Daniel Clowe’s Classic Graphic Novel “Ice Haven” was a Banned Book

In 2008 a high-school teacher in Connecticut was forced to quit his job after a parent complained to the principal and filed a complaint with the police department because a student in his class choose a book off of his classroom bookshelf: Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes.

Ice Haven is composed of a series of vignettes that describe the life of the small town and its citizens after the disappearance of a local boy.  Recommended for Grade 10 and up by School Library Journal, the book explores the emotional lives of a large cast, including a schoolyard bully, a love-struck teenager, an emotionally troubled child, a frustrated poet and the classmates of the missing boy.  Clowes employs a variety of cartooning styles to render the sensibilities of his different characters, creating a rich, blackly humorous tapestry about the alienation, loneliness, guilt and desire. (Source: CBLDF.com)

The teacher approved the choice as fulfillment for the student’s summer reading requirement and warned the student that the book contains some mature themes and language and the student choose to read it anyway. It is said that the book contains themes and an intensity similar to numerous books that were options agreed upon by the school board for summer reading.

Clowes is a multiple award winning author, recently had a one man show at the Contemporary Art Museum of Chicago, and is considered one of the most important living graphic novel authors/artists alive today.

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