Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.11, February 1998

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Needs You!
997 will be remembered as a turbulent and exasperating year in the on-going battle to protect the First Amendment rights in the comics industry. In June, Mike Diana became the first American artist convicted of obscenity. Incredibly, his parole conditions forbade him from drawing "obscene" images even in the privacy of his own home. In September, despite our staunch willingness to defend them, the owners of Planet Comics pled guilty to felony charges for selling an adult comic book to consenting adults.

If this sounds like the battlefield is getting tougher, you're right. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) exists to fight censorship and to protect the First Amendment rights of everyone in the comics community. But we can't continue the fight without your help.

Since 1990, the CBLDF has successfully defended this industry's right to create and sell comics responsibly, without interference. These legal battles cost serious money. In the last four years, we've raised over $500,000 to preserve the First Amendment freedoms of all comics professionals. Unfortunately, our legal fees and operating costs for this period are more than $520,000.

It's been a tough and expensive year for the CBLDF, and our financial reserves are dangerously low. It's more important than ever that you help replenish our treasury, the battle to secure our First Amendment rights is far from over.

I know you're busy with your everyday personal and business demands. But I also know you support our efforts. You may not be able to join us in the trenches, but you can help a great deal. By making a contribution, you directly help the CBLDF continue to fight the good fight. Please send your tax-deductible donation to:

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
PO Box 693
Northampton, MA 01061

Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated and will make a difference. Thank you and Happy New Year!


Denis Kitchen

You can now check out The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's web site by visiting Animation World Network's Village and looking under Non-Profit Organizations. For more background on the organization read Susan Alston's
Censorship In Comics: Is This the United States? which appeared in our July 1997 Comics issue.

Setting the Record Straight
Alex Williams' excellent commentary for your magazine (
Williams 1.12) on the sad fate of his father's magnum opus, The Thief & The Cobbler, has just been brought to my attention and I (belatedly) thank him for it and congratulate him on it, with one reservation. Contrary to what was printed at the end of the article, Richard did not write the screenplay by himself nor do any versions of the screenplay, the film, or the video list him as sole writer. Richard's a brilliant animator but he was the first to admit that he was no writer. As co-writer, I struggled through collaboration on that screenplay, assisted at voice-over sessions and rewrote and fine-tuned the script with and for Richard over several years. Alex was only seven when the collaboration began; perhaps he was unaware of it or simply forgot, but Richard and I held joint copyright on The Thief from 1974 right up until the project was sold to Warner Bros. for final production. In the greater artistic consideration of what happened to the animation itself, it may, in fact, be of no consequence to anyone but me that the story, the characters, the plot and the dialogue of The ("real") Thief & The Cobbler represent several years of serious involvement on my part. However, I feel compelled to set the record straight.

Margaret French Williams
Los Angeles, California

Thanks A Bunch
Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy your animation site. The more I browse your zine the more I really get excited and informed. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your company for sharing such great information and links for us.

A fellow clay artist from Australia, Pamela Irving, and I are hoping to do a "claymation" cartoon next year based on a famous character she created for the city of Melbourne. Reading your online zine has given both of us hope that we will be able to accomplish this goal and get distribution. Thank you for furnishing this site to us. Keep up the great work. It has become my absolute favorite.


Charles Spillar
Irving & Spillar Entertainment

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