Satanism, underage porn, S&M – a naughty book? Hell no, just a tabloid rag stirring it up as usual…

I made the mistake of glancing through a tabloid rag – the term ‘newspaper’ does not fit – that someone left lying around the staff room at work. What do I spot but a very large article about one of my favourite authors, the writer and artist Daniel Clowes. Seems some young girl picked up a copy of his graphic novel Ghost World from the kid’s section in a library in Musselburgh. The Daily Record had a field day, painting the novel as a dreadfully sexually explicit tawdry tale of swearing, sex, S&M, child porn and Satanism.

Anyone who has read this excellent novel, or watched the film (my joint review is here on the award-winning Alien if you’re interested) knows this warped view synopsis is somewhat inaccurate. Ghost World, like many of the works of Dan Clowes, addresses issues we all deal with, such as alienation, ageing, coming to terms with life and its challenges and disappointments. Sure, it shouldn’t be in the kid’s section of the library. Probably some poor librarian who doesn’t know it filed it there because they thought it was a kid’s picture book. But they rampantly biased and selective view the Daily Record gave of the book stopped just short of demanding a book burning. Tabloid newspapers – there should be a law against them.