Everybody loves Saga. It's the new scifi comic from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I like it a lot. It's a strange and imaginative comic that is filled with a more fantastical, oddball scifi, and Staples' art is really wonderful. The book has always been explicit - both in violence and sexuality - but it's the latest issue, #12, that has earned the ire of the Apple puritans.
One of the characters in the book is named Prince Robot IV, and he has a TV for a head (it's a weird book, guys). In #12 he is wounded, and while wounded the TV on his head begins showing explicit gay porn. Including a guy taking a facial from a number of dicks. This is apparently a bridge too far for Apple, who have banned the book from being sold on iOS devices.
As has hopefully been clear from the first page of our first issue, SAGA is a series for the proverbial “mature reader.” Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps. This is a drag, especially because our book has featured what I would consider much more graphic imagery in the past, but there you go. Fiona and I could always edit the images in question, but everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not (just) to shock or titillate, so we’re not changing shit.
Apologies to everyone who reads our series on iPads or iPhones, but here are your alternatives for Wednesday:
1) Head over to you friendly neighborhood comics shop and pick up a physical copy of our issue that you can have and hold forever.
2) While you’re at it, don’t forget to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which helps protect retailers who are brave enough to carry work that some in their communities might consider offensive. You can find
signed copies of Saga at the CBLDF site right now.
3) Download the issue directly through sites like https://comics.imagecomics.com or on your non-Apple smartphone or tablet.
4) If all else fails, you might be able to find SAGA #12 in Apple’s iBookstore, which apparently sometimes allows more adult material to be sold than through its apps. Crazy, right?
Anyway, special thanks to Eric Stephenson and everyone at Image for supporting our decision, and for always being so supportive of creators. Sorry again to readers for the inconvenience, but I hope everyone will be able to find an issue that Fiona and I are particularly proud of. And after you do, please check out PanelSyndicate.com, the new digital comics site I own with artist Marcos Martin, which remains 100% uncensored by corporate overlords.
You can also buy the comic on the Comixology.com site on your computer and then download it to your Comixology app on your phone or iPad. There are those who will immediately take the corporate side (there are ALWAYS those who will bow at the feet of any corporate authority) and say 'Well, you can still get the comic on your device somehow,' but the larger issue here isn't just the ease of access - it's the fact that a company thinks it has the right to tell adults what they can or cannot consume.
I'm glad to see Vaughan standing up against censorship. For those who are curious, here are the very NSFW pages: