It’s a once in a lifetime chance to get your hands on an original page from Jeff Smith. Smith and others are donating art to the Comic Book Legal Defense fund to help pay for the growing court costs in the Gordon Lee Case.

In case you aren’t familiar with the case, Lee is a comic shop owner in Georgia who could go to jail for selling a comic that has a scene of Picasso walking around in the nude to a minor. Gordon claims he didn’t know the scene was in the book and has appologized, but that hasn’t stopped the sue happy family and the crazy state of Georgia from taking him to court.

The CBLDF has already spent $80,000 defending Gordon and expect to need another $20,000.

I don’t sell my original art, and I’ve never donated an interior story page to anything before, but this case against comics must not succeed. No one should go to jail for selling art.

Take the jump for the black and white image up for sale from Smith, as well as the open letter from Jim Lee who is calling for your help.

Here is the page from Shazam! and the Monster Society of Evil Smith is offering up for auction:

CBLDF bw Shazam.jpg

And here is the message Jim Lee has posted on his blog and the CBLDF site.

To my fellow professionals, artists and comic book fans–

In comics, we’re always telling stories about people in life-threatening situations. That’s thrilling in a comic book, but in real life it’s the scariest ordeal you can imagine. Right now Gordon Lee, a retailer in Rome, GA, is facing the fight of his life. This August he will finally stand trial against two counts of distributing harmful to minors materials. He faces penalties of up to a year in prison and fines of up to $1,000 on each count if convicted. Gordon has been fighting to prove his innocence for almost three years. Fighting through being overcharged with two felonies and five misdemeanors, most of which were later thrown out. Fighting though the prosecution throwing out and refiling their case because the day before the trial they discovered that their facts were wrong. And now fighting against two remaining charges that are completely meritless. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has taken up the fight for Gordon, and now we need to help them finish that that fight.

Right now, I’m asking you to join me in supporting the CBLDF’s work on this case. To date they’ve spent nearly $80,000 defending Gordon, and they expect the trial to cost another $20,000 on top of that. To ensure that they have the cash on hand for Gordon’s August trial, and to shore up their reserves for what could be a very litigious Presidential election year, they need our donations now.

Please join me in supporting the Fund by making a donation of cash, original art, high-grade comics, or even some of your time (like I did in 2003 when I did a signing at Defender of Liberty recipient Chuck Rozanski’s Mile High Comics as part of a CBLDF benefit auction). It’s up to those of us who rely on comics for our living to stand behind the Fund in protecting our own. The Fund needs all of our support to win this case, where a conviction won’t just harm Gordon, but its precedent could affect all of our livelihoods.

To donate art or collectibles for the Comic-Con auction, please send an email to cbldf1@gmail.com to let them know what you are contributing. If you have it available, include a jpg of your donation so they can list it in their auction preview online. You can see my donation–a penciled promo piece of Batman for the upcoming DCU.


For more information on the case visit www.cbldf.org.

via CBLDF and Jeff Smitth

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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1 Comment

  1. July 13, 2007 at 7:41 am — Reply

    Stephen or Matthew (or anyone else),

    Do you know what comic is the one in question and are you aware of a link (or post a scan of the page) to the page in question?

    I’ve been reading about this case for a long time now, but don’t remember seeing the page. As much as I want to defend meritless suits, I need the original information to determine if the case is meritless.

    My biggest gripe is that the retailer is the one ultimately responsible, but the publisher does a poor job of marking their comics as to the content. Even a comic with “mature readers” isn’t adequate. I’m more in favor of a TV rating system where ‘L’ means there is language, ‘N’ means nudity, etc. Marvel has some system which I as a retailer don’t know and isn’t obvious. I’ve asked several people about Marvels system and have yet to have anyone know what PSR means. With each publisher responsible for their own system there are no standards.

    There should be some standard which all publishers use which will help the retailer determine with a glance whether they can sell an item to a specific customer and it will inform the customer what they can expect before they read the item. Retailers (and their employees) should not be made responsible for knowing the content for every issue of every comic prior to selling them, any more than a book retailer should be responsible to read every book on their shelves.

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