This letter was sent to John D. Roberts, Co-Founder of ComiXology and Director of ComiXology Submit & Digital Storytelling, after receiving a letter informing us that several of our titles—QU33R, A Waste of Time #2, and Capitol Hillbillies, Volume One—had been rejected for digital distribution due to the inclusion of satirical and parody elements and public figures.
I’m really disheartened that ComiXology has taken the path of least resistance on issues of satire and personality parody. These books, and Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon, which you rejected previously for the inclusion of a tiny Spider-Man-style mask in one panel—all contain constitutionally-protected free speech, and to reject them for their inclusion of public figures or parody of recognizable characters is unwarranted.
I’m going to point you to this page, about parody and satire and the precedent for their legality in comics:
Also, I’m going to point you to your massive collection of Bluewater Comics titles, many of which are *full books* about public figures or celebrities, instead of brief mentions or satirical takes on them.
I’m not sure why a comic tribute to RuPaul or Bill Watterson sets off your alarm bells while an entire catalog of bio comics goes by unnoticed. Maybe you can explain that to me.
The digital age seemed to offer us a way of bypassing the gatekeepers that barred the way for independent and marginalized voices in comics, but it seems increasingly like the gatekeepers are finding ways to step in and keep these voices out of the major marketplaces.
I think these decisions are cowardly and wrongheaded, and show a startling lack of interest in preserving a free marketplace of ideas.
I like ComiXology as a platform and have enjoyed working with you in the past, but rest assured that I will mock you publicly and relentlessly for these bad decisions.