Comic version of Joyce’s Ulysses struggles past Apple censors

14 Jun 2010

An iPad manga comic book version of James Joyce’s Ulysses had almost been banned from the Apple App Store for obscene images until its publishers agreed to change them.

A web comic version of the classic novel entitled “Ulysses Seen” almost failed to make it past Apple’s censors, who requested that its publishers, a firm called Throwaway Horse, agree to remove the images.

The comic version of the book by the Irish author which followed the events of 16 June – Bloomsday – when Leopold Bloom wandered through Dublin was made into a comic version by illustrator Robert Berry who worked on the project for the past two years.

However, Apple’s App Store saw read and refused to allow it to go on the site because of what it felt were offensive images.

One image of a woman whose breasts were exposed was one of the offending panels in the comic book.

Apple refused to back down and allow the app to be sold on the App Store until the offending images were removed.

These events come exactly 77 years after a US federal judge ruled that Ulysses was not obscene and thereby granted its entry into the US.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years