope for a better 2017. It’s not looking too promising right now, but I’ve got to try to be positive to get through it. I gotta have faith.

Martha Thomases: alt-truth


The end of the year is a time to contemplate our lives, to count our blessings and enjoy the company of family and friends. It is a time to celebrate peace and goodwill.

It’s also a hell of a time to raise a ruckus.

Most of us here at ComicMix are passionate in our adoration of free speech and the First Amendment. At the same time, we revel in diversity and equal opportunity and think minority groups are worthy of respect.

Some people think these two impulses are mutually exclusive. These people are wrong. And it is more important than ever to say this.

Let’s take a rather frivolous example. There is currently some controversy about the use of the term “alt-right” to describe an assortment of racist and misogynist American nationalist groups. Some people find the label confusing, since it sounds remarkably like “alt-country,” a musical genre that emerged in the 1990s. Some people find it a whitewash (you should pardon the expression) of opinions that had previously been labeled “Neo-Nazi” or “white supremacist.”

In general, I believe it is polite to call people what they wish to be called. Just as one example, over the decades, I’ve called people of color “colored,” “Negro,” “Afro-American,” “black” and “African American,” depending on which term I thought was preferred at the time.

However, in this case, I think “alt-right” is deliberately misleading. Just as I can’t call people who favor the death penalty “pro-life” no matter what their views on reproductive rights, I can’t describe Steve Bannon with a term that shares its syllables with a kind of music made by Steve Earle. I also think “alt-right” is insulting to principled conservatives (and, yes, those people exist).

Clarity, in this case, is more important than good manners, especially when those who are using the term are journalists. In a perfect world, the media would only publish facts, along with opinions that are based on those facts. Since we live in an imperfect world, we use this ideal as something to which we aspire.

Which brings me to a more important and more complicated issue. In Germany, where there is no United States Constitution as law of the land, and therefore no First Amendment, they have laws that prohibit hate speech. We can have a discussion about whether or not this is a good thing, and I can take either side of that discussion, depending on what day it is.

In the link above you can read how Germany’s laws are difficult to enforce in this digital age. Neo-Nazis frequently use social media (in this case, Facebook) to spread their bigotry. In some cases they publish names, addresses and phone numbers of those people they consider too foreign for their tastes. Those people, in turn, get harassed and threatened.

The German government wants to hold Facebook liable for the content of this speech. Facebook doesn’t want to do that.

Personally, I don’t want Facebook to determine what is and isn’t hateful. We probably won’t agree. I also don’t want Facebook to act as some kind of police force, enforcing German laws in Germany. Just as we don’t prosecute cable companies if someone streams child pornography on a computer, Facebook, in this instance, is more the conduit than the content.

At the same time, Facebook is a private company and not a public utility. As a private company, it is entitled to enforce whatever code of conduct it chooses, as long as that code doesn’t break the law. It can also draft these rules according to the kind of business deals it wishes to make. People who want a social network that allows them to spew hate speech are welcome to find one, or create one.

My pal Mike Gold (who occupies this space each Wednesday) likes to say that he prefers it when people say racist, sexist, hateful things, because then he knows with whom he’s dealing. I get that. I also know that those on the receiving end of such bigotry can suffer from the cumulative effects of such speech, a death of a thousand cuts that ultimately inhibits their own ability to speak freely.

If you, like me, often use the end of the year as an opportunity to donate to worthwhile organizations as a way to celebrate, please consider the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for its commitment to free speech for everyone, and to Feminist Frequency for its commitment to encouraging diverse voices.

Because this holiday season, the truth is the gift that will be most needed in 2017.

Molly Jackson: Passion and Geek Activism


We geeks are a passionate group. Not just for the stories we love, but in most aspects of our entire existence. We look for ways to share our passion, like joining fan groups. And very often, we use our passion for causes that need our help. Everyday geeks champion causes around the world, whether it’s a fundraising event or just raising awareness for a comic creator in need.

