Banned in Missouri?

October 3rd, 2006 | Uncategorized

Cool. From the Marshall Democrat-News:

Louise Mills of Marshall (Missouri) is requesting that two graphic novels — “Fun Home,” by Alison Bechdel and “Blankets,” by Craig Thompson — be removed from the library because she feels that the books are inappropriate. Mills has filed forms with the library to request the removal of the books. Mills could not be reached for comment Tuesday, Oct. 3.

33 Responses to “Banned in Missouri?”

  1. ObieAry says:


    I guess you’re officially among the exalted ranks of Awesome Banned Writers, like Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and Judy Bloom. You can form a club!

  2. Wendy says:

    Congratulations, you’ve joined my other favorite author, JK Rowling. In the “news” section of her website (, she celebrates her inclusion in the “club”
    “Section: News
    Friday 29 September 2006
    Banned Books Week
    Once again, the Harry Potter books feature on this year’s list of most-banned books. As this puts me in the company of Harper Lee, Mark Twain, J. D. Salinger, William Golding, John Steinbeck and other writers I revere, I have always taken my annual inclusion on the list as a great honour. “Every burned book enlightens the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson”
    Keep up the good work Alison! Fun Home was extraordinary.

  3. Deb says:

    Alison, Wendy above stated my sentiments exactly with the quote from jkrowling. You are in very good company.

  4. Danyell says:

    I guess that’s proof that your book is really about something

  5. ES says:

    Inquiring minds need not inquire… Seems like they have quite the reactionary wing in that home state of John Ashcroft. You remember him, the man who had to drape a statue’s breasts. How appropriate.

  6. shadocat says:

    Now, now, not everyone is as stupid in my Home State as that Mills broad and John Ashcroft. Remember, when he ran for the Senate here, he lost to Mel Carnahan, a man who had died the month before?!

    Alison,we love you in KC, and if you ever swing by this way for a book tour, or talk, we will treat you like the royalty you are! (BTW, my daughters had no problem checking out “Fun Home” from the KC Library. And “Blankets” rocks, y’all. Highly reccomend it!

  7. Elaine says:

    Wow, Ms Mills actually coured the entire graphic novels section of her local library & could only come up with Fun Home and Blankets as “inappropriate” material.. assumably for the consumption of young people?

    Guess it would be a bridge too far to question the youyh’s access to the the wholesome hegemonic values upheld by Sin City, eh?!

    Shame of it all. Either way, my condolences and congratualtions(to you Alison on this latest turn of events.

  8. Jmiller says:

    This is excellent news. This means even more people will be reading Fun Home and Blankets, just to see what all the fuss is about.

  9. Annie says:

    Congrats! They tried to ban Harry Potter as well, though.

  10. ES says:

    Thanks shadocat. Hey, I was trying to word that post so as not to give Missouri a hard time… just the “reactionary wing.” I had a great time in St Louis the one time I was there, and obviously great progressive forces live there too. Yes: I do remember the Mel C posthumous election. Too bad the right wing took Ashcroft as their martyr from it and gathered him up to Washington.

  11. Jaime R. says:

    Wow, a banned book! That. Is. Awesome!

  12. Feygele says:

    Sounds like the library’s director is level-headed and won’t be pushed around by this.

    But being [potentially] banned is a great form of publicity, and will surely grab you new readers.

  13. kat says:

    aren’t we jumping the gun a little bit? I thought that it starts out as being “challenged” when the request for removal is made and only progresses to “banned” if it actually is?

    …sorry….was reading the “national banned books weeks” site the other day….

    still, the list of challenged authors/books is pretty incredible. The same great names of the banned list show up too.

    congrats, alison!!!

  14. Kathy says:

    Congratulations, you’ve hit the big time!

  15. Juliegrrl20 says:

    LOL… I still have my “I’m still with Mel” button. I voted for him!! 🙂 Even in death he was better then Ashcroft!!

    Seriously, not everyone is like that here, even though we are a “red state”. It’s just when you get into the not so populated areas that you run into trouble. I’m not sure where Marshall is, but if they are still banning books, I have a feeling it is not on a big place.

  16. mabel says:

    Fun Home I can understand, but Blankets? Come on.

  17. Ann says:

    Wow. That really is cool. Intellectual freedom is one of my main interests so far in library school. Some of us are jumping the gun by calling it banned already, though. It’s just been challenged so far, right?

  18. TeratoMarty says:

    Did you happen to see this story?

    A family in Conroe, TX is trying to get _Fahrenheit 451_ pulled from the school libraries.

