The only comic-book artist who's ever been found guilty of obscenity can return to Florida without being immediately taken into custody. The Kickstarter for an upcoming documentary about his trial has raised enough to not only fund the film, but also to clear Mike Diana's outstanding warrant for his arrest.
The Trial of Mike Diana Kickstarter recently reached its goal of raising $US40,000 ($54,495) to fund the documentary, which includes interviews with directors, comic book writers, and artists, including Neil Gaiman and Peter Bagge. In response, the campaign added a $US5,000 ($6,812) stretch goal, promising part of it would be used to clear Diana's $US2,000 ($2,725) warrant. The stretch goal was funded in a couple of days.
The documentary goes into Diana's 1994 legal battle with the state of Florida over his underground comic series Boiled Angel. The jury deliberated for just 40 minutes before convicting him of obscenity and sentencing him to three years probation, where he was forbidden to draw...even in his own home. He often drew in his car at night to avoid random cop inspections.
After Diana left Florida to finish his probation sentence in New York, there was a claim that he violated the terms of his sentence, leading to a warrant being issued for his arrest in Florida. Now, thanks to the Kickstarter, he can return home to the Sunshine State- or at least stop by for a film screening.
The documentary is already in production, we recently shared an exclusive clip you can watch here. It's expected to be finished in 2017, and there are plans to screen the film in Florida. [The Guardian]