Monday, February 15, 2010

Ink on Paper = Six months

The Christopher Handley case has been a big event in the comic book world. He was charged with possession of Japanese porn comics that had obscene depictions of children being abused. He ended up pleading guilty and was just handed down a 6 month sentence this Febuary. He will not be registered as a sex offender fortunately, but he will have 3 years of supervised release and 5 years of probation after his time is served. He will also have to court mandated mental health treatment during this time.

Six months in jail is a damn fucking long time to serve for ink on paper. Unlike true child pornography, obscene drawings do not involve an actual child being abused. The argument that it turns people in child molesters or pornographers does not hold water either. Its the same sort of argument used against guns, violent video games, movies, songs, and countless other things.

The actual ramifications of this are rather severe. If you download drawn anime style hentai images or someone in your household does, there's a good chance you have an drawn depiction of child abuse on your computer. Most folks into anime or manga will tell you that most of the heroines are usually around 14-16 years of age. These girls are often are found in hentai manga and often owned and sold here in the USA. There are millions of people in USA that have animated images in both hard copy and electronic form that could be considered obscene depictions of child abuse.

How old are the girls below? Which one if drawn having graphic tasteless sex would be an obscene depiction of child abuse?
Both images. Same girl, just different ages. Hinata here is 14 and 12 according to the manga.

If the girl is drawn and has big boobs its hard to prove an age, at the same time the reverse is true. A good example is the extremely popular character Konota Izumi.

At first glance any sort of sexual depiction of Konata here could be a drawn depiction of child abuse. However, in this US licensed show, Konata is 18 years old and in her last year of highschool. This is canon. The fact that she looks rather illegal is also a running joke in the anime, Lucky Star. However, she is old enough to be in pornography. There are many hentai doujinshi (or fan made comics) involving this very young looking lady. I do not know if this would stand your favor in court, however. It certainly wouldn't in Australia.

This is yet another law that has effectively renders millions as criminals. As monstrous as a comic depicting children being raped by animals is... I still absolutely cannot say that jail time is anything approaching justice. Because no one was harmed. Its ink on a page.

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