Rio de Janeiro Mayor Removed Avengers: The Children’s Crusade From Literary Festival Due to Wiccan and Hulkling Kiss
Several years too late, but ... go off, I guess, homophobia?
The kiss between Marvel characters Wiccan and Hulkling was a big deal when it happened back in 2012. It was a huge milestone for gay representation in mainstream comics because it was one of the rare times that a same-sex kiss happened as the payoff to a long, drawn-out romance, rather than for the shock value of the act. Yet, despite that it has been several years since that event, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, announced that the collected version of Avengers: The Children’s Crusade would be removed from the literary festival Riocentro Bienal do Livro to “protect” the city’s children from what he described as “sexual content for minors.”
According to The Guardian, Crivella initially ordered the book festival to wrap copies of the comic in black plastic and then sent city hall inspectors to the event to seize copies of the book, along with others containing LGBTQ content. However, vendors originally did not comply, and copies of the book sold out in response to the comments from Crivella.
The mayor attempted to defend himself by saying on Twitter that the move was intended to “defend the family” and that “It is not censorship or homophobia as many people think … We just want to protect our children, fight in defence of Brazilian families, and comply with the law.” Seeing two people in a committed relationship harms children … how? Same-sex marriage and adoption have been legal in Brazil since 2013, and while also having a huge LGBTQ population, the nation’s murder rates for LGBTQ people is also very high. So, maybe it’s the gay community that needs to be better protected.
YouTuber Felipe Neto gave away thousands of copies of books with LGBTQ themes at the fair, wrapped in plastic with the warning: “Book inappropriate for backward … and prejudiced people.” On Sunday, Brazil’s supreme court subsequently ruled that Avengers: The Children’s Crusade could be sold after a previous court decision had permitted the ban. Jim Cheung, who illustrated the comic, shared a powerful statement on Instagram asking for solidarity and support for the LGBTQ community.
View this post on Instagram
Teddy & Billy (2019) . It was with great surprise today, to learn that the mayor of Rio de Janeiro decided to ban the sale of my (and Allan Heinberg’s) book, Avengers:The Children’s Crusade, for alleged inappropriate material. . For those not familiar with the work from 2010, the controversy involves a kiss between two male characters. . Now I don’t know what prompted the mayor to seek out a work that is almost a decade old, and that had already been on sale for many years, but I can say honestly, that there was no hidden motivation or agendas behind the work in promoting any particular lifestyle, nor targeting any unique audience. The scene merely depicts a tender moment between two characters who are in an established relationship. . As an artist, my passion is to tell stories; stories of great heroism, compassion and love, with as authentic and diverse characters as possible. Characters that depict every walk of life and color, whether they be black or white, brown, yellow or green. . The fact that this book, from almost a decade ago, is now being drawn into the spotlight by the mayor perhaps only highlights how out of touch he might be with the current times. The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard. . I hope the beautiful people of Brazil, the wonderfully diverse and proud nation, will see through this political ‘noise’ and place their focus on the light, and on ways to unite, rather than help sow the seeds of conflict and division . #TeddyAltman #Hulkling #BillyKaplan #Wiccan #YoungAvengers #AvengersChildrensCrusade #MarvelComics #Marvel #Comics #MCU #pencils #pencildrawing #process #JimCheung #LoveNotHate #LGBTQ
He concluded, “The fact that this book, from almost a decade ago, is now being drawn into the spotlight by the mayor perhaps only highlights how out of touch he might be with the current times. The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard. I hope the beautiful people of Brazil, the wonderfully diverse and proud nation, will see through this political ‘noise’ and place their focus on the light, and on ways to unite, rather than help sow the seeds of conflict and division.”
(via The Guardian, image: Marvel)
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