Update: Apple didn’t ban SAGA #12; comiXology did – BKV’s statement added

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saga 12 review1 Update: Apple didnt ban SAGA #12; comiXology did   BKVs statement addedUPDATE: Aaaaaand here’s Brian K. Vaughan’s statement:

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.

In a statement, comiXology CEO David Steinberger has revealed what really happened–and why Apple seemed to be so capricious in their standards regarding sex in SAGA. It was comiXology that decided the scene in SAGA #12 went over the line, not Apple. Can we take back all those mean things we said about Tim Cook now?

On the plus side, now you can buy it wherever you want again, just like God intended.

 

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. Vaughan and Image Comics for any confusion this may have caused.

All the best,

David Steinberger
CEO and co-founder
comiXology

Comments

  1. Richard Watson says:

    Here’s a novel idea for the future; don’t publish stories without fact-checking them first.

    Ahh, what am I saying. This is the Internet. No one cares about facts here.

  2. Chris says:

    It’s like I always say, God loves a EULA.

  3. The Beat says:

    Fact check? Both Apple and Comixology refused to comment on this story until now. And BKV must have believed what he wrote the first time.

  4. Thomas Wayne says:

    FROM THE ARTICLE:
    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…

    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….

    Wow…not Apple’s fault and not rejected due to GAY Sex…just explicit sex that went a little to far.

    Imagine that.

    It is truly amazing (and quite sad) to watch an entire segment of comic fans jump the gun on something like this without thinking things through with a little common sense before feigning outrage and starting a witch hunt.

  5. Richard Watson says:

    “Fact check? Both Apple and Comixology refused to comment on this story until now.”

    Well then don’t publish until you can verify the truth. Or were you more interested in the site traffic you knew it would generate?

  6. Thomas Wayne says:

    This is Brian K Vaughn’s officially response to today’s information….

    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.

    Now let’s look at the heart of what BKV just said in his release….

    I never thought either company was being homophobic, only weirdly inconsistent….

    So if BKV thought that from the beginning….WHAT THE HELL WAS ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?????????

    If he didn’t think it had anything to do with the dislike of gay sex, why did a few thousand holier than thou comic fans take to the internet in such backlash and outrage????

    This just keeps making people look dumber and dumber by the second…

  7. As far as I can tell this was a comedy of errors.

    Brian K. Vaughan was “led to believe” that Apple had done something censorious.

    Then The Beat reported:
    “News of Apple’s decision to ban SAGA #12 from any app-based storefronts spread like wildfire yesterday.”

    Not sure how BKV’s “led to believe” became The Beat’s “Apple’s decision.”

    In any event, no harm no foul, no one got hurt, and I’m sure Apple will survive.

  8. Brian K. Vaughan the author of Saga had reported he was being banned from Apple. Apple rarely comments on these kind of issues so despite the fact that many news organizations reached out to Apple for comment, there was no reply. This wasn’t a badly reported story, this was a story where everyone was led to believe one thing when something else actually happened. It would have been strange had the Beat *not* reported on the issue when so many others had picked up on it.

    In the end, I’ve discovered that if I order through Comixology website, the author gets a bigger cut since Apple or Google doesn’t take 30%. Now that I know I’m more than happy to trade in convenience so that the author & publisher to get a bigger cut of my money.

  9. Snikt Snakt says:

    So its a HAPPY ENDING all around!!!

  10. Risky777 says:

    Haha… yeah, happy ending, until Apple decides they’ve been slandered… :P

  11. That Guy says:

    Snikt Snakt: I see what you did there… and I approve.

  12. Whatever says:

    That’s because Apple was slandered which I imagine is really frustrating if you are Tim Cook the CEO. It is was mostly in the comments. I am not sure inept reporting is slander but crying Gay censorship was clearly intentional especially since other outlets reported Explicit Scenes. The Beat had to make sure GAY was in the headline to be extra salacious.

  13. Wait. Apple refused to comment so you went with the headline:
    “Apple Bans SAGA #12 due to gay sex scenes”

    You got to that conclusion with no official comment from Comixology OR Apple?

