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The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is one of the only organizations devoted to protecting the people who bring comic book readers the stories and characters they love. Founded in 1986 to “protect the First Amendment Rights of comics creators, publishers, and retailers”, CBLDF has made its home in New York City for over a decade.
At the ComicsPRO annual meeting on Friday, CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein announced that the organization would be relocating to Portland, Oregon. In his announcement, Brownstein cited the need to “significantly reduce operating expenses, while improving proximity to industry partners on the West Coast and allowing engagement with local creators and volunteers” as the reasons behind the move.
Portland has become a hub for the independent comic book creative community over the last decade, with publishers such as Dark Horse and ONI Press making their homes there. Creators Kelly Sue Deconnick and Matt Fraction, heads of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, are among the many creators who call the city home.
Fund President Larry Marder cited that thriving community when justifying the move, saying “The fund thrives when we are near to our industry partners and can engage with a dedicated and diverse pool of volunteers, thriving talent scenes, and, above all else, a community that will benefit from and support our work. Portland abounds in all of those areas. We look forward to being of service to the city’s community and to working with them to continue developing our ongoing program work in support of the freedom to read comics.”
The move has been hailed by independent publishers, including Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson, who also serves as a board member for CBLDF.
“Considering the amazing comics community that exists here in Portland, it seems only natural that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund would establish its new home in our fair city,” Richardson said.