Iowa resident and manga fan Christopher Handley has been having a rather unpleasant two years. In May of 2006, Handley ordered a package from Japan containing "inappropriate" manga (namely yaoi and lolicon). When the postal inspector intercepted his package and applied for a warrant, Mr. Handley was followed home by police, who searched his home and found a handful of "obscene" images among his collection of more than 1,200 comics.
Now Mr. Handley, 38, is being tried in the Iowa court system for supposed violations of the PROTECT Act, which provides for up to twenty years in prison for obscenity violations. The Comic Book Defense Fund, known for their vigorous protection of the First Amendment rights of comic book retailers and creators, have agreed to help defend Mr. Handley in the first recorded case in which a private citizen has been accused of obscenity in the privacy of his own home.
Carl Gustav Horn (of Dark Horse) and Jason Thompson (of Otaku USA), two of the most respected names in the manga industry, contacted Anime News Network regarding Christopher Handley's trial. They have published two lengthy editorials begging manga fans to understand the implications of a guilty verdict in Handley's case and, if possible, to donate to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The articles are great reads for all manga fans who are interested in their industry's continued survival - which is hopefully each and every one of you. Please read these fantastic articles, and consider a donation to the CBLDF."20 Years in Prison for Buying a Manga" by Carl Horn
"Manga, Censorship and Obscenity" by Jason Thompson