October 01, 2011

Apple censored "Ulysses" iPad app!

"I don't think the Apple representative I first spoke with even knew what Ulysses was" added the publisher's business manager.
How did this get by me? Last year on June 16, ie Bloomsday, Alison Flood told the world via the The Guardian blog, about how Apple had just uncensored a censored iPad app of a graphic (in more ways than one) novel adaptation of Ulysses.

Throwaway Horse, publishers of the comic, had been told by Apple that if they wanted to make Ulysses Seen -- this its name -- an application for the iPad they had to edit out the nudity -- a not-better-specified "naked woman" and a naked Buck Mulligan, presumably about to take his morning swim in the waters of Sandycove after descending with Stephen from the Martello Tower, not bad itself as a phallic image.

"Apple's policy had been that app developers should not be permitted to use nudity in any of their images, even if it's pixellated or covered by 'fig leaves'. Our comic has a mature rating (no one under 17 understands Joyce's book anyway), but we were still not allowed to show frank nudity," said illustrator Robert Berry. Throwaway cropped and edited as requested for the iPad app, but did continue to show the original images on the Ulysses Seen website where the comic is posted, along with a Readers Guide and various other very readable things.

And then, one day, an unexpected phone call and a happy ending: Apple called and offered them the opportunity to resubmit the original drawings. Michael Cavna from the Washington Post talked to Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller about the change of heart for Ulysses Seen, and also for another adaptation of a classic, a graphic novel of The Importance of Being Earnest which showed men kissing. Here's what she told him, as related by him in the "Comic riffs" blog he writes for the Post:

"With Ulysses and The Importance of Being Earnest, we made a mistake. When [the art] of these graphic novel adaptations was brought to our attention, we called the developers and offered them the opportunity to resubmit. Both [graphic novel apps] are now in the store with the original panel drawings."

I'm curious about what the actual phrase was behind that little paraphrase "[the art]". Surely "[the art] of these graphic novel adaptations" was visible from the start. I went to the website and read the first chapters and quite liked it - especially when the cat comes in and says her famous "Mkgnao!" My only objection is the bright blue sea - what happened to 'snot-green'?  Was she talking about [artistic merit seeing as it was based on a classic]? That might have not been visible if, as the Throwaway Horse business manager suspects, you didn't know what the original Ulysses was.

I can't help pointing out, however, that it takes a fraction of a second to do a google search for Ulysses which will tell you all about its merits, unlike what happens if you want to find out about the novel Lolita and have "Google Safe Search" set to "moderate" on your computer, as I found out earlier this week that this computer I'm writing on does. And I can't modify the setting, and neither could the guy who answered my call to the IT help desk.

I did consider, while I had him on the phone, quizzing him if he knew what Ulysses was. But he was so nice I just couldn't turn him into a guinea pig. Or myself into a pedantic fop.

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 04:00


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