Got this at the Neil Gaiman message board, it’s a sort of opening statement from Chris Staros, the new head of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. They are the folks that fight to make sure comic book writers/artists can create the stories they want to create with metaphors, messages, and stories that go a little beyond Archie. Thought it was interesting. Here it is –

A Personal Message from Chris Staros:

Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for the warm reception. I’ve received
dozens of heart-felt and congratulatory emails since the above
announcement was released by the CBLDF. It’s nice to be in such a
supportive community, and I look forward to working with all of you in the
coming months.

You know, comics is the last truly free artistic medium. Yet the fact that
it’s relatively small makes it extremely vulnerable to politicians and
prosecutors trying to make names for themselves on the often-overzealous
moral ground of “protecting the children.” It is here that First Amendment
battle lines are drawn and precedent setting cases are determined, and
that’s why it’s critical that all of us — publishers, distributors, retailers,
creators, and fans alike — support the CBLDF in any way that we can.

It may surprise you to learn that there are currently only 1,300 members of
the CBLDF. In an industry of over 3,000 retailers and at least 5,000
professionals — the most likely to be defended by the Fund — as well as
over 250,000 fans, there are only 1,300 people who feel strong enough to
become “card carrying” members of the CBLDF.

We’re fortunate enough to live in a stable country, which gives us
the “luxury” of becoming complacent about political matters. But in a post
9/11 environment, when the battle for our civil liberties is being fought at
all levels, this is not the time to sit on the sidelines.

I’ve personally witnessed — as Top Shelf — what this community is capable
of when it rallies behind a cause. And the CBLDF is a cause worth rallying
for. In his acceptance speech for the CBLDF’s Defender of Liberty Award at
this year’s Eisner ceremony, Jim Lee eloquently stated “You certainly don’t
need the likes of me to tell you what dangers we face as an industry and
as a community: dangers from overzealous local prosecutors looking for
easy, under-funded targets for political gain; dangers from a federal
government using an environment of fear and uncertainty to weaken our
civil rights. We live in a scary time — a time when the power of the First
Amendment is truly being tested and it is my honor to be able to help in
any way possible. But we need your involvement as well. Every professional,
every retailer, every fan here should be a member of the CBLDF.”

And in Chuck Rozanski’s Defender of Liberty acceptance speech from the
previous year he impassionedly expressed, “One of the things that’s come
up lately is the concept that patriotism involves repression. I think that in
this country — my adopted country — that patriotism, true patriotism,
involves defending the rights that the people who came before us fought
and died to achieve. . . we owe it to the next generation to not leave them
a world which has greater repression and less freedom than the world we
were given. So I ask you all to support the CBLDF in any way that you can.”

When pillars of the community voice articulate and emotional pleas like
this, there is no excuse not to take action.

Get involved in something worth fighting for.
Please commit to a one-year membership today (starting @ $25):

With one click you can join the fund:



(ALL membership proceeds to the CBLDF)

Your friend thru comics,

Chris Staros
President, CBLDF Board of Directors
Publisher, Top Shelf Productions
PO Box 1282
Marietta, GA 30061-1282