Honestly, when I think about geek causes, I immediately think Captain Planet. Yes, I know that doesn’t make the most sense, but it is the truth. As a kid, I loved watching Captain Planet help out a group of diverse teenagers protect Mother Earth. And travel the globe without parental supervision. As a kid, I loved the idea of no parental supervision. Each episode gave a call to action based on that lesson of the week. Don’t litter, teach your parents to recycle, plant a tree. Simple but effective as a kid. But with those weekly lessons of helping others, along with my wonderful Girl Scouts experience, I learned a lot about giving back.

As an adult I quickly embraced the need for these events, throughout all the parts of my life. The best ones are always the geeky events, where my love for a TV show, comics, or any franchise can be shared while helping others. Nowadays we see geeky causes popping up frequently. Blood drives at SDCC, celebrities auctioning off set visits and trips to premieres, Browncoats Global Can’t Stop The Serenity fundraisers, 501st Legion raising for a variety of causes; these are just a few examples but there are so many more of varying size. Every group can find a charity group to support, a member to help. Or you can turn to the thoroughly geeky (but official) groups like Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Hero Initiative.

A lot of my pieces include a call to action within them. Frankly, you would be hard pressed to find a week where a ComicMix columnist doesn’t have a call to action. Even yesterday, columnist Joe Corallo shared a call to action about supporting comics writer Rachel Pollack. But you don’t need to wait for a call to action to make a difference.

Since you are reading this, you are obviously a passionate geek. (Or a family member of mine.) And while I said you don’t need a call to action, I’m going to give you one anyway to get you started. So your call to action is to go out and find your cause. If you don’t like those that I mentioned above, ask your friends, your local comic shop, the Internet. Check with your favorite fan pages. Don’t just look for opportunities to give money, look for chances to make a difference. Use all that bubbling passion for geekdom towards something more.

 (The ComicMix staff would like to congratulate Molly on her awesome conquest of the EtherTrolls!)


Mike Gold: Freedom of Speech Without Freedom to Listen?

Utah Porn Law

Who decides what is pornography? Who gets to stop people from seeing it? And why do they bother?

A Utah state senator got a bill passed declaring pornography a public health crisis. It’s been a while since I’ve been in Utah, but I was in New York City a couple days ago and I figure if porn is a “public health crisis” in Utah, there would be some sign of that in the Big Apple. I saw no signs of any public health crisis whatsoever. I asked my fellow ComicMix columnist Mindy Newell if she’s seen any signs of a porn-related health pandemic; by day Mindy’s an operating room nurse in the New Jersey portion of the metropolitan area. She acknowledged that pornography might be a threat to the health of certain religions that maintain broad governmental power, but it’s not a physical health threat like, say, the ebola epidemic.

Of course, true freedom of religion must include a person’s right to not be held to the religious standards of others. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, 37.36% of that state’s population is not Mormon and, by federal law, the majority religion has no right to force the rather large minority population of non-Mormons to adhere to its religious predilections.

But, I dunno, maybe they’ve got all sorts of problems with “porn” out in Utah that New Yorkers don’t have. I would give Republican State Senator Todd Weiler the benefit of the doubt, but then I’d be enabling him and I don’t want to do that. Weiler promises to introduce at least three more “anti-pornography” laws next session, including one that would demand your local Internet service provider (ISP) add systems that would make you have to register and prove your age in order to view pornography… assuming you are in Utah.

As I noted, “pornography” is not clearly defined. I understand why: any solid, comprehensive definition must define the bible as pornography as well as www.heresnewtittiesforyou.com… not to mention medical care sites, rape crisis information, psychological and suicide prevention sites, and so on.