  14. The Beat says:

    I’ll admit that this was not my finest moment — or the finest moment of the hundreds of other websites that picked up BKV’s statement. But it was also not the finest moment for Comixology or Image or even Apple.

    Who is the winner here?

    BKV and Fiona Staples who are the recipients of a ton of sales — sex sells!

  15. Apple has banned homosexual content in the past and they rarely comments on such bans. So it wasn’t exactly something that was out of character of the company. If Apple won’t comment on an issue, are we supposed to pretend it didn’t happen?

  16. Richard Watson says:

    “If Apple won’t comment on an issue, are we supposed to pretend it didn’t happen?”

    It DIDN’T happen. That’s rather the point.

    People all over the Internet fell over themselves in outright glee at being able to attack Apple over something they didn’t do and rather than apologise are trying to blame *them* for not responding to the story.

  17. Whatever says:

    @MatthewFabb Apple has publicly donated money to support Gay marriage, Tim Cook the CEO is gay and it’s a great company in terms of being openly gay in the workplace. So I am curious what you are talking about exactly? Isn’t being successful and socially progressive what we want?

  18. Zeparu says:

    Technically it’s not correct that Apple didn’t do anything. They put up some rather vague censorship guidelines that makes people really jumpy when they submit stuff to them. There’ve been enough stories in the past to confirm that. So the whole thing didn’t come out of nothing on Apple’s side. Comixology certainly overreacted, but they did overreact to something.

    Anyway, once again I’m glad I don’t buy anything digital.

  19. Meh. We get upset when people’s rights are trampled on by big bad corporations so its no surprise that this story generated some knee-jerk buzz. Some people even made assumptions…racing to the defense of something they hold dear….the right to see comics with two dudes having sex. Like I said, meh.

    As for The Beat and this site’s journalistic integrity, I’ve seen more integrity here than on most of the “real” news outlets. Heidi and company, you’re allowed one goof now and then. However, this doesn’t apply to Torsten, he better be perfect or he’s in BIG trouble! Thank you for posting a mea culpa when necessary. Nobody’s going anywhere. We’re staying right here.

  20. Apple may be LGBT friendly but that does not mean that each and every employee is, with such decisions (at any company) often coming down to one person who is there at the time.

    Frankly it’s pretty depressing to see the glee with which people are shooting down the LGBT fans who were concerned this was due to homophobia (given that a) that’s the societal standard and b) it’s not the first time it’s happened at Apple though this time it wasn’t them) and waving the Apple banner.

    Apple doesn’t need your support, they’re doing pretty well out there. LGBT folk on the other hand? Yeah, help is good. Priorities?

    I’m glad it wasn’t a case of it being down to homophobia, but I’m not gonna blame people for thinking that may well be the case. Check your privilege folks, and enjoy your comics.

  21. herp durp

  22. I’m curious as how BKV was led to believe that this was Apple’s decision in the first place. If I was him I would be furious with whoever that party is right now.

  23. Nicholas Winter says:

    Laura Sneddon, I’m curious as to when Apple has made decisions that were bad for the LGBT community. Could you please cite them?

    Apple is considered to be one of the best companies for their LGBT policies, both in terms of human resource policies and in terms of their politics, so I’m curious why you’d think the LGBT community would expect this to be true.

  24. I think the takeaway from this is you can always apologize later. Nobody lost anything here involved. Without taking a look at stats one could safely presume there was an uptick in hits, fans and ultimately revenues for all involved. It’s not necessarily a new paradigm shift that truth is irrelevant in new media but the speed at which information is travelling boggles the primitive human mind.

  25. Regardless of who censored the issue, it’s still problematic that the censored material was GAY sex. SAGA has previously included images of sex and nudity. #11 opens up with huge splash page of the two lead characters in coitus, and #4 features a tour through a sex resort including images with visible genitalia and penetration. It’s very curious that these images weren’t scene as crossing the line, yet the gay screenshots were.

  26. Nicholas – Apple previously removed gay makeout scenes (no genitals!) from a graphic novel of The Importance of Being Earnest before overturning it after backlash. Like I say, sometimes these things fall to individuals rather than company policy. Questioning that is not unexpected I think.