    You’re in good company.

  19. Em says:

    Godammit! One more thing that validates my friend’s obnoxious insistence that if I had half a brain at all I’d move out of Missouri and life will suddenly be perfect for me:P But that’s a rant for another day that has nothing to do with the book.

    But speaking of Banned Books, you know why that list is so awesome? Because listed alongside To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men and many others… is Captain Underpants. Lois herself said they have a “luminous insight and trenchant lyricism” or something like that:)

  20. julesbox says:

    would it be horribly inappropriate for Fun Home to show up in DTWOF and have mo defend it against some panicked conservative?

    i can just fantasize…

  21. ES says:

    Trying to ban the book about burning books (fahrenheit…), that takes a special draconian chutzpah.

  22. Ash says:

    I can’t say anything but…I believe it is a crazy idea to ban books no matter what they say.

  23. Kelseigh says:

    I always liked A Canticle for Leibowitz better than Farenheit 451, but it doesn’t get banned half as often. Nor does The Martian Chronicles which has that lovely macabre Poe-themed followup to Farenheit.

    My congratulations as well, Alison. You’re obviously striking a chord, an accomplishment for any creator.

  24. girlcheeks says:

    holy cow!!!! i live about thirty or so miles from marshall mo and i cant believe they actually had your book in the first place as this is a pretty conservative region we are talking about here. that being said… i think its f*cking incredible that you made it into a library in the ozarks!!! and as everyone has already stated… awesome that you are joining ranks with the greats.

  25. Angel says:

    While I have to agree with everyone else that being banned means you must have said something powerful, I’m still baffled that this sort of thing happens. I’m so glad your taking the Madonna attitude! (“Oops! I didn’t know we couldn’t talk about…”)

    Here’s some more thoughts about it on my blog:

  26. Jennifer says:

    Maybe they should change the name of the state to Misery.

  27. shadocat says:

    Actually, that cute li’l nickname has been around since I was a baby; but I guess I have chosen to stay and fight

  28. ED says:

    Remember, this is a country where earlier this week a woman in Georgia said that Harry Potter must be removed from school shelves or we face more school shootings.

    And in a little bit o’useless trivia, Louise Mills was Louise “Weezy” Jefferson’s maiden name.

  29. Sarah says:

    Here’s the coverage of the hearing on whether to pull the books:

    I’ll let y’all check it out for yourself, but I won’t be giving anything away by noting there was lots of wailing and gnashing o’ teeth about “looking out for our kids.”

    Sheesh! Any self-respecting, curious kid can evade any adult’s attempt to hide “inappropriate” material. Way back in the day (the ’70s), my friends and I sure as hell knew where our parents kept their copies of “Fear of Flying,” “Joy of Sex,” “Catcher in the Rye,” “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” etc., etc.

    Yes, “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” When we moved to Maine at the end of the ’60s, the librarian in our small town kept it behind the counter, and scolded my mom for bringing it home “where there were little children.”

    And “Catcher” continues to get people’s panties in a wad here in Maine. At the end of 2004, a woman who HADN’T READ IT wanted officials to pull “Catcher” from the freshman curriculum at her son’s high school. Thankfully, the school board rejected that bright idea.

    So Shadocat, Juliegrrl20, girlcheeks, Em — let me commiserate with you from northern New England, deep in the heart of the blue state, “cultural elite” Northeast. Ignorance is everywhere! The culture wars have no boundaries, unfortunately.

  30. Sarah says:

    P.S. That would be “yourselves” in the second paragraph — I guess my inner editor was on her break.

  31. DSW & KSB says:

    CONGRATULATIONS FROM YOUR FANS IN LONDON (ENGLAND)! Having a banned book is quite an achievement, well done!

  32. Tera says:

    while I agree that having a banned book is an achievement in that in reality it just symbolizes how good the book is, it makes me really sad that your book would be taken from a public library. what about all the dykes in missouri who desperately need a role model? It makes me sad when the decision of what is or what is not acceptable literature is made for people by others, people deserve the chance to make that decision for themselves. any word yet of the outcome??

  33. The Ni Knights says:

    I just wanted to say, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’ve just hit a sore spot with a few people.
    I hope you are taking this all as a compliment, though I can understand how frustrating it might be to have people trying to shut you up.
    Personally I think it’s a complete waste when so many people fought and died to give people of this nation the freedom to say what they want and yet so many are willing to throw it all away just so they won’t run the risk of accidentally reading something they don’t agree with.

    Never stop writing, never remain silent, even if they hate you for it!