Pete Ashdown, founder of a Utah ISP, told the Associated Press that completely filtering the Internet of porn is technically impossible, pointing to China’s inability to stop the courageous rabble from using the Net to foment protest. “Trying to control the Internet in these broad stroke ways never works,” Mr. Ashdown stated. “Whether you’re an autocratic government trying to tell people that democracy is not good for them or an uptight legislator in Utah telling everyone what is pornography and what is not pornography.” His opinion was shared by many First Amendment lawyers and freedom fighters, who note that the state of Utah cannot impose its will onto interstate traffic.

Of course, the electronic book-burners always hide their “moral” inquisitions behind the banner of “we’re doing it for the children.” These people are both liars and fools: the kids are alright, and turning something into forbidden fruit only makes it sweeter.

I simply do not understand why these imperious jihadists do not simply go back to doing what they do best: persecuting homosexuals, the transgendered, and feminists, and where they go to the bathroom.

You might ask, what does all of this have to do with comic books? Ask such accused pornographers as J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr., Alison Bechdel, Keiji Nakazawa, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Phoebe Gloeckner, Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Howard Cruse, Raina Telgemeier, Daniel Clowes, Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Robert Crumb, Howard Chaykin and Maurice Sendak… to name but a very, very few.

Better still, go over to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s website and see how you can help stop this madness.

Mike Gold: Defying Censorship

Mike Gold: Defying Censorship

Condemned TCM

Whereas ComicMix comments on all popular media – geek culture, as Ed Catto says – this particular commentary is about comic books. However, let me warn you: it is phrased in the terms of motion pictures. It could be applied to all mass communications.

There exists, and have always existed, groups of people with their noses so high in the air you’d think they’d drown in a drizzle. These self-appointed moral police seek to prevent everybody from experience media that they find objectionable. Of course, having an opinion and sharing that opinion is our constitutional right and I have no quarrel about this. Sadly, these people often attempt to have those books, movies, magazines and similar folderol removed from stores, libraries and theaters. They have held and continue to hold record burnings – for the past sixty-five years they have focused on rock’n’roll and particularly rock performed by black artists… although when John Lennon flippantly remarked the Beatles were “bigger than Christ” a whole lotta Beatles records went up in self-righteous smoke.

One of the first nationwide organizations to try to regulate our popular culture is the Catholic Legion of Decency. Since 1933 the Legion has “rated” every movie they could lay their hands on, outing those they don’t like as morally unobjectionable, morally objectionable in part, or outright condemned by the Legion of Decency. They also have positive ratings, but that’s beside the point. In 1995 they helped organize the Parents Television Council to do to teevee what they’ve done to movies.

Once again, I have no problem with organizations offering “advice” to their members, and the Legion of Decency and its ilk are no different. But ever since our media became mass, these groups have gone well beyond an advisory role and tried to get what they don’t like banned so that no one could think for themselves.

As distribution methods became more ubiquitous and independent thinking spread, the effectiveness of these organizations began to wane. They’re still around, there are still censorship boards (non-government; I use the word censorship in its broader use) of all sorts, and people still lose their jobs for propagating such art. But the glory days of censorship are mostly behind us. Case in point:

This month, Turner Classic Movies is presenting a series highlighting movies found objectionable by the Catholic Legion of Decency. Lots of great stuff – pre-Code movies such as Condemned, M, and Babyface and later flicks such as And God Created Woman, Kiss Me Stupid and The Carey Treatment are among the 27 films being featured.

Equally significant in the “passage of time” sweepstakes is that these movies will be

hosted by film critic Sister Rose Pacatte, who also is the founding director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies. She can provide perspective for those whose upbringing was not influenced by the Legion.

Of course, history has taught us we must constantly deploy and defend out rights. Each week, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund http://cbldf.org sends out an email noting various acts of censorship across the world, and I know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Zealots – a separate entity from those who are religious – do not give up. Ever.

Nor can we.

Kudos to Turner Classic Movies and to Time Warner, its parent company. Such courage always is welcome.

