UPDATED: There’s No Room For THIS Sexy-time On Your Apple Device

UPDATE: Apple did NOT ban Saga #12 from their app store after all. Which makes my post a bit null and void in some respects. I stand by my statements regarding sex in comics, but as for the criticisms towards Apple and the comparisons of scenes, they don’t hold any water now.  I’ll have to consider what to do about this entry- maybe transform it into a conversation about the idea of censorship? Read it like that..? I don’t know. 

WARNING: Sex is being talked about, graphic words and situations will be talked about in a thoughtful manner, but still… if this gets to you, you might just want to leave. Also- language and links to images.

Ready? Read on dear readers after the cut~

 

 

 

UPDATE: Apple did NOT ban Saga #12 from their app store after all. Which makes my post a bit null and void in some respects. I stand by my statements regarding sex in comics, but as for the criticisms towards Apple and the comparisons of scenes, they don’t hold any water now.  I’ll have to consider what to do about this entry- maybe transform it into a conversation about the idea of censorship? Read it like that..? I don’t know. 

Sex- the basic biological need for procreation, belonging, love, expression, and self gratification. Something deemed so sinister that it has had the worst repercussions on people’s lives for thousands of years.

It’s weird that even now in the year 2013 that with all of our neuroscience, and biological understanding of how the human body works that we still have a huge hang-up over something that’s really natural and a big part of the human conciseness.

Why bring this up in a comics journal? WELL! Let me tell you!

sagac

Today’s news in the comics world was that Saga [Vaughan/Staples/Image] issue #12 was banned from Apple’s apps due to 2 tiny panels depicting homosexual sex acts. I still don’t understand the context of why these two sex acts were depicted, but from what I could tell is that it looks to be symbolic to the character or something like this [again, I have not gotten up to that part in the series, as I just started reading volume one, ironically today before I even knew this was an problem.] There are several issues at hand here- the major one is censorship of depiction over meaning. Largely it seems due to the gay male sex acts- [ one creator, expresses that she had put a female gay sex scene in Fairest and that went on Apple just fine.] -So what’s going on here? The book is rated mature- lots of cursing, robot sex, nudity, and even flipping through the pages of volume one we see lesbian sex scenes where they have strap ons and eating each other out… I mean, come on. They let this go, but not two tiny panels of male gay sex? This wreaks of heteronormative ideals of sexuality. Lesbian sex is just fine because heterosexual males enjoy that, but whoa nelly! None of that man on man stuff! That’s just gross! —least, that’s my impression of the situation. It could be a number of things that range from new standards and practices in app approval, the person reviewing might have been stricter than other reviewers, etc… however, I really think this comes down to homophobia and the perception of a general public’s phobias/wants/desires. But this is censorship! The idea that we must protect our mature readers…wait that makes no sense. What IS going on here?

Of course I’m largely sharing my conjecture and opinion with all of you- I could be wrong…

But let’s say this isn’t a discrimination against male gay sex [though evidence from just volume one says otherwise -and I apologize for my over use of "male gay sex"- I want to be clear as to WHAT kind of sex with whom] - let’s say this is over the explicit nature of  of these tiny sex scenes. Places like DeviantART have some funky rules about what is pornography- bodily liquids, penis’, blow jobs and what-not- is that what’s under the microscope? The severity of the act shown?  But still- look at this orgy, that’s okay, but this is not.

Another level to this, as I was writing, Jennifer de Guzman [Image's PR & Marketing Director] tweeted:

c5d8f5cf6b52b0cde6c248ad82e92d5a_biggerJennifer de Guzman @Jennifer_deG

I have heard from a retailer in Florida who fears he can be prosecuted for selling Saga #12. This is why we need the @CBLDF.

That’s highly disturbing to hear- I don’t know if that retailer is over reacting or flat out on the mark [and being that it's coming from my home state... well, I don't doubt that Florida officials wouldn't be up-tight constituent abiding jerks.]

One of the biggest concerns I have is that context/story is not considered in this ban. Obviously,  the examples that made the cut previously had flat out sex in the forefront [though, I'm sure all appropriate to their own context] , but what of these two scenes that banned an entire issue? Obviously it wasn’t gratuitous, it was showing us something about the robot character. Now, granted I just started reading this series, but it’s painfully obvious that this is the situation surrounding these sex acts- if not revealing of the character to the point of being possibly spoiler-iffic.

In story telling, I find that sex is an inevitable part of the human experience. Granted, not all tales need to have sex in them to tell the sum of human experience, but when dealing with adult stories, it’s almost a necessity if you want to build a full human tale. The fact that sex has been so demonized has probably limited our understanding of human sexuality in popular culture, reducing it to nothing but immature surface layers of T&A and scandal over the banel. Sex shouldn’t be used ‘just to get a rise out of your audience for the sake of arousal’. If included, it should have pivotal meaning to the scene. It should be something that shows the psychological/emotional/political/etc to the characters and situation. It should move the plot along!

In later journal entries, I will cover my own and other creators’ books dealing with sex as a means to show other layers to characters, power struggles, emotional damage and whatnot, in-depth. But for right now, shame on you, Apple.

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