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Apple bans Brian K. Vaughn's Saga #12 comic book due to graphic sex scenes [Updated]

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Update: It turns out this is not true -- the ban came from the book's digital publisher, Comixology, not Apple itself. Comixology has since rescinded the ban.

Original Post:

I never thought I'd write two stories in one day about Apple attacking the comic book industry over adult content, but that's indeed what's happening today. The latest controversy comes from writer Brian K. Vaughn, who writes a terrific series called Saga. The just-released issue number 12 of the book contains "two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex," according to Vaughn in a press release, and as a result, Apple has officially banned it from the App Store, commanding various comic publishers to not carry the book digitally for sale on the iPhone or iPad.

Vaughn says he could have considered changing the images, but "everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not (just) to shock or titillate," so the material is staying in. In the meantime, he says, you can find the book at any brick-and-mortar comic book store, on Image Comics' website outside of Apple's marketplace, or even (and here's the real laugher) in Apple's iBookstore, where apparently the company is less lenient than it is for third-party publishers.

Obviously, these images and this book aren't appropriate for children, so it makes sense to be cautious about how the images are shown. But Saga is hardly pornography -- it's an excellent, well-written and insightful piece of art. Apple's censorship on this is at least more timely than some of its other attacks on "adult" material, but still, the fact that Apple is trying to block specific content from its store for arbitrary reasons is disturbing.

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