The “Saga # 12” drama continues today with an interesting twist. According to comiXology CEO David Steinberger, Apple never banned the issue – comiXology actually never submitted it to the company for approval at all. In a statement on the comixolog Blog,Steinberger had this to say:
“To our customers –
In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.
As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.
We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.
Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.
After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga # 12will be available on our App Store app soon.
We apologize to Saga creator Brian K. Vaughn and Image Comics for any confusion this may have caused.
All the best,
CEO and co-founder
There is no express indication or explanation why the two small depictions of gay sex in Saga # 12 would potentially violate Apple’s policies when previous sexual content in the series didn’t, however, though de Guzman’s previous mention of sex without visible genitalia is likely the relevant reason. As Steinberger said, the issue will be available on their iOS apps soon.
In light of the news, Brian K. Vaughan released the following statement:
I wanted to apologize to everyone for this entire SAGA #12 kerfuffle. Yesterday, I was mistakenly led to believe that this issue was solely with Apple, but it’s now clear that it was only ever Comixology too conservatively interpreting Apple’s rules. I’m truly sorry. I never thought either company was being homophobic, only weirdly inconsistent about what kind of adult material was permissible. I’m grateful that the situation was cleared up so quickly, and I’m delighted I can go back to reading smutty comics on my Retina Display iPad.
–Brian K. Vaughan