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HAPPY AT 90 MILES » Comic book writer detained at LAX
Jun
28
2009

Comic book writer detained at LAX

You might not get thrown in jail by the thought police in the United States for writing suspect material, but it will get you detained for hours by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration)

TSA officials are basically bureaucrats, a species that in all corners of the world harass ordinary people in the name of rules and regulations and the common good. In their unrelenting quest to keep the American flying public safe no granny will remain unfrisked and no comic book writer may carry scripts dealing with terrorism.

The offending evidence...

The offending evidence...

Writer Mark Sable was detained for some hours at L.A. airport in May when a search of his bags turned up a script for his comic series “Unthinkable”. In it, several terrorist plots, including 9/11 is mentioned, which set off alarm bells in the TSA agent motherboards. Ironically, the plot of Unthinkable concerns a writer who when contracted by a government think tank to imagine possible terrorist scenarios, becomes a suspect when several of his imaginary plots are carried out.

Mark’s ordeal was detailed in SFScope. In his words:
“Flying from Los Angeles to New York for a signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe Wednesday (May 13th), I was flagged at the gate for ‘extra screening’. I was subjected to not one, but two invasive searches of my person and belongings. TSA agents then ‘discovered’ the script for Unthinkable #3. They sat and read the script while I stood there, without any personal items, identification or ticket, which had all been confiscated.

The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble. The first page of the Unthinkable script mentioned 9/11, terror plots, and the fact that the (fictional) world had become a police state. The TSA agents then proceeded to interrogate me, having a hard time understanding that a comic book could be about anything other than superheroes, let alone that anyone actually wrote scripts for comics. In the end, I feel my privacy is a small price to pay for educating the government about the medium.”

At least they let him go. Meanwhile we can all feel relieved that our safety is in such vigilant and capable hands.

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Written by IPH in: Freedom of Speech,comics |

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