DC Comics got itself in political hot water over a drawing that's been linked in mainland China to Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.
The image in question, which DC removed from its social media accounts, was created by artist Rafael Grampa for
writer Frank Miller's graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child , to be released on Dec. 11. The drawing shows a youthful superhero holding a Molotov cocktail. In the background are the words: The future is young.
Chinese social media users took offense at what they said was a clear reference to pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. This perceived support for the youth-led movement that has rocked the Chinese territory sparked a backlash against DC that the
company tried to quell by taking down the image without explanation or apology.
But the controversy was just getting started. The self-censorship only angered fans around the world, who questioned DC bowing to pressure and urged it to go in the
opposite direction. The disputed image's removal inspired people to circulate it widely, and to criticise the decision to withdraw it.
Turkey has ruled that the million-selling book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls will be age restricted and treated like pornography because it could have a detrimental influence on young people.
The book, which has been published in 47
languages, offers a series of inspiring stories about women from history for young children, from British nurse Florence Nightingale to French designer Coco Chanel to singer Beyonce.
But the Turkish government's censorship board for the protection
of minors from obscene publications claimed:
Some of the writings in the book will have a detrimental influence on the minds of those under the age of 18. That means it can only be sold to over-18s and must be
concealed from view in shops.
Speaking to AFP, one of the authors, Francesca Cavallo, said she was saddened by the decision. She sad:
Girls deserve to grow up surrounded by more female role models. They deserve to
grow up thinking that they can be anything they want
When a government is scared by a children's book promoting equality, that means that promoting these messages through children's literature can have and is having an impact, and it makes me even
more motivated to keep fighting every day.