Chris Staros writes to say that LOST GIRLS, the erotic epic by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, has been cleared for Canadian import:
Top Shelf Productions is pleased to announce that the Canada Border Services Agency (Canada Customs) has formally cleared Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie’s LOST GIRLS for importation into Canada.
In a thoughtful letter from the agency, dated 27 October 2006, the CBSA stated that the “depictions and descriptions are integral to the development of an intricate, imaginative, and artfully rendered storyline,” and that “the portrayal of sex is necessary to a wider artistic and literary purpose.” They concluded with “Its importation into Canada is therefore allowed.”
We’re very grateful to the Canada Border Services Agency for their enlightened decision regarding Lost Girls, as well as to our Canadian attorney Darrel H. Pearson (of Gottlieb & Pearson) for helping us prepare the documents necessary to request a formal review of the work.
What this means is that the book will now be available to all Canadian retailers and fans as soon as the new printing arrives at our distributor (Diamond Book Distributors) in mid-December. This new printing will likely sell out in a single day, so please be sure to put your orders into the Diamond system as soon as you can, to make sure you get the copies you need.
But was Lost Girls ever truly being blocked in the first place? I bought a copy of the first printing in Vancouver two months ago, and Diamond shipped at least 15 copies to my regular shop.
Canada Customs is a fickle beast. I’ve gotten books examined by them and cleared, despite being blocked in other areas of the country. Some I was really surprised they let through, like Zap Comix #4 with the infamous Joe Blow story.
I’ve never been able to make heads or tales of it. I suspect it depends on which border gaurd is examining your stuff.
Something people seem to have overlooked is even if customs says it’s cool, it doesn’t mean the local law enforcers share their assessment. I’m the buyer for my local comic shop, and we’ve been warned about carrying the book from the local sherifs. So yea, YAY it can come over the boarder, but it still ain’t legal.
I admire you on the willingness to share this info with others – good luck!