I can rent movies depicting simulated homosexual sex in Apple's online storefront; I can purchase full albums of songs describing sexual activity of all kinds. I can even buy books with graphic descriptions of sex scenes in them, like Fifty Shades of Grey, because books are of course for grown-up people. What I can't buy is the comic book Saga #12, which features two blink-and-you'll-miss-em depictions of homosexual sex within its pages. Because, duh, comics are for tiny babies to read between diaper changes and nappy time, of course.
The "comics are for kids" culture is just as strong as ever, and, frankly, Apple looks really stupid and hypocritical over this one. The Beat has some words from writer Brian K. Vaughn urging folks to get a physical copy at their local shop or download it directly from Image's website. He's keeping a good attitude about it. Me? I think it's crap for a lot of reasons.
Reason one, gay sex isn't somehow "more bad" than straight sex. Reason two, Apple already sells plenty of material that has stronger sexual content than Saga #12. And reason number three, comics made for adults are for adults. Period.
UPDATED 4/10/13: Comixology CEO David Steinbeger says something to the effect of, "don't blame Apple; blame us" and allows Saga #12 to be purchased through their app. Here's the full statement:
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,
CEO and co-founder
My response to ComiXology is a blanket WTF. I saw some grumblings online when this first came up that this was all being done to drum up interest in the book. I blew it off as cynicism, but now? Well, with Vaughn being the original source of the controversy and ComiXology waiting - who knows why - until today to clear the air, there's a lot about it that doesn't make sense.
Forgive me, Apple, for getting all fussy.