A comic book adaptation of James Joyce's notoriously challenging epic Ulysses is now available on the iTunes App Store uncut after Apple back-tracked on a nudity ban. Rob Berry and Josh Levitas launched the ambitious webcomic version of the classic novel, one of the most important works of Modernist literature, earlier this year under the title Ulysses Seen.
The original iPad submission saw images of cartoon genitalia removed by cropping panels, after the option of pixelated images or the addition of fig leaves was turned down. "Apple's policy prohibits even that. So we were forced to either scrap the idea of moving to the tablet with Apple or re-design our pages," Berry told Robot 6 at the time.
However, Apple has admitted: "We made a mistake," when the story, covered by Macworld earlier in June, was brought to the company's attention.
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told the Washington Post: "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."
A delighted Berry spoke of his relief in having the full version of Ulysses Seen available to iPad users, but disagreed that Apple had ever acted as a censor.
"When we were asked to remove images based upon nudity, one of my partners took the call," Berry told the newspaper. "His argument that the novel already determined this stuff and won this argument 75 years ago was apparently lost on the Apple representative. Apparently the people reviewing content [then] don't have a lot of info about what they're involved in."
"It begs the simple question: Should someone who's completely unfamiliar with Joyce's novel be making decisions of how a new media adaptation might work at the app store?' "
Ulysses "Seen" by Throwaway Horse publishing is free and requires the iPhone 3.2 Software Update or later. Apple also reversed its decision on Tom Bouden's graphic novel of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, which is now available in the iTunes App Store.