In Canada your comics collection is technically illegal!
When this Global News clip made the rounds it reminded us of our own past blogging on the subject, in Bryans 2011 ‘The GREAT CANADIAN COMICS CRITICS‘ post! In it he spotlighted the work of one E. Davie Fulton (1916-2000), and how Fulton’s law ended up on the books. It’s hard to believe it still is too, but it is!
163. (1) Every one commits an offence who (a) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, circulates, or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or other thing whatever; or (b) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, sells or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation a crime comic.
[Definition of “crime comic”: (7) In this section, “crime comic” means a magazine, periodical or book that exclusively or substantially comprises matter depicting pictorially(a) the commission of crimes, real or fictitious; or (b) events connected with the commission of crimes, real or fictitious, whether occurring before or after the commission of the crime.]
When revisiting the story I was reminded of one of the reasons for the atmosphere of the late 80s and early 90s on comics in Canada, there was a real active pursuit and protection of gay literature and erotic comics, leading the closure of Planet Earth Comics, as one of it’s owners and Andromeda Publications, settled on charges of possession of obscene material with intent to sell or distribute [link].
Brian Mulroney! It’s not widely recalled he was in his youth, an ‘anti-comics advocate’!
“Fulton was a modern man (who) saw the country, in some ways, decades ahead of others. He had a first-rate mind, but fortunately, it was also changeable. He would confront new situations and change his mind pursuant to those new realities.”
–Brian Mulroney, “anti-comics advocate” (1949),
A Fulton campaign worker (1967),
And, Prime Minister of Canada (1984-1993)