As part of a process of tidying-up of defunct legislation going back decades, Canada is introducing a new bill next week which should remove some of those laws that amuse people who make lists of laws still on the books.
That includes those who challenge or provoke people into duels, currently attracting two years jail time, or those who “pretend” to practise witchcraft. Apparently doing it for real is fine.
But there are many references to those who publish , distribute and sell “crime comics” which goes back to 1949 with the establishment of the “Fulton Bill” Intended to combat the rise in consumption of crime comics, which officials and child psychologists deemed to be dangerous and the direct link to the rise in juvenile delinquency.
Named after MP E. Davie Fulton who spearheaded the campaign against comics in Canada, he argued “the evidence shows that there is a real menace to the youth of this country in the widespread publication and circulation of crime comics.”
Section 207 of Bill 10 was revised to make the possession of any printed materials depicting crime — real or fictitious — illegal and punishable.
The law, still in existence, as Section 163, 1b of the Criminal Code of Canada includes under the “Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals” section of the Criminal Code, that legal action can be taken against anyone who makes, prints, publishes, distributes, sells or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation a crime comic.
Up to two years jail time.
It was last cited in a legal case in 1987, when a Calgary-based comic retailer faced charges for the books they carried. Well. that youth won’t corrupt itself!
But it’s good news for Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, who will no longer be extradited from Canada to stand trial for their creation of the comic Kill Or Be Killed. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky can sleep easy over their sales of Sex Criminals. And David Lapham can jump for joy over the Canadian embrace of Stray Bullets…