Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. continues its support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund with the 1999 Spring Breaks. Over the last several years, Diamond has redoubled its efforts to turn these regional industry gatherings into fund-raisers for the CBLDF through live and silent auctions, special giveaways, and other events. This year, the Spring Breaks raised more than $2,400 to benefit the Fund. The Spring Breaks are the natural descendants of the annual Diamond Retailer Seminars and are sponsored by Diamond in conjunction with DC, Dark Horse, Image, Marvel, and other publishers. Held at various locations throughout the country from April 6th through the 19th, the Spring Breaks brought comics retailers and publishers together to exchange ideas and discuss issues crucial to the industry. The events featured presentations by representatives of most major comics publishers and vendors. The annual Spring Breaks represent an important source of funding for the CBLDF. It is, however, just one of the ways in which Diamond contributes to the Fund's efforts to promote free speech in comics. In the first quarter of 1999 alone, this amounted to a cash donation of more than $2,300.
Also, this August, the Small Press Expo will unveil SPX 99: THE COMIC, with proceeds to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Featuring a who's who of the burgeoning small press and self-publishing scene, this collection is wrapped in a new "Jay and Silent Bob" cover from Matt Wagner. Altogether, it's 200 pages of sequential entertainment for the low price of $5.00! Over the years, the Small Press Expo has raised more than $15,000 in support of the CBLDF's mission to protect and promote free speech in comics. This year's Expo (September 17-19 in Bethesda, MD) and SPX: THE COMIC will continue that tradition with an even more diverse array of comics talent. The 1999 comic includes new stories and strips from Jim Mahfood, Brian Ralph, Dean Haspiel, James Kochalka, Rachel Hartman, Jordan Crane, Bob Fingerman, John Hastings, Nick Bertozzi, Steve Conley, and many more. Fans of comic innovation should ask for it by name at their local comic shop. Retailers can order it directly from Cold Cut, Diamond, FM International, Bud Plant, and other distributors of fine sequential art. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization preserving the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Donations and inquiries can always be sent directly to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061; or visit www.cbldf.org for more information.
Susan Alston, then Executive Director of CBLDF, wrote "Censorship in Comics: Is This the United States?" in the July 1997 issue of Animation World Magazine. Check out the shocking facts.