Controversial! Fun And Also Games! First Comic Book related blog to be featured in the Australian National Library's Pandora archive. 2016 Rondo Award nominee. Pop culture, music, film and comic book expert. Would be willing to write for biscuits.
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Superman & The 'Toberoff Timeline'
Much has been made of the so called 'Toberoff Timeline', a series of documents that were allegedly stolen from the law offices of Marc Toberoff in 2006, by a lawyer named David Michaels, who was working for Toberoff at the time, and duly sent to the lawyers acting for D.C. Comics in their Superman case. The documents came complee with a "cover letter, written in the form of a
timeline, outlining in detail Toberoff's alleged master plan to capture
Superman for himself, " which led to allegations that Toberoff had interfered with negotiations between DC and Joanne Siegel with the view of securing the Superman copyright for his own gains. The direct result of the Timeline was DC Comics filing suit against Toberoff, and that suit is still running today, as is the original 2004 Siegel v DC Comics lawsuit.
D.C. Comics gave the allegedly stolen documents over to an outside attorney and began a quest to obtain them through discovery. No matter what DC Comics did or said Toberoff refused to hand them over, saying the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege because they involved communication with the heirs, however, as anyone who has followed both cases will know, Toberoff has claimed attorney-client privilege on virtually every document that DC has sought to introduce, be they part of the Timeline or otherwise. In 2008 a magistrate made a ruling which saw some of the documents, including the covering letter, introduced into the Superman trial, this ruling and discovery led to DC filing their suit against Toberoff in 2008.
Despite the theft happening in 2006, it took until DC filed suit in 2010 for Toberoff to report the theft to the U.S. Attorney's Office. This action resulted in Toberoff supplying complete, unredacted, copies of the documents to a grand jury and as they were introduced into a court, DC moved for access to the same documents. Toberoff naturally resisted this action, leading to this appeal. This time the appeal has gone against Toberoff, and the most interesting aspect of the appeal ruling is the courts overview on Toberoff's business practices. In a scathing critique of Toberoff the appellate panel stated that, "Having set his sights on Superman, Toberoff approached the heirs with an offer to manage pre-existing litigation over the rights Siegel and Shuster had ceded to D.C. Comics. He also claimed that he would arrange for a new Superman film to be produced. To pursue these goals, Toberoff created a joint venture between the heirs and an entity he owned. Toberoff served as both a business advisor and an attorney for that venture. The ethical and professional concerns raised by Toberoff's actions will likely occur to many readers, but they are not before this court." Read into that what you will.
What this ruling does mean is the Superman case, now entering it's eight year, appears to have no ending in sight any-time soon.
Be warned - read this, take note and learn the easy way - we've learnt this lesson the hard way.
As people who read this stuff on some form of a regular basis might be aware we're off to New York in just over a month. Three weeks in New York, one week in San Fransisco. The key, for us anyway, is booking some decent accommodation, so we decided that, as we're going to be in New York for three weeks solid, that we'd go for a serviced apartment over a hotel room. So we started looking on the proper web-sites for places until we found one. Great location, it does exist, great photos - the lot. Perfect for our needs. The other half made contact with the 'owner' via the web-site and made arrangements to pay. We were asked to pay via MoneyGram, no biggie and no alarm bells started to ring - we've not done this before and all seemed normal. We made the first payment and got an email back from the 'owner' saying he'd gotten the payment and could we fix th…
Let's nip this right in the bud now and call this image bullshit (as Penn & Teller would say). Yesterday a link was emailed to quite a few people, showing the image you see on the left, which is supposedly the Jack Kirby version of The Amazing Spider-Man. If it the art was genuine then it'd rewrite Marvel history as we know it. There's one slight problem though - it's a hoax, and not a very good one at that. Someone has taken the Giant Man image from the splash page of Tales To Astonish #51 and doctored it, using a logo taken from page #183 of Joe Simon's Comic Book Makers book and parts of the design that Steve Ditko drew for one of Robin Snyder's books (in which he discussed the differences between Jack Kirby's discarded version of Spiderman and the final, Steve Ditko-Stan Lee version of Spider-Man) and mashed them all together. As to why anyone would want to do that, or what end they hoped to achieve is beyond me. But then that's life.
Go and have a read, and, more importantly, pass the word on to everyone and anyone who is thinking of travelling anywhere and booking. First rule of thumb - NEVER pay anyone via a money transfer system such as Western Union or Moneygram. They assist the scammers, and once your money is gone, those companies couldn't care less. They've got their cut. Make sure you pay in such a way that you've got recourse - if it's a money transfer then it's a scam, as far as I'm concerned.