Comics books aren't just for kids, and the sometimes adult content is putting Apple's content standards to the test. Last year there was a bit of a dustup over Brian K. Vaughan's Saga issue 12 being unavailable for purchase from the ComiXology app. Initially it looked like Apple was behind the ban due to the issue's sexual content, but eventually ComiXology took responsibility for pulling the issue. ComiXology's CEO said the issue was pulled based on an assumption of Apple's policies regarding content.
The issue of what content is too adult for the App Store has risen again with today's release of Sex Criminals #2. While the title of the book may make it seem like this a pornographic comic, it's no more graphic than many R-rated comedies. The title revolves around a group of robbers who can stop time when they have sex. And it's under review by Apple.
Last night, the book's writer, Matt Fraction, tweeted the following.
HEY DIGITAL COMICS BUYERS: SEX CRIMINALS #2 is still "under review" at Apple. This means no iTunes or @Comixology tomorrow. >- BUTT STUFF WEREWOLF (@mattfraction) October 23, 2013
I know @comixology is trying to fight the good fight for us but they, like us, have to wait for Apple to decide we are Acceptable. Ha ha. >- BUTT STUFF WEREWOLF (@mattfraction) October 23, 2013
The first issue was sold on ComiXology's iOS app with no questions, explicit content and all. However, the second issue seems to have raised its ire. ComiXology has provided readers with the following workaround so they will still be able to read the issue on the Apple devices.
While Sex Criminals #2 is still under review at Apple, this fantastic follow up to Fraction and Zdarsky's hilarious debut will be available for purchase Wednesday(NOW) across the entire comiXology platform with the exception of iOS. So not only can you get it on, and subscribe from, comiXology.com and sync to your iOS device, you can also read via the Kindle and Google Play store! So don't let this little hiccup stop you from enjoying this great new series!
Sex Criminals artist Chip Zdarsky posted an interesting take on the Apple/ComiXology approval situation over on his Tumblr.
Apple has not released a statement about the delay in reviewing the magazine.
Yes, Issue two is "under review" at Apple to see if it meets the high standards of the sexless ghost of Steve Jobs or something. What does that mean? Well, this is my limited understanding of what the situation is like:
-Matt and I have created a magazine which is a cross between National Geographic and Cosmopolitan with jokes.
-Comixology is a convenience store. -Apple is the magazine distributor.
-Apple is worried that Comixology is going to allow adults into their convenience store with stepladders so their kids can reach the book up there with titles like Fisting Quarterly and Barely Bare Bears. They are also worried that these same adults will take the magazines home and just leave them in the kids' lunches to take to school or something. God bless Apple.