Controversial Comics

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Cartoonists tend to stick together because they have to; . . . their work is disproportionately singled out for suppression both abroad and in the U.S., while at the same time often regarded as not “serious” enough to deserve a full-throttle defense.

Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, and Alison Bechdel talk with Salon about why they stepped up to replace three of the six writers who boycotted PEN America’s gala this week, why comics are so controversial, and why cartoonists’ free speech must be defended.


Claire Burgess’s short fiction has appeared in Third Coast, Hunger Mountain, and PANK online, among others. Her stories have received special mentions in the Pushcart Prize and Best American anthologies, but haven’t actually made it into one yet. She’s a graduate of the Vanderbilt University MFA program, where she co-founded Nashville Review. She lives in Pittsburgh by way of the deep South and says things on Twitter @Clairabou_. More from this author →