by BK Munn
I don’t review enough comics on Sequential so I’m going to try to keep track of what comics the government is reviewing instead.
The basic way comics are censored in Canada is at the border by Border Services agents. These defenders of liberty open mail, shipments and luggage looking for seditious or pornographic material. And four times a year they publish a list of what they have caught, with a note attached about whether the items in question are “prohibited,” meaning they are impounded and/or destroyed, or “admissible,” meaning they let them go.
For the longest time, the government seemed to have a hard-on for Little Sisters Books and other bookstores who imported a lot of LGBTQ material, especially before the advent of free porn online and the demise of bookstores, which lead to some famous court cases. Nowadays they seem to pay particular attention to adult manga and anime.
The full title of the censored book list is “Quarterly List of Admissible and Prohibited Titles” and the most recent one to arrive in my inbox is for the period April to June 2015 and published by the mysterious “Prohibited Importations Unit, Travellers Border Programs Division” of the federal Canada Border Services Agency. One of the roles of the CBSA is to “administer tariff item 9899.00.00 of the Schedule to the Customs Tariff” (i.e., part of the Customs Act) that blocks the import of material “considered to be obscenity, treason, sedition, or hate propaganda” as defined by the Canadian Criminal Code.
Here is the most recent list. As you can see, only one item, an anime called Nightmare Campus 4 (aka Gedou Gakuen, directed by Koji Yoshakawa for Phoenix Entertainment and translated/licensed by The Right Stuf International in 2003), was actually banned. I think the comic referred to here, Witchcraft, is a hentai manga by Yamatogawa, once published by Simon Jones’ defunct Icarus. As usual, the CBSA doesn’t note if the items in question were part of a larger wholesale shipment to a retailer or intended for an individual.
- Hate Propaganda: Magazines
Khalsa Fatehnama Punjabi Monthly, Vol. X, Issue II, February 2015: admissible
Vangaar February, Vol. V, Issue II, February 2015: admissible
- Obscenity: Comic Books
Witchcraft, by Simon Jones, Published by Icarus Publishing, 2010: admissible
- Obscenity: DVDs
Bareback me Daddy, M & I Productions, 2009/2010: admissible
Countdown Akira, Critical Mass Video, 1995/2007: admissible
Daddy Mugs Adventures, M & I Productions 2010: admissible
Nightmare Campus 4, Produced by Anime18/Phoenix Entertainment, 96/98/00/03: prohibited