See no evil, print no evil: the criminalization of free speech in DMZ


Nurse, A. 2017. See no evil, print no evil: the criminalization of free speech in DMZ. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. 7 (1), pp. 1-22.
TitleSee no evil, print no evil: the criminalization of free speech in DMZ
AuthorsNurse, A.

This article examines contemporary notions on free speech and the criminalisation of journalistic expression since 9/11, via discussion of Brian Wood’s DMZ comics (DC Vertigo). Free speech and the importance of a free press are widely accepted notions, yet journalistic and artistic freedom is arguably under attack in our post-9/11 world (Ash, 2016; Article 19, 2007). State responses to global terror threats have criminalised free speech, particularly speech seen as ‘glorifying’ or ‘supporting’ terrorism via anti-terror or restrictive media laws. This article examines these issues via DMZ ’s discussion of a second American civil war in which freedom of the press has all but disappeared, arguing that DMZ ’s ‘War on Terror’ narrative and depiction of controlled news access serve as allegories for contemporary free speech restrictions. DMZ illustrates contemporary concerns about a perceived social problem in its representation of corruption, abuse of power and restrictions on the public’s right to know.

PublisherOpen Library of Humanities
JournalThe Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
Publication dates
Print03 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Aug 2017
Accepted23 Feb 2017
Submitted31 Jul 2016
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original author and source are credited. See

Additional information

Article number = 10

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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