Latest issue of ‘Saga’ banned by Apple due to “gay sex” according to creator

UPDATE: Comixology CEO David Steinberger made a blog post clarifying the controversy in this story. Here’s a piece of what he had to say.

“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.”

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The man behind hugely popular series like Y: The Last Man and the currently running Saga, Brian K. Vaughan, is no stranger to explicit content. Depictions of sex, violence, and nudity in his comics tend to push boundaries harder than anyone else would dare. Now, it seems Apple has decided to take action by banning issue #12 of Saga.

Latest issue of Saga banned by Apple due to "gay sex" according to creator

The reasoning behind the ban is due to graphic sexual content shown in the first couple of pages which can be seen here (on the screen of Prince Robot’s head monitor).

Vaughan made a press release yesterday in response to the news.

“As has hopefully been clear from the first page of our first issue, SAGA is a series for the proverbial “mature reader.”

“Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps. This is a drag, especially because our book has featured what I would consider much more graphic imagery in the past, but there you go. Fiona (Staples) and I could always edit the images in question, but everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not just to shock or titillate, so we’re not changing shit.”

Saga creators Fiona Staples (artist) and Brian K. Vaughan (writer)

Saga creators Fiona Staples (artist) and Brian K. Vaughan (writer)

While it sucks to see censorship like this, I can’t say I really blame Apple. It’s ultimately their platform plus they are notoriously against being affiliated with anything that may be pornographic in nature. Vaughan’s work has certainly straddled that line before. The real question here though is, “Was the decision based on the fact that it depicts gay sex?”

Apple was unable to be reached for comment on the issue so we can only speculate. As a huge fan of Y: The Last Man, I can personally comment on how much that comic series gets away with including a number of times it shows male genitalia and two characters in mid-coitus. There was a lesbian couple as well, although, they weren’t explicitly shown doing anything more than kissing or cuddling.

Rose and Dr. Mann in Y: The Last Man

Rose and Dr. Mann in Y: The Last Man

The real difference that I see between then and now with Saga is the showing of oral sex and ejaculation. It doesn’t matter that they’re “postage stamp-sized” as Vaughan described. The content is still present and Apple has the right to put the kibosh down on it. The fact that it’s depicting gay sex is unfortunate because of this controversy but a moot point regardless because of the very nature of the content itself.

At the same time, I wouldn’t dare ask an artist, writer, or anyone else to censor their original vision for their work. If, in this case, the scene calls for depictions of fellatio and bukkake on the monitor head of the bleeding Prince Robot IV, then so be it. Knowing the way that Vaughan writes, it’s an imperative part of the narrative. I can’t help but applaud him for speaking up for that.

Let's all just "sit on it", shall we?

Let’s all just “sit on it”, shall we?

Ultimately, I can’t say that either party is wrong on this. At the very least, Saga fans can still buy the issue on any site distributing it then sync to their iOS device. Click here to find the issue on Comixology.

Let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

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One thought on “Latest issue of ‘Saga’ banned by Apple due to “gay sex” according to creator

  1. Pingback: Latest issue of 'Saga' banned by Apple due to "gay sex" according to creator - Blog by logicallydashing - IGN

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