In 1933, a judge ruled that James Joyce’s Ulysses wasn’t obscene. In 2010, Apple has demanded editorial changes to a Ulysses graphic novel. And to another based on The Importance of Being Earnest. Here are their – only slightly NSFW – reasons. UPDATED.
In the case of Ulysses Seen, Apple demanded the removal of some (non-pornographic) nudity. And although illustrator Robert Berry offered several alternatives, such as pixelating the breasts or covering them with fig leaves, the only solution Apple deemed appropriate was the one seen above. Which basically abandons all of the original panel, sketched here:
In the case of a graphic novel of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the objectionable nature of the content appears to be simply that two men were kissing. Meaning that this:
UPDATE: After uproar here and elsewhere, Apple has reconsidered its censorship of Ulysses Seen and this morning asked the publisher to resubmit the original panels.
It’s a minor victory, similar to when Apple reversed their ban of the app for Pulitzer Prize-winning comic Newstoons. So, good! And also bad that less highly publicised cases are still languishing in App Store censorship limbo.