Neil Gaiman weighs in on the Christopher Handley Manga case…

Neil Gaiman talks about the Christopher Handley trial where a comic reader is being attacked for owning what some perceive as “child porn”. O_o?!

It’s bad enough people want to regulate what can and can’t be sold but now they are going after his private collection of manga? Context on how the case got started is:

Mr. Handley’s case began in May 2006 when he received an express mail package from Japan that contained seven Japanese comic books. That package was intercepted by the Postal Inspector, who applied for a search warrant after determining that the package contained cartoon images of objectionable content. Unaware that his materials were searched, Handley drove away from the post office and was followed by various law enforcement officers, who pulled him over and followed him to his home. Once there, agents from the Postal Inspector’s office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, Special Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and officers from the Glenwood Police Department seized Handley’s collection of over 1,200 manga books or publications; and hundreds of DVDs, VHS tapes, laser disks; seven computers, and other documents. Though Handley’s collection was comprised of hundreds of comics covering a wide spectrum of manga, the government is prosecuting images appearing in a small handful.

What I want to know is what prompted that postal inspector to assume he was getting obscene materials? Had he opened packages before? Did he assume any and all things coming in from Japan had to be that cartoon porn? I’m wondering why no one is looking into the motivation of the Postal Inspector to get a search warrant for a package sent to a private consumer?

I hope the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund and Mr.Handley win their case, and I hope this sends a message that adult comics aren’t obscene.