Saga Banned From Apple Marketplace For Depicting Gay Sex

Saga 12 coverBrian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples's critically-acclaimed and best-selling Image Comics series Saga's next issue has reportedly been banned by Apple's ComiXology app and will not be available on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices due to its depiction of a homosexual sex act.

This comes on the heels of Image already having had to deal with similar censorship of their sold-out Sex #1. Further, the Saga ban is a bit baffling  because Apple allowed last month's issue (which featured a full-page splash of the two main characters engaged in intercourse on the first page) but banned tomorrow's, which features a man engaging in oral sex on a television screen that serves as one character's head.

In other words, it's there, but it's very small and not particularly clear. The difference appears to be the presence of visible genitalia, although it's hard to ignore given previous nudity that has gone unpunished in Saga that it's gay sex being objected to.

Vaughan issued a statement giving instructions for fans looking to find a copy of the issue, as well as responding to Apple's content ban, which you can read below.

As has hopefully 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 s--t.

Apologies to everyone who reads our series on iPads or iPhones, but here are your alternatives for Wednesday:

1) Head over to you friendly neighborhood comics shop and pick up a physical copy of our issue that you can have and hold forever.

2) While you’re at it, don’t forget to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which helps protect retailers who are brave enough to carry work that some in their communities might consider offensive.  You can find signed copies of Saga at the CBLDF site right now.

3) Download the issue directly through sites like https://comics.imagecomics.com or on your non-Apple smartphone or tablet.

4) If all else fails, you might be able to find SAGA #12 in Apple’s iBookstore, which apparently sometimes allows more adult material to be sold than through its apps.  Crazy, right?

Anyway, special thanks to Eric Stephenson and everyone at Image for supporting our decision, and for always being so supportive of creators.  Sorry again to readers for the inconvenience, but I hope everyone will be able to find an issue that Fiona and I are particularly proud of.  And after you do, please check out PanelSyndicate.com, the new digital comics site I own with artist Marcos Martin, which remains 100% uncensored by corporate overlords.