New laws designed to tackle extreme and child pornography could make owning mainstream comics like Batman or Judge Dredd illegal in Britain, campaigners have claimed.
Comic book campaigners claim that if the new rules are interpreted harshly, their hobby could be criminalized.
They are protesting against two pieces of legislation. The first, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, comes into force later this month, The Telegraph reported.
It will make possessing extreme pornography defined as any extreme image produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal, illegal.
The Government defines an extreme image as any "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene" moving or still depiction of someone any reasonable person would think real being sexually injured or engaging in sexual activity with an animal or corpse.
The second is the Coroners and Justice Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament. It will introduce a similar law banning the possession of any image involving sexual activity and children.
In a statement, comicshopvoice.co.uk, a comic fans' website, said of the rules outlawing sexual violence: Isn't that how Batman, Punisher, Judge Dredd get anything done? A kick in the balls would constitute this, and a kick in the balls is a well trodden part of humour.
It added that the new law on images of children would make owning some comic books, and particularly some forms of Manga - the Japanese form often featuring young-looking cartoon characters, illegal.
The statement added: Because this is a minefield for the law it then falls on the Police to enforce it, and it is their judgement that could lead to a prosecution.