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Showing posts from February, 2012

THE 1973 COMIC ART CONVENTION: Bob Kane, C.C. Beck, Sol Harrison, Russ Heath et al...

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A few weeks ago I reprinted the 1970 Comic Art Convention Luncheon, which featured Bill Everett and Joe Kubert interviewed by Gil Kane and Neal Adams.  It got me to thinking, how many other such interviews are out there that are largely forgotten these days?  I then started to peek through the mountains of convention programmes and the like, and found another such luncheon that would have been great to attend, and a bitter-sweet one as well – the 1973 Comic Art Convention Luncheon.
Much like the 1970 Luncheon, this event featured some heavyweight creators talking about their time in the industry.  C.C. Beck was an established legend, having been the first artist to draw Captain Marvel (later re-branded as Shazam) and his crew.  Beck’s art was, and still is, a delight; mixing realism with cartoon creating a style that many artists have emulated through the years.  His influence can still be found in some of today’s artists, and his minimalistic approach to the medium was truly origina…

Todd McFarlane & Neil Gaiman - 19 Years Gone

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Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman: 1993

Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman:  2012

And they STILL have yet to resolve the whole Miracleman mess.  Isn't it incredible what nearly twenty years can see?  And when a case that appears to be as clear cut as this one is and goes on for this long, well, you can begin to understand why people such as the Siegel family, the Kirby estate and others are resigned to be in the fight for the long haul. 

And that 1993 'true story' seems to be about as true as Bob Kane insisting that he created Batman all on his lonesome...

Gary Friedrich & Ghost Rider by Barry Pearl

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A legal point has come out regarding the Friedrich/Ghost Rider thing that I wanted to mention.  I am only expressing what I believe the law is, much to my surprise.  I spoke to a New York Supreme Court Judge, on several occasions, about this, twenty years ago. A small comic book store opened called the “Batcave” and DC went after them to change their name or shut down. They owners were on TV saying why are the big guys going after us?  We are just little guys?
So I asked the judge. First, he told me he helped write part of this law. Apparently, when legislators need to do technical stuff in their laws, they often asked judges to help get it right.
The government does not enforce copyright laws. Piracy yes that is criminal law, copyright and patents, no that is civil law.  They leave enforcement to the copyright holders. And the law states that there cannot be selective prosecution. In other words the must, to keep their copyright, go after everyone or the courts will no…

The Trials Of Superman Volume II - Available Now & FREE!

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From the introduction:
...In 2001 negotiations had stalled. The Siegel Estate was unhappy with the final offer that DC Comics had put on the table. The offer called for the Siegel Estate to hand over their portion of the copyright in return for a non-returnable advance of two million dollars, a non-returnable, non-recoupable advance of one million dollars and a minimum annual guarantee of $500,000, along with a 6% gross royalty of Superman and a 1% royalty of every Superman publication that DC Comics published. Added into the deal were assurances of medical health care, credit for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and other bonuses. After the deal was accepted, in principle, the fur began to fly. Depending upon who you believe, either DC Comics changed the deal in some form, resulting in the Siegel Estate sacking their legal council and electing to hire the IP lawyer that the Shuster heirs had been dealing with – Marc Toberoff.  If you believe DC Comics, Mark Toberoff stepped into t…

Marvel vs Kirby: Appellants' Opening Brief

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This is the latest round in the Marvel Comics vs Jack Kirby's Estate court case - the official Opening Brief.  As we now know, Marvel won the case proper, but no sooner was the ink dry on the order than the Kirby estate appealed the decision.  As you'd expect, the appeal is based around the judge ignoring the evidence that the Kirby estate introduced