Censorship in comics (Sandman or Fables)

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At this point, the idea of censorship is apparent. The fallout of the trial discussed in Park’s article led to the comic book industry creating “the comic code,” a self regulating set of rules that let the industry retain autonomy rather than allowing the government to censor comics. However, some major publishers such as DC Comics began running imprints like Vertigo (publisher of both Fables and Sandman) that did not have to adhere to the comics code because it was labeled as being for “mature readers only.” This raises the question of whether Sandman needs to be as graphic as it is (pun intended.)

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Submit an argumentative paper of at least 500 words to examine the issue of censorship more carefully.


First, select one of the two following positions to argue:

  1. Sandman needs to be as extreme as it is in order to appropriately carry out its story and breathe life into its characters.”
  1. Sandman could have been censored significantly without impacting the meaning of the story.”

Note: You may substitute Fables for Sandman but do not attempt to cover both works. Keep in mind, you are not arguing about whether or not you liked the comic, you are arguing about whether the extreme components of the book were necessary or purely for show.

Next, look at specific examples of where the book is extreme or offensive, studying specific impacts on both readers and the story when considering what would happen if the story were changed. Analyze the following issues:

  • Style (how “real” the images seem; in the case of Fables, you might look at how detailed the drawings are, for instance, showing Bigby’s stubble and arm hair)
  • Characterization (how real the characters seem by their actions and dialogue)
  • Justice (whether or not the violent or careless actions are “fair”)

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