Linked website offends parents

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SANDPOINT - A comic hosted on the graphic novel website www.artbomb.net raised local parents' eyebrows and ire this week.

In response to feedback from concerned parents, the East Bonner County Library is moving a link to Artbomb from the teen section of the library to the adult section. The controversy resulted from one of Artbomb's currently featured comics entitled "My, My American Bukkake Too" by author Susannah Breslin.

The comic, which uses a high-contrast black and white art style to explore a story of personal loss with some strong sexual themes, begins with an advisory warning of adult material and is not linked to directly from the library website. However, some parents were upset that a website hosting adult comics was placed in the library's teen section. Parents took to the Facebook group North Idaho Community Watch Network to discuss the matter. The comment thread generated 21 comments and has been seen 66 times.

"I clicked on the link that I was 18 and bam - (it was very) graphic," April O'Connell posted in the discussion. "(It's) not something I would want my teen seeing."

According to library director Ann Nichols, Artbomb is recommended by the American Library Association as a useful resource for graphic novels and comics. Co-founded by acclaimed comic writer and novelist Warren Ellis, the site's mission is to "promote diverse and sophisticated graphic novels" and features reviews of both adult and young adult literature.

"We're sorry that people ended up at something that was inappropriate," Nichols said. "But we don't want to eliminate all the good the site has to offer, either."

While the matter is still under review, Nichols said the library would take the first step of moving the Artbomb link to the adult resources section. At that stage, parents can decide for themselves whether or not the site is appropriate for their kids to access.

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