Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
ArtScene

Comics

Digital comic blocked over ‘tiny porno images’ depicting gay sex

Content distributor says it misinterpreted Apple's policies
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Updated, see below.

ComiXology, a digital comics distribution platform, has blocked the latest edition of a digital comic called “Saga” from being sold through comic book apps on the iPad and iPhone because it contained two scenes depicting gay sex.

The images at issue are two “tiny porno images on a robot’s face-screen,” SAGA illustrator Fiona Staples told a Washington Post blogger, something she said she didn’t think anyone “outside our readership would notice or care.”

The two images in question show penises at the critical moment of a sex act as reflected in the faceplate of one of the characters.

From SAGA #12, Image Comics

In a post on his blog, SAGA author Brian K. Vaughan said it has “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.

Explicit adult content is banned under Apple’s terms and conditions, but previous issues of SAGA have been granted access to the App Store, despite having similar content, said Vaughan.

Update: An earlier version of this report indicated that Apple was responsible for blocking SAGA, based on an account by Saga’s creators.

Macworld provides this update:

Apple confirmed to Macworld later on Wednesday that it did not block Saga #12, and Comixology CEO David Steinberger subsequently took responsibility in a post on the company’s blog:

“As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.”

Steinberger added, “our interpretation of (Apple’s) policies was mistaken” and that Saga #12 would be available via the Comixology app soon.

Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , , , , , ,

Filed under: Arts & Entertainment

23 more reader comments:

  1. I don’t think comics should have any porno images period.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:17am
  2. Why is this news? If it contains pornographic imagery they have the right to block it to prevent kids from gaining easy access to the images.

    I could understand this being news if they allowed straight pornographic images on the comics and not gay but if its blocking pornographic images period then thats not really news.

    Just sayin.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:18am
  3. Though Apple supports gay marriage…Apple does NOT support porn. This has been known for several years since the App Store debut.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:19am
  4. graphic, somewhat. porn? hardly. This isn’t a kids comic anyway. The world is full of prudes.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:21am
  5. Previous issues of the same comic had depictions of straight sex but were not blocked.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:22am
  6. Both the straight and gay sex scenes are a bit bold IMHO. I just think it’s rude but that is just me and I’m not really a prude but, I think somethings are better left to be a bit private. Just not a fan of that in your face I guess.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:26am
  7. I would actually need to see the conflicting images supposedly printed before bc what I saw in article is not appropriate for comics and apples terms of service

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:26am
  8. Comics. Aren’t. For. Kids.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:27am
  9. i bet if it had a straight rape scene or just straight sex it would be very ok . apple products suck ass anyway .

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:27am
  10. Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:30am
  11. its really not that noticeable or at least for me until it was pointed out but eh I don’t use Apple products so I suppose it doesn’t apply to me but I have seen a lot worse than that tiny picture in comics before.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:33am
  12. when Jobs was in charge, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was too racy to be purchased from the Apple store.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:34am
  13. Starfighter now on apple store as an apology.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:35am
  14. David Plante i thought they were for gay equality>

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:40am
  15. You mean Apple won’t allow gay porn in its apps!?

    HOMOPHOBES!!!!! THEY’RE ALL HOMOPHOBES!!

    They can support gay marriage and block straight porn all they want, but until they allow gay porn in their apps they’re HOMOPHOBES!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:43am
  16. First off calling it a comic is a misnomer and implies that it is for kids The article should be referring to it as an adult graphic novel which is what it is and is not meant for children. maybe apple needs to add a filter to their apps rather then playing judge jury and executioner of what should be censured.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:54am
  17. Apple is a corporation and has an image to maintain. Pornographic imagery of any kind isn’t what they want. There is no controversy here, and anyone who sees one is just looking for something to be offended about

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:54am
  18. It on there now. So the point is moot.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 12:02pm
  19. sorry, but I agree with apple on this one.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 12:12pm
  20. If it’s not free, and it’s being sold, why can’t it be left up to the purchaser what they want to see?

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 12:25pm
  21. So in the final paragraph the real culprit admits mistake and releases the issue as normal. But don’t let facts stand in the way of a good headline.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 12:35pm
  22. Interesting to see the number of people who posted who clearly didnt read the article.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 12:37pm
  23. Stefanie Vella look at the image on the robots screen, that’s why its blocked, its a guy sucking a cock

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 1:28pm