A Banana And A Lobster Stealing Art: Not the Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Heard Today

This is a picture of the cover art for Saga Volume One

Art by Fiona Staples

Honestly, I thought nothing could top the utter ridiculity that is today’s Daily Tar Heel story “Banana, lobster may have stolen ‘critter.’ “ Then I heard that Apple Comixology has given their PR team a royal headache after someone made the ever-so-wise decision to ban Brian K. Vaughan’s latest issue of Saga from being sold through digital iOS apps.

Now I have no problem with businesses choosing what products they want to sell. And I understand that business decisions regarding mature content are a balancing act, and the tightrope businesses walk can easily morph into a noose.

That being said, Apple’s Comixology’s decision is downright Orwellian. Also, the only decision I could imagine being more hypocritical is a drug company hiring the Joker as a spokesperson for neuroleptics.

Why hypocritical you ask? Because the images in Saga #12 that Apple took issue with were two very tiny, barely noticeable, images of two men having sex. In the eleven preceding issues of Saga that Apple Comixology allowed to be sold through its iOS app, there has been childbirth, exploding heads, anal sex, at least two orgies, a dominatrix, child prostitution, giant pus-riddled testicles, and numerous graphic images of heterosexual sex that include penetration, oral stimulation, and breasts aplenty.

Squicked out yet?

If you haven’t read the comic, trust me when I say that Brian K. Vaughan doesn’t include these details for frivolous reasons. He’s depicting a universe ravaged by war, and one cannot expect an author to pen a convincing story without depicting the violence, greed, and lust that surrounds warfare.

Honestly, the image of rodent-like soldier disintegrating into a mist of blood and uniform bits on Page 4 of the book was more disturbing to me than the sight of guy-on-guy action. It’s a shame that our society continues to cling to its Puritan roots when it comes to the graphic depiction of sexual acts yet fails to bat an eyelash when pureed guts are smeared across a wall.

That hypocrisy has been dribbled around for ages, but the other thing that bugs me is Apple’s determination to curate not just the content in the apps owned by its company, but the apps of other businesses as well. I would be a bit more understanding if Apple were attempting to curtail the sale of illegal goods, but to suddenly bar an established partner like Comixology from selling a legal product through their own app, is stupid. If Apple doesn’t like the goods that Comixology is selling then they never should have approved the app in the first place. > [See UPDATE below]

A company should either allow the sale of mature content without restrictions or not sell it at all. Because the lack of restrictions is the essence of mature content. Free of boundaries, the creators make the art they truly want to make, consumers experience it, and then they decide for themselves whether the content is too much for them.

Apple Comixology, what you did smacks of censorship. Unless I hear a decent explanation from you within the next few days, I’m going to seriously consider not renewing my iPhone contract when it expires buying a comic through your app ever again.

I know. That’s not much of a threat. But I’m sure that I’m not the only one out there who finds your company’s behavior more reprehensible than a crustacean and a fruit stealing art.

UPDATE: Apparently, it wasn’t Apple’s fault at all. It was Comixology’s. So I substituted Comixology for every time I invoked Apple in preceding post and I kindly ask that you ignore that paragraph in which I took Apple to task for keeping a tight leash on their partners. I sprung on Apple because it was their company Brian K. Vaughan directed his ire at. Perhaps someone at Comixology did try to deflect his righteous anger by trying to pin the blame on Apple. That worked about as well as roasting marshmallows with flame thrower.

But that’s not important. Comixology apologized. The comic will apparently be available through the iOS app soon. Hopefully the furor will make Comixology, and other companies, think twice about trying to put arbitrary restrictions on mature content. Because adults should be able to draw the boundaries of their own comfort zones without corporate interference.

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