    I hope the comic doesn’t suffer from the publicity, but I do think it raises important questions about censorship of adult comics in digital form.

  27. Mary Jo says:

    All this fuss for a visual pun on “i’m f–d” and “i’m reallly f–d!’ Or is the fuss maybe for another subtext-the presumably straight Prince Robot IV isn’t?

    (Shoot, more commentators seemed to have been more upset by the giant naked infected testes a bit back!)

  28. demoncat4 says:

    interesting that after saying they would not have any thing to say on saga 12 getting banned for a bit due to a sex scene. that suddenly when an uproar started by fans apple and comixnology suddenly starts talking stating they are sorry for doing so they both made a mistake interperting certain rules by apple over content with apps . and nice for brian to say there are no hard feelings over the whole stupid mistake by apple and comixnology over not wanting to release a comic just because it has a sex scene in it a gay one.

  29. Apple’s policies are not clearly defined, and if violated can lead to a vendor eventually being kicked out of the Apple Store — which is their main source of revenue in many cases. So of course vendors are going to be overly cautious. I had the same problem when working with PayPal. They wouldn’t quite say what you couldn’t do, but if you did it, consequences were severe. So this is still both company’s fault, by my lights: Apple’s for having vague policies, and Comixology’s for being too cautious. Of the two, Apple looks like the worse actor to me.

  30. If people want to read a thought provoking work of literature then read Mark Twain`s Huckleberry Finn.
    Saga is nothing more than a comic book that uses shock value to get its special certain kind of audience off. Folks you are being manipulated.
    All they care about is turning Saga into a movie, so they can line their wallets with money.
    Hence why they use shock value, so you will talk about their Saga.
    Also is Saga #12 the kind of comic book you would proudly show off to your non-comic book friends?
    What would your non-comic book friends say if they saw what you were looking at in Saga #12?
    What would your parents think about it Saga #12?
    Saga is nothing more than a shock value comic book that is here for one purpose only. To get a movie deal. They could care less about its readers.
    There is nothing thought provoking in Saga. Only potty trash humor.
    Is this what they have to show to sell comic books?
    Is Saga is what mature adult themed comic books are supposed to represent?
    LOL
    Oh wonder mainstream people don`t give comic book readers know respect!
    respectfully
    “The Amazing Stam”

  31. Sorry to hear you don’t like it, Jaap

  32. Zippy says:

    “What would your parents think about it Saga #12?”

    D00d do you realize who the most target audience for Saga is?

    PARENTS.

    Like the whole book is about having and raising a kid. ;) People in the letters column of issue #12 are taking about how they share it with their parents or about how they are parents whose teen and adult kids shared it with them.

Trackbacks

  1. […] 4/10/13: It has now been revealed that comiXology banned the issue believing Apple wouldn’t approve it. Stranger and […]

  2. […] Vaughan apologized in a statement on the Comicbeat blog. […]

  3. […] Vaughan apologized in a statement on the Comicbeat blog. […]

  4. […] Vaughan apologized in a statement on the Comicbeat blog. […]

  5. […] probably the right word. While I certainly didn’t foresee the shocking swerve that saw comiXology revealed as the actual entity that thought those two tiny BJ/bukakke panels weren’t Apple-friendly, in […]

  6. […] comic book news, by now you’ve heard: Saga #12, the consensus comic series of the year, was banned by Apple for ‘gay sex’ images. At least, until it was actually Comixology who banned the issue, assuming Apple wouldn’t […]

  7. […] comic that was briefly rejected by Comixology for  Apple’s iOS devices, catch up here and here and […]

  8. […] When comiXology was independent, they had to swallow that as a cost of doing business, even when Apple hung them out to dry, as happened with the Saga situation last year. Now, they can fight back. Is that a bad thing for […]

  9. […] When comiXology was independent, they had to swallow that as a cost of doing business, even when Apple hung them out to dry, as happened with the Saga situation last year. Now, they can fight back. Is that a bad thing for […]

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