Every year the Banned Books Week National Committee announces a theme, and for 2014 its comics and graphic novels. The announcement comes in the wake of Bone being named as one of the top ten most banned books of 2013, the growing number of challenges to Fun Home and general “They hate us!”-ness usually aimed at libraries. Captain Underpants, the most banned book, is even considered a graphic novel for the purposes of the announcement.
“This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship,” Judith Platt, the chairwoman of the Banned Books Week National Committee, said in a statement.
“It’s shocking that books are still banned and challenged. Comics are especially vulnerable to those challenges,” Charles Brownstein said in his own statement. “With this year’s Banned Books Week focus, we welcome the opportunity to engage the public in a vital dialogue about intellectual freedom and the powerful role comics serve.”
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.