Official Press Release
Northampton, MA – The Board of Directors of the Comic Book
Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has selected Charles Brownstein as its
new Executive Director. Brownstein becomes the Fund’s fourth full-
time director, replacing the recently departed Chris Bleistein.
Brownstein has been one of the more prolific comics journalists
of the past decade. He entered the field in 1994 as the writer and
publisher of the interview magazine Feature. In three years
Brownstein self-published fourteen issues of the magazine, capturing
the insights of some of the field’s brightest talent during the most
tumultuous period in the direct market’s history.
In 1998 Brownstein became Programming Director for Comic-Con
International where he was responsible for organizing panels and
seminars for CCI: San Diego, Comic Book Expo, Pro/Con, and APE. He
returned to journalism in 2000, writing for magazines and web sites
including The Comics Journal, Comics Buyer’s Guide, Comic Book
Resources, and TheComicStore.com. He also served as articles editor
for the Expo Anthology, published to benefit the CBLDF.
In 2001 Brownstein was the principal reporter for Comicon.com’s
SPLASH, where he covered the entire convention circuit and broke
several of the year’s most important news stories. Brownstein also
contributed stories to Publisher’s Weekly and to the inaugural
edition of Wizard Edge.
Last year he also served on the Expo’s Steering Committee as
Programming Director and consulted in both formal and informal
capacities for a variety of comics-related causes.
“We’re excited to have Charles join the Fund,” said CBLDF
President Denis Kitchen. “I’ve worked with Charles on an industry
committee for the past two years and have been impressed with his
fresh ideas, intellect, high energy level and round the clock work
ethic. I can’t wait to see what this combination does for our
“I’m excited by the opportunity to work for the Fund,”
Brownstein said. “At this stage in comics history and national
affairs, a strong CBLDF is more important than ever. We don’t yet
know what the cost of free speech is in the 21st Century, but we
need to ensure that the Fund is there to help preserve it regardless
“Because of their relatively low cost of production,” Brownstein
added, “Comics can provide a diversity of free expression unmatched
by other media. As comics attain a higher profile, the Fund must
grow as a strong advocate and defender of this powerful and unique
art form. With the help of the comics community we hope to achieve
this goal by creating dynamic fundraisers and educational
publications that will elevate the profile of medium, the knowledge
of the community, and the solidity of the Fund’s war chest.”
Brownstein’s selection was made without any dissenting board
votes. The seven person board currently consists of writer Peter
David, distributor John Davis, writer Neil Gaiman, retailer Greg
Ketter, publisher/artist/agent Denis Kitchen, retailer Frank
Mangiaracina and intellectual property attorney Louise Nemschoff. An
eighth member, Susan Alston, the CBLDF’s first full-time Executive
Director, recently resigned from the board.
Gaiman offered a wry endorsement following the board’s vote. “On
my last hellish signing tour,” he noted, “Charles somehow managed to
do an interview with me in San Francisco at midnight in a store,
after a long day’s signing. To this day I have no idea quite why or
how it happened. I do know he couldn’t have taken ‘No,’ ‘Absolutely
no,’ or ‘Completely out of the question’ as answers, because he got
his interview, leaving me both slightly resentful (it came out of my
sleeping time) and a bit impressed. I’d like those powers of not
giving up and going away to be used on behalf of the CBLDF.”
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501
(c) 3 non-profit organization to protect constitutional rights and
to educate the comics community on its First Amendment rights. Tax-
deductible donations and inquiries should be directed to the CBLDF
at P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061. For more CBLDF news and
information, pick up a copy of “Busted!,” the Fund’s free periodic
newsletter, or visit the CBLDF web-site at http://www.cbldf.org.
For a look at some of the interviews Brownstein has conducted for CBR, click the links below:
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!