While we were linking to the previous Michael Dooley articles, we found another one from Comic-Con, an interview with Kim Munson, whose Comix Classics: Underground Comics app for iPhone, iPad, and Android had a hard time getting approved. The app is a survey of classic underground comics art with images from S. Clay Wilson, Reed Waller, Denis Kitchen, and more. The pictures are quite dirty — we struggled to find one to post with this piece before settling on Jimmy Durante by Drew Friedman — but nothing that isn’t legal and available in other places. However, Apple, the electronic middleman, has other ideas:
We planned to launch the app in time to begin promoting it at Comic-Con. Toura submitted the finished version to Apple. iPad and iPhone go through separate approval processes. The iPad version was quickly approved as submitted, with a long list of warnings attached… intense sex, nudity, drug use, violence, and so on. As my biz partner Jim Danky remarked, “I always read these warnings carefully so I know where to find the good stuff.”
Soon after the iPad version was launched in the iTunes store, we were surprised to hear that the app for iPhone was rejected due to “excessively objectionable or crude content.” After some back and forth, I removed 16 specific images that were deemed offensive, mostly for sex or nudity. Toura resubmitted the app to Apple, minus those images, and it was finally approved. The iPhone version became available in the app store on Saturday, the day before Comic-Con ended.
I don’t think that Apple actually wanted to censor us. They did, after all, approve the iPad version with no changes, just warnings. It’s a shame that the whole irrational attitude people have about depictions of sex in the USA can even make a forward-thinking company like Apple nervous.
The Android market doesn’t have the same type of screening process, so that was never a problem.
It’s the last sentence that really jumped out at us in reading this story. Much more and uncensored body parts in the link — NSFW!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.