Sexy comic books in Spanish pulled from Denver libraries

Sexually explicit Spanish-language comic books are being removed from Denver library shelves and sent to downtown headquarters for inspection, library officials said Thursday.

The books, called fotonovelas, were flagged by talk-radio host Peter Boyles this week. The KHOW- AM Web site Thursday had the headline: "Shocking Content Found on Denver Public Library Shelves."

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available through radio station's website. No one seems to be saying exactly what is supposed to be visible.

I've never read a 'fotonovela' and only recently became aware of them. The photo content would be off-putting to me, half the fun of comics is the art.

Why?

Why would anyone put something out without having a clue as to the content of the material?Funding, work load, etc, I really have to wonder.

Oh NO!

Quiero mas repisas por favor.

Okay okay okay. I have no idea if this radio talk show schmuck speaks Spanish or not, but these things have been around for ages, years, perhaps even decades. Yes, actually they have been around for decades.

Niesa Editores, the biggest publisher of these comicas, churns these things out faster than a coked up Jack Chick. (Technically, a fotonovela is a type of comic that uses photographs instead of drawings with the standard word balloons. I'm told that such things are fairly popular in Europe too.) For those not in the know, these comics are Mexico's answer to Japanese manga. They have an American look and influence to their art, but there's still something very Mexican about the content and the style. In brief, they usually feature four types of stories:

1.) Violent westerns
2.) Violent crime stories
3.) Histories (Which can also be very violent.)
4.) Religious stories (Which, amazingly, are also pretty damn violent.)

The biggest difference is in the sexual content. The westerns and the crime stories tend to have a lot of sexual content. So much so that the covers usually feature two things: someone getting the living hell beat out of them and at least one half naked female.

In short, the covers aren't that much different from American comics.

For instance, I'm looking at one right now that's part of the popular El Libro Vaquero series. Obviously, this is a violent western genre and it's cover shows a western saloon scene with a Native American getting the business end of a bullwhip while a redheaded woman, clad only in a teddy and fishnet stockings, looks on.

You know, I don't know how many people here would read these things, but I've got three things to say about their "explicit content."

First off, the only difference between these comicas and those Longarm, Gunsmith, and Slocum western paperbacks is that the comicas have pictures. The plots are just about as good as, say, a standard porn movie or perhaps a kung fu flick from the late 1970s. They're damn near hilarious, even the Hispanics think so.

Second, this uproar reminds me of the whole "hidden sex scene" thing in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. We, as Americans, really get into a snit over the dumbest things. We raise hell when we find something in a game showcasing two badly computer modeled collections of pixels vaguely resembling humans having what can only be described as "softcore" sex. However the other parts of the game; killing cops, using prostitutes, slaughtering innocents, and stealing cars, well those things are okay. In other words, my character can shoot a hooker in the face, but it'd be wrong to screw her.

It's a comic, for god's sake. The man is bitching about poorly to fairly drawn pictures of people engaging in one, maybe two or three at the most, panels of sexual activity while the rest of the comic features death, destruction, racism, murder, cruelty to animals, and wholesale slaughter. Seems that we, as Americans, have our values turned around. Two (or sometimes more) people engaging in the most pleasurable activity known to man is evil and wicked. Meanwhile the killing isn't as bad.

Finally, has this guy ever read the second League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel? This comic allows us into the more private lives of Allan Quatermain and Wilhelmina as we watch an old man and an undead Victorian get busy not once, but twice. Now if we're going to talk disturbing, there ya go.

Someone needs to stop telling me what's good for me.

Re:Oh NO!

"Someone needs to stop telling me what's good for me."

No one is telling you what's good for you. They're just wondering why the library feels its okay to spend everyone's money on it. Sex scene in Grand Theft Auto or not there would be an uproar if libraries started buying them and checking them out.

Re:Oh NO!

Could it possibly be... there are taxpayers and residents, legitimate library users all, who like and read the stuff?

More seriously, as long as it's okay to buy stacks of "christian romance" or films like "Passion of the Christ" (which has been described as an "up and up snuff film") it should be okay to buy other genres targeted towards a particular culture or interest.

Libraries serve everyone (or should...)

Re:Oh NO!

It could and I'm not saying they shouldn't buy them (though the anti-immigration comment is a different arguement).

Honestly I don't know. I find it hard to believe that all fotonovelas are pushing the envelope anymore then all graphic novels are. Have to wiat and see until we hear more.

Re:There's Other Agendas, Too

Maybe someone should look into if this a violation of copyright.

I hate when people have hidden motives when fighting something. Obviously it is not about the so called "porn" but they fact they do not want to see patrons of other ethnicities served.

It appears Denver has a very high Spanish population, as some businesses have already started catering to these customers. Why should libraries not do the same?

Re:There's Other Agendas, Too

Anti-immigration people are so irritating. In addition to being generally ignorant and insulting, in the link you provided they can't even spell Guadalajara, the rich town highly populated by Americans that they ASSUME couldn't possibly have a book fair capable of generating $400 (the price of a flight from Denver to Guadalajara). Please, these people are ridiculous.

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