Free Speech, a Danish flag, and the CBLDF…
Above photo: Colleen Doran and a Danish flag at the 2006 New York Comic Con.
Two years ago, I signed a Danish flag. At the 2006 New York Comic Con, Colleen Doran (creator of A DISTANT SOIL) was asking comic book creators to sign a flag of Denmark in support of Free Speech. This was after the publication of Danish cartoons and the resulting violent reaction by Muslims around the world.
Colleen’s idea was to have comic book creators sign the flag, and than have the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auction the flag to raise much-needed money for the charity. Now, I am a huge supporter of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I contributed stories to John Gallagher and Sky Dog Comics’ MORE FUND COMICS and EVEN MORE FUND COMICS collections. So, I was happy to sign the Danish Flag when asked by Colleen.
Colleen’s efforts to promote awareness concerning Free Speech and Islam are very important. And I am quite happy with the results of so many comic book creator’s signing the flag in support of Free Speech (many include Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada, Todd McFarlane, John Romita, Jr., Kevin Nowlan, Kevin Eastman, Paul Gulacy, Kevin Maguire, Larry Marder, Shannon Denton, Walt Simonson, Terry Austin, Scott Hanna, Rags Morales, Erik Larsen, Chris Eliopolous, Bob Wayne, Paul Levitz, Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Carlos D’Anda, Joe Staton, Jim Salicrup, Carl Potts, Bill Sienkiewicz, Irwin Hasen, Jim Steranko, Mark Bagley, Frank Cho, Michael William Kaluta, John Lucas, Daniel Vozzo, Ale Garza, Garth Ennis, Esad Ribic, Mike Lilly, and Dean Yeagle).
Still, two years later, the flag hasn’t been auctioned off. Why? Beats me. So, I e-mailed the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to see what the deal was. Here’s what Greg Thompson (CBLDF Deputy Director) told me in response: "We are going to auction off the flag by the San Diego Comic Convention this year." That’s good news, of course. I’m praying that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund raises a lot of dough with the flag.
I absolutely support Free Speech. Free Speech is important to all of us. We all have the right to Free Speech… even cartoonists. If there are folks out in the world that don’t like that, than too bad for them.
Here’s some links about all of this from Colleen Doran’s blog:
"Support Denmark and the CBLDF"
"NYC Comic Con!!!"
"Danish Flag Signing event for CBLDF"
"Cartoons of Blasphemy Belong in A Museum" (including photos of creators signing the flag)