4/10 UPDATE: The news came out yesterday that Apple had apparently banned Saga #12 due to it’s suggestive content. Turns out that it was actually a misstep on ComiXology’s end and not actually the fault of Apple: “To our customers – In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify. 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. We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance. Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12. After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon. We apologize to Saga creator Brian K. Vaughn and Image Comics for any confusion this may have caused. All the best, David Steinberger CEO and co-founder” The one thing that’s interesting out of this whole story is that ComiXology themselves tweeted about the matter yesterday and said it would be available to buy: “Concerned Citizens, we WILL have #SAGA12 available for purchase at http://comixology.com . Once purchased, you can sync it to your app!” So what really is to be believed? Either way, Saga #12 will be available to purchase digitally on the iOS store shortly. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Update #2: Brian K Vaughan Responds “I wanted to apologize to everyone for this entire SAGA #12 kerfuffle. Yesterday, I was mistakenly led to believe that this issue was solely with Apple, but it’s now clear that it was only ever Comixology too conservatively interpreting Apple’s rules. I’m truly sorry. I never thought either company was being homophobic, only weirdly inconsistent about what kind of adult material was permissible. I’m grateful that the situation was cleared up so quickly, and I’m delighted I can go back to reading smutty comics on my Retina Display iPad.” Original Story: It was recently announced today that Saga #12, the latest issue of the critically acclaimed comic, has been banned from the Apple App store and will have to be purchased elsewhere. The reason behind the banning is due to two small images (located on the monitor of Prince Robot IV) depicting two men having sex. Brian K Vaughan had this to say in a press release regarding the situation: “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 shit. 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.” What are your thoughts on the situation? Have you been picking up the comic digitally? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 10 Responses Jacob Bryant April 9, 2013 I think this is a pretty odd choice. Of course they have every right to not sell it just like BKV has the right to write it and Image to publish it. What is odd is why this image that get banned. What about The Will’s trip to Sextillion? Or Marcus and his mom’s encounter with the naked giant. Not to mention the high amount of violence in most comics these days. I guess I just don’t get it. Log in to Reply Travis McCollum April 9, 2013 That’s kind of where my head is at with the whole thing as well. You can have graphic, bloody images, naked bodies and a giant with balls the size of sedans…but you show a tiny picture of two guys having intercourse (that’s SUPER easy to miss unless you’re looking for it) and it gets banned…bit of a head scratcher if you ask me. Log in to Reply thisjohnd April 9, 2013 Let this be a lesson: You can show a giant troll penis but just as long as it’s not touching another giant troll penis. But in all seriousness, this makes me wonder if Apple even looked at the book before banning this issue. Considering all the other sexual imagery that has appeared–not to mention the whole sex-slave ordeal with the young female character that The Will rescues–it seems absolutely ridiculous that this would cause the book to get banned. Log in to Reply Adam Shaw April 10, 2013 The image in question is on the first page and is on the TV face of the Prince. It’s brief. Personally, I’m buying all my books via the comixology website and then syncing my device, so Apple doesn’t get my money. Log in to Reply Travis McCollum April 10, 2013 I’d read the review copy of Saga #12 at least twice before I ever noticed the picture and that was only after somebody else pointed it out. It’s not like some giant, noticeable thing like Sextillion or the giant, and it really has nothing to do with the plot so I fail to see what the big deal about the image was. Log in to Reply NameitPurple April 10, 2013 That’s a pretty puritanical over-reaction. You’d hope a Mature Reading warning would have been enough. Log in to Reply Travis McCollum April 10, 2013 Yeah that’s where my big issue lies. Why not just put a Parental Advisory sticker or a 17+ button on it instead of banning it? What does it accomplish by carrying the first 11 issues, the next 11 after but not issue #12? It makes no sense. Log in to Reply Matt April 10, 2013 I just don’t get why Saga #11 which opened with a full page sex scene was perfectly ok yet two thumbnails here with gay sex are banned. I don’t understand Apple’s logic here really. Log in to Reply Landon April 10, 2013 I don’t currently read Saga, so I am not familiar with what is in it, but there is a big difference in a gay sex scene and a male and female sex scene in this world. Sex has been in movies and books for years, not that I agree with them showing that type of content in the media, but gay sex is still not accepted by the public. I personally will not read this book now because of this content. Log in to Reply Adam Shaw April 12, 2013 It wasn’t even a scene, but an image on a TV screen, in a scene. Honestly, if these two small images are enough to turn people off of the book, then I don’t see how they could make it through the first 11 issues which probably contained “more offensive” material. 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