JEFF SMITH knows what it’s like to have someone try to ban your book.
“A school in Minnesota wanted to ban it,” Smith tells Comic Riffs this week. “It was because [it depicts] cigars and beer...when it takes place in a medieval town. And my main characters...don’t even partake.”
It is because of such experiences — as well as his own deep appreciation of comics’ sometimes-embattled history — that Smith is a perfect candidate to join the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
The CBLDF, which fights for the rights of comics creators and consumers, announced this week that Smith has joined its board of directors.
“It’s always been a really important organization,” Smith tells us, “that has to protect the people who create comics and those who distribute them and those who read them.”
Smith, who has long donated art to the CBLDF, also has the rock-star profile in the cartooning world to help be an effective fundraiser. A sign of his popularity: At Small Press Expo last month, just feet from Charles Brownstein’s Legal Defense Fund booth, Smith was selling books by the boxload and the lineup of fans snaked through the hotel walkways. (Smith’s newly bound collection of “RASL” just hit No. 7 on the New York Times’ bestseller lists.)
Smith immediately joins the CBLDF’s “Be Counted” membership drive.
As for his board duties, Smith tells ‘Riffs: “I’m still the new guy. As a case comes up. I’ve got to get up to speed.”