Last Friday, I noticed that Jimmy Palmiotti updated his Facebook page with this, “A friend said a customer at her Local Comic Shop complained about the cover to QUEEN CRAB and had them cover it. What do you think? Offensive? ridiculous? Maybe they hate sea food?” Here’s what Jimmy has to say about the incident.
Scott: What’s the deal with Queen Crab? This cover is a classic.
Jimmy Palmiotti: The deal is a hardcover for $12.99…the story is a bit harder to explain. It’s a graphic novel I wrote funded entirely on Kickstarter about a girl from Brooklyn who finds herself in an unusual predicament, and has to take a good long look at what’s going on in her life and make some changes because of it. The book speaks for itself.
Scott: What did you first think when you heard that someone had complained about the cover for Queen Crab?
Jimmy: I was expecting that to happen on some level, ever since I got the scan from illustrator Sas Christian, but figured the art explained so much, and the painting was stunning and I would let the people buying it make up their own minds. I think far too many cover images are boring, and it was nice to have something attached to my work that would provoke a reaction and discussion.
Scott: How do you feel about the cover being covered up and put back on the shelf?
Jimmy: It really is up to the person selling it [to decide] what works and doesn’t since it is being featured in their store. I am not for censorship, but I am also living in the real world and understand a seller’s dilemma if they are getting pushback from people. I think covering up part of the cover, to me, makes one more curious about the product.
Scott: Where did the incident occur?
Jimmy: A comic shop on the east coast…not sure exactly which one.
Scott: Do you think the person who complained is a regular Jimmy Palmiotti fan? Obviously this person hasn’t read “Random Acts Of Violence.”
Jimmy: Not at all, and probably someone that didn’t buy the book. I think the person who complained is probably overreacting…but I am not a mind reader. I think if it’s a parent that is overly sensitive to the image then they have their reasons…but honestly, I personally don’t find the image offensive and if a child asked what was going on in the image …I could come up with 100 different things to tell them. I give IMAGE COMICS credit for letting it go out as is.
Scott: How do you feel about censorship in general, with respect to your books or other authors?
Jimmy: Not for it on any level, but again, I understand things need to be done to maybe “section” off some titles that are a bit too provocative. Queen Crab is a book no child should be reading; that’s why it is listed as Mature on the back.
Scott: What would you say to someone who asked to cover up a product on a shelf because he or she didn’t agree with it?
Jimmy: If I were a retailer, I would have to consider the person, the material and how much of a problem it might cause. I do think that a store owner always has the right to disagree and politely ask the person to leave their shop and take their opinion home with them. Some people really have nothing to do. I think it’s amazing [that] sexual things are censored and violence …well, no one has a problem with that. We got it all ass backwards over here.
Scott: Has anything like this ever happened to you before?
Jimmy: Remember the book THE PRO? We had all kinds of issues with that book…but again, just a few people here and there and nothing where the book was ever banned. Again, another title where there was a mature readers warning on the actual cover. I do depend on my friends at the CBLDF if I really run into any kind of trouble…and Amanda and I support them the best we can. With my other new book coming, Creator Owned Heroes, we are expecting some of the same things to happen as well. One day at a time.
Scott: If you could send a Strip-A-Gram to the person who disagreed with Queen Crab, what would the message be?
Jimmy: I wouldn’t; they do not deserve my attention on any level…I would send a strip-a-gram to all the wonderful people that bought and supported the book and make sure each got a big fat juicy hug in the process.
Scott: Any last words?
Jimmy: Piss off these prudish people and read QUEEN CRAB on the subway, in buses and in all public transportation…and if you have that much energy to protest this book, please…before my book, put your energy into real problems like homelessness…help the Red Cross…look around you and give someone a helping hand in your community and so on. There are better ways to spend your time than running around censoring something this harmless.