Comic Con India happened this past weekend at the KTPO Trade and Convention Centre in Bengaluru. Every attendee got a free goodie bag containing their wristband to enter the show, a packet of Doritos, a Batman poster and a comic book.
The comic book in question was a Comic Con India exclusive edition of Saga by Bryan K Vaughan and Fiona Staples. One of the most popular comic books published today, it is nonetheless intended for an older audience.
And certain members of the public weren’t that happy when their attending kids got hold of it and brought it home.alia.
Social media commentator and lawyer Debjani Aich posted on Facebook after her eight year old daughtr was given a copy and stated that she had filed a First Incident Report against the organisers of Comic Con India with the Baiyappanhalli police station, stating that it violates sections of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
It is also noted that the comic in question has no content warnings on the front or back covers.
Indian news service The News Minute reports another parent saying “We didn’t look through the book there, but opened it only when we came home. My wife saw it, the first few pages, and immediately took it away after noticing the material it contained. Now as a parent, I’m not saying that such material should not exist or that people shouldn’t read or it or something, but it should have come with some kind of warning or age advisory displayed, which neither this book nor the bag had.”
The News Minute also points out however that the artistic and literary merit of Saga may make it immune from such charges. However the show organisers also released a statement, saying “We sincerely apologize for the inadvertent mix up that has occurred at Bengaluru Comic Con 2018. In almost 7 years of our show, we have never had such a thing happen. We as an organisation neither support nor promote such content for underage audience.”
There has also been defence of the comic from local fans.
This would not be the first issue that Saga has faced. It is regularly challenged in public libraries and was dropped temporarily from the Apple App Store when ComiXology misinterpreted Apple’s content guidelines. Its relatively-c0ntroversial choice of cover also saw it picked up for comment on the Big Bang Theory…