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Young Avengers Artist Jim Cheung Reacts to Comic's Censorship in Brazil

Jim Cheung, the artist behind the 2010-2012 comic book series Avengers: The Children's Crusade, expressed his feelings about Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcello Crivella's attempts to censor and requisition his and Allan Heinberg's book at the Bienal do Livro, Brazil's most important book fair and literary event.

After expressing his surprise, Cheung wrote on Instagram,"Now I don't know what prompted the mayor to seek out a work that is almost a decade old, and that had already been on sale for many years, but I can say honestly, that there was no hidden motivation or agendas behind the work in promoting any particular lifestyle, nor targeting any unique audience. The scene merely depicts a tender moment between two characters who are in an established relationship."

RELATED: Brazilian Mayor Orders Armed Police Seize LGBTQIA+ Books, Leads to Protest

After expressing his desire to tell stories about "authentic and diverse characters," Cheung added, "The fact that this book, from almost a decade ago, is now being drawn into the spotlight by the mayor perhaps only highlights how out of touch he might be with the current times. The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard."

He finished, "I hope the beautiful people of Brazil, the wonderfully diverse and proud nation, will see through this political 'noise' and place their focus on the light, and on ways to unite, rather than help sow the seeds of conflict and division"

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Teddy & Billy (2019) . It was with great surprise today, to learn that the mayor of Rio de Janeiro decided to ban the sale of my (and Allan Heinberg's) book, Avengers:The Children's Crusade, for alleged inappropriate material. . For those not familiar with the work from 2010, the controversy involves a kiss between two male characters. . Now I don't know what prompted the mayor to seek out a work that is almost a decade old, and that had already been on sale for many years, but I can say honestly, that there was no hidden motivation or agendas behind the work in promoting any particular lifestyle, nor targeting any unique audience. The scene merely depicts a tender moment between two characters who are in an established relationship. . As an artist, my passion is to tell stories; stories of great heroism, compassion and love, with as authentic and diverse characters as possible. Characters that depict every walk of life and color, whether they be black or white, brown, yellow or green. . The fact that this book, from almost a decade ago, is now being drawn into the spotlight by the mayor perhaps only highlights how out of touch he might be with the current times. The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard. . I hope the beautiful people of Brazil, the wonderfully diverse and proud nation, will see through this political 'noise' and place their focus on the light, and on ways to unite, rather than help sow the seeds of conflict and division . #TeddyAltman #Hulkling #BillyKaplan #Wiccan #YoungAvengers #AvengersChildrensCrusade #MarvelComics #Marvel #Comics #MCU #pencils #pencildrawing #process #JimCheung #LoveNotHate #LGBTQ

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The crackdown started on Thursday when Rio de Janeiro's councilman Alexandre Isquierdo blasted Marvel’s “coward attempt to propagate homosexuality amongst our children,” while simultaneously stating that this outrage was not homophobic. The panel that ignited Isquierdo and Crivella's campaign features Teddy Altman (Hulkling) and Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) sharing a kiss. Crivella ordered city hall agents to conduct a sweeping on Thursday, which resulted in the book selling out within minutes.

Since then, Crivella has announced increased censorship targeting not only Avengers: The Children's Crusade, but also other books with LGBTQIA+ characters and/or situations, even if they're tangential to the plot. Further attempts to sweep for the book this weekend resulted in visitors, publishers and exhibitors organizing an improvised protest.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade was originally published in the US between 2010 and 2012, and was translated into Portuguese for Brazil in monthly issues in 2012. Salvat and Panini partnered to bring fans a luxury hardcover edition in 2016, which is the edition Crivella and Isquierdo are attempting to censor.

KEEP READING: Brazilian Mayor Blasts Marvel, Orders Police 'Sweep' of Young Avengers Book

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