Canada’s obscenity ban includes an old standard, classic comic

troubles of janice

I caught this item at Slate, a little bit on how The Canada Border Services Agency prohibits the importation of any materials “deemed to be obscene”, and that their new guide is a bit puzzling (and the irony is not lost on me that they published their new guidelines for obscene DVDs, books, comics, etc. on Valentine’s Day). Slate explains their procedures in brief but clear detail that includes .pdfs to guidelines and blacklisted items in No Obscenity, Please. We’re Canadian. Being who I am, I perused the 17-page document, Quarterly List of Admissible and Prohibited Titles (.pdf) and saw that one of my favorite classic erotic comics was on the prohibited list: Erich von Gotha’s Troubles of Janice (listed in French on the list). janice, explicitI discovered this hot and nasty, and deliriously decadent Victorian-era (though modern) comic while working at the (then) extremely politically correct Good Vibrations. We carried it because it met our scrupulous standards of clearly defined fantasy, and artistic and erotic value; it is a “story of o” — featuring intense/extreme female sexual submission and BDSM (much like what they do at, but even GV saw that it was not degrading, although the fantasies suggest nonconsent — while read in the narrative’s context of Janice’s “training” for her husband “Captain”, they are not.I just thought it was interesting. Especially since I just got sent a copy of Greta Christina‘s new book, Best Erotic Comics 2008 (like Janice, also published by Last Gasp) and after a few lingering glances, the collection looks to be really quite hot.

Update: My friend Viviane emails,

I thought you’d be amused. My friend Selina Fire’s story was ripped out a Penthouse at the Canadian border:

“BTW, I found out my story for October Penthouse Forum was so dirty it
was BANNED IN CANADA! When the shipment of copies of that issue hit
the Canadian border the Canadian distributor refused to distribute my
story, so it had to be literally cut out of 8,000 copies of the
magazine! My editor said I should be very proud of myself. He said
he only wishes it had been his story, and that this has never happened
in the 10 years he’s been dealing with the Canadians. Luckily for the
folks at Penthouse, other Canadian distributors finally agreed to
carry the remaining thousands of issues that are part of its regular
run up there. Anyway, I feel like I’ve achieved a great honor: Too
Dirty for Penthouse! Holy smokes. :) “

Here’s her post, Banned in Canada.

Share This Post


  1. Reminds me of when Alan Moore’s collaborator on FROM HELL, Eddie Campbell, noted that he couldn’t even by their Jack the Ripper tale in his native Australia. His depiction of mutilation, including what was clearly female anatomy, seemed to be the point of contention then.

Post Comment