Showing posts from 2012

Original Art Stories: Jack Kirby & Joe Simon's Stuntman #4 Cover Art Part II

Back at the end of May I ran a story that looked at the cover art to Stuntman #4 , as drawn by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.  At the time the cover art had appeared in an auction, complete with an affidavit from Joe Simon asserting it's authenticity.  Even with that document attached more than one person questioned it's veracity, none more so than Greg Theakston, who stated, " " I ran an inked copy of this (cover) in THE COMPLETE JACK KIRBY. It was inked and looked nothing like this. Bogus.".  From there others chim ed i n wi th their opinions; some felt the art with the Simon affidavit was fake, others weren't so sur e, but nobody had a definitive answer. This morning I received an email from Ted Kessler, who was Joe Simon's attorney for a number of years, and the owner of the art with the Simon affidavit.  Ted assures me th at the art with the Simon letter is real and the Theakston art is the fake - but don't take my word for it , Ted has asked t

"Literature calculated to encourage depravity" - The Banning Of Detective Comics

What do The Shadow and Batman have in common o ther than Bob Kane swip ing aspects, inspiration and images from The Shadow for Batman?  The answer is that neither Batman nor The Shadow were available in Australia from 1938 onwards, thanks to the Customs and Excise office, which placed an outright ban on The Shadow and Detective Comics due to them being labelled as “Literature calculated to encourage depravity”.  If that sounds very much like how Max Gaines described Mad – “Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad” – it’s worth bearing in mind that the Australian customs came up with their title a good decade and a change before Gaines used his.  This also means that Detective Comics m ight very well hold the dubious distinction of being the first American comic book banned in Australia as sweeping change s came into effect.   While it’s commonly known that American Golden Age comics were non-existent in Australia during the 1940s and ‘50s, first due to import restrictions placed upon

"...invalid and unenforceable..." - Marc Toberoff Loses Superman To DC

The most recent judgement in the DC Comics vs Marc Toberoff case is a doozy and an outright win for DC Comics.  Not only has the judge ruled that, "...the copyright termination notice served by the Estate of Joseph Shuster on November 10, 2003, is deemed invalid and ineffective," but Marc Toberoffs, "...rights-encumbering agreements—including the 2001 Pacific Pictures agreement, 2003 Pacific Pictures agreement, and 2008 consent agreement—are deemed invalid and unenforceable."  This means he no longer has a claim on Superman - DC Comics have all but won the case , with a few more  outstanding issues yet to be resolved. There'll be some who will celebrate this, and those who will decry it, but worry not, as expected an appeal has been filed, meaning that the case is far from finished and will soon drag on into it's ninth year - or fifteenth, if you started counting from when the Siegels first filed in 1999 .  How this will affect the forthco ming Superman

"Super-Movie Super-Cost Superman!" - Parade Magazine, June 1978

With all the articles that I’ve seen over the past few years related to Superman, this has to be one of the rarest.   Appearing in the June 1978 edition of Parade in Australia, the article takes what would have normally been a puff piece on the then forthcoming Superman movie and instead gave the nation a potted history of the character and Superman’s appearances on celluloid, using quotes from Kirk Alwyn, the Salkinds, Sol Harrison and – amazingly – Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, with a focus on the injustice afforded to the duo by DC Comics, complete with a mention of the $20,000 per annum payments.  To be honest, the feature does speak for itself and shows that, no matter what they might have privately thought, Siegel and Shuster were content to stick to the party line.  Money is a great incentive. As Superman articles go, this one may have slipped by a lot of people, but it is well worth reading, even if it is, as I suspect, a reprint from somewhere else, tidied up for th

Sneak Peek: Star Trek - Into Darkness - 1st Look Poster

It looks good, damned good!  And the synoposis sounds very, very interesting indeed.  Watch this space for another peek later this week as the first trailer for the film is released... In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.  When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.  With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.  As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Finally, A Legal Win (Of Sorts) For Todd McFarlane

Your eyes haven't failed you, y ou've read the headline right. W hile Todd McFarlane hasn't exactly won his latest legal fight , he hasn't exactly lost either.  Not so long ago McFarlane decided to sue his former best pal, Al Simmons, over the publication of Simmons autobiography, titled The Art Of Being Spawn.  Simmons book appeared to rely heavily on McFarlane's name and anecdotes, a point that caused McFarlane to file a civil suit against Simmons .  At the time it seemed a tad odd why McFarlane would throw away a friendship that he must have once valued - he named his character Spawn after Simmons - o ver a book that he must have known about, but with the recent publication of The Art Of T odd McFarlane it became all too clear that McFarlane mustr have felt that Simmons book would cut into sales.   He might have a point there. Sadly the case never reached any height w ith the only filing s be ing McFarlane's original co mplaint , along with a st atus rep

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