Ed Catto: Censorship and the Ties That Bind

WWE1v1_CASE_LARGEA reviewer for GoodReads offered up her thoughts in a December review of the upcoming Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette. A negative review took the creators and the publisher to task for what she perceived to be deviant fantasies. Several geek-centric sites, including Bleeding Cool, noted how this sparked conversations and negative comments from fans, both for the anticipated book and the reviewer’s ethics.  The review has since been taken down.

These discussions erupted just as I had finished reading The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn by Diane Ravitch. My Aunt Carolyn lent it to me, and I procrastinated in reading it. In the end, I was so glad I read it. It tells the disturbing tale about how interest groups, from both the left and the right, have influenced the content of accepted textbooks in American schools. But this censorship is ultimately ineffective in serving their own agenda. What usually happens, as you all know, is that kids proclaim school books (especially in History and English) to be boring and turn to all the other media that’s at their fingertips.

Language Police Diane RavitchBut the efforts and impact of these special interests groups is all very Orwellian.

The censorship cited in The Language Police is astonishingly deplorable. I can understand the conflicts of teaching Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when the n-word is so prominently featured. That’s an understandably tough issue to wrestle with. But the censorship goes so far beyond that. There are early examples of the publisher changing the Ray Bradbury novels to accommodate outspoken crusaders’ issues that include a lack of a racially diverse cast and the use of religious concepts. It doesn’t stop there, and continues today. When Ravich talks about poems being changed with gender neutral language, it becomes pathetic and bizarre.

Women's Movement WWThere’s a story about my Aunt Carolyn to share at one point or another. Back when she was an English teacher at the local school, she purchased several issues of Classics Illustrated, with her own money, and passed them along to her students. Her principal was furious, collected those comics and destroyed them.  Was this because my hometown, Auburn NY, participated in those Wertham-inspired book burnings in the fifties? Hard to say, but I hope to get to the bottom of it one day.

Back to the matter at hand. These DC “Earth One” series retell the early days of established characters with a modern slant. And the pages revealed of Wonder Woman: Earth One do show a lot of chains and bondage. But in many ways, that hearkens back to the origins of the character. On one hand, Wonder Woman fans realize that many of those early stories showing women in chains was a metaphor for the issues with which women were dealing. The inevitable bursting of the chains foretold the eventual triumphs of the women’s movement.

WW historical SketchOn the other hand, Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston was complicated individual, and lived much of his life with a level of duplicity that is astounding to modern audiences. Today, he would be regarded by many as a phony and a blowhard. Personally, his living arrangement, with essentially two wives and four children, was kept secret from the world and seemingly contradicts the pursuit of truth that was at the core of this “invention” of the lie detector and his creation of Wonder Woman and her magic lasso.

In The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore provides a fascinating and well-researched look behind the curtain at Wonder Woman, her creators and the women upon who the heroine and her supporting cast were based.

Secret History of Wonder Woman Jill LeporeMy concern comes not from what Marston believed or preached, not from the interpretation of those beliefs by Morrison and Paquette, but the rush to judgment of this graphic novel before it’s even published. There’s enough censorship going on right now and we certainly don’t need more.

The other big part of this concerns the idea of when the fans “ownership” of a character transcends that of the creator or the creator’s original vision. Recently, we’ve seen this topic revisited with Star Wars. Many fans revere the original trilogy, but take creator George Lucas to task for getting it wrong with the three prequel movies. In another Orwellian twist, it’s easy for indignant fans to condemn him for his lack of understanding of the mythology he created.

Likewise, fans of Wonder Woman may be upset to fully understand what her creator meant for her to represent. To them, Wonder Woman, as a character and a mythology, has grown and matured far past anything the original creator envisioned. And they take great umbrage at interpretations that differ from their own.

CWjRuJwU4AA_rF4Who’s to say what’s right? It seems to me that Geek Culture is made up passionate fans and there’s room for many fan interpretations. Some may be more valid than others depending on one’s vantage point, but all demand a level of respect.

This past Christmas, we sent two young nieces a Wonder Woman gift pack that included including ComicMix’s own Robert Greenberger’s excellent book Wonder Woman: Amazon, Hero Icon, DVDs from the Wonder Woman 70s TV show, apparel, comics and the DC animated movie). But if it were available, this new Wonder Woman: Earth One book would probably not have been appropriate for them.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not appropriate for other people and that certainly doesn’t mean it should be censored. I hope Wonder Woman continues to break chains, freeing not only women, but all of us, with love and wisdom. And I hope she can continue to challenge us along the way too.

cbldf* * *

Now’s probably the time to nod to the hard working folks at Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. If you aren’t familiar with the work they undertake, or need a refresher course, swing by their site: CBLDF.org

Tweeks: Interview with CBLDF’s Betsy Gomez

Next week is Banned Books Week! This means now is your chance to take everything you learned in our 8-Week #ChallengedChallenge and use that knowledge to fight the good fight. Let every one know about why banning and challenging books is bad. Maybe even go to your local library or book store and find a banned book to read. (We’ve created a great display at our local library for next week & we’re sure others will have them as well).

And if you are one of those people who don’t trust a couple of kids about such a serious subject, we’ve brought in the big guns. At San Diego Comic Con, we spoke with Editorial Director, Betsy Gomez from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund about why people try to ban books and had her show us some of their resources available to help those who find their reading rights are being taken away. Hey! And if you are a libraian or teacher this video is a great resource too, btw.

Tweeks: Banning Maus is Ignoring History #ChallengedChallenge Week 8

We made it to Week 8! Yay!

For our final Challenged Challenge book, we discuss Maus by Art Spiegelman. This Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel is written about the author’s father’s experiences in a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. Obviously, the subject matter is brutal and is aimed at those who are mature enough to handle to content. We think that by middle school, kids have already been assigned The Diary of Anne Frank and have a basic knowledge of World War 2, so this would just be an additional resource. The Holocaust is an important piece of history that we all need to learn more about and this personal account and where each group is depicted as a different animal (Jews are mice, Nazis are cats, etc) really helps you wrap your mind around things.

Even though most people find this book to be of great value, some others have been concerned that it’s not appropriate for younger readers, and then someone else wanted it off the library shelves because it was anti-ethnic. This is why we read it. So, thanks for that, Banners. But seriously, they are way misguided.

If you are afraid the subject matter is too depressing, we also give you a couple things that made it enjoyable for us along with a bunch of other reasons why this is an important work that shouldn’t be restricted.

Tweeks: Kids Don’t Need to Be Sheltered From Persepolis #ChallengedChallenge Week 7

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is our penultimate book in the ComicMix Challenged Challenge — and probably our favorite book of the bunch. This is a first hand account of Marjane’s childhood in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran. This graphic novel not only takes the roots of very serious current events issue and breaks it down so kids like us can understand it, but it is a total page-turner. Sure, it’s violent — but we are talking about war, and as far as wars go, this isn’t really very violent at all. This is a lot less violent than what we would see on the news.

Ironically, this book was most recently challenged by a community college student and her parents (Helicopter your adult kid much, Mom & Dad? Geez!) for it’s violence because she was expecting Batman and Robin in her graphic novel lit class. This brings up the subject of why it’s okay for fictional superhero comics to be violent, but not those about real life? We are so confused.

This book was also called out for language. But what gets us mad is that most of the bad language comes from what people said in catcalling (well, more like verbally abusing) Marjane’s mom for not wearing her veil and later for conservative women name-calling Marjane and others. This is how it went down with those words. The words are what makes it cruel and scary. These are not words the average middle schooler has never heard before and unfortunately lots of women here are called these bad names too. Can we talk about those actions first, then worry about the language? If it is so upsetting, then fix the problem, don’t ban the description of it.

There is so much to say, which we do in the video. If you haven’t read Persepolis, please do.

Next week, we discuss our final book, Maus.