Episode 225 (Bonus): Mike Diana

25Jul

Here’s a conversation recorded a while back and initially intended for publication. While the story never actually appeared in print, the subject matter was just too interesting to let it languish, so I’m presenting it to you as a bonus episode. Cartoonist Mike Diana is known less for his work itself as the fallout it caused, when he became the first artist in the US to receive a criminal conviction for artistic obscenity. Diana’s self-published work raised red flags due to its extreme violence when it was found discussed during a traffic stop at the height of a serial killing spree in nearby Gainesville, Florida. Diana was cleared of any suspicion in the then unsolved murders, but his book, Boiled Angel, soon became the subject of an obscenity trial. The cartoonist was found guilty and the repercussions follow him to this day, nearly a quarter of a century later. In this episode, recording in a Manhattan tea shop, Diana takes us through the trial and the sentencing, which barred him from drawing for three years and has made it impossible to return home to Florida, all these years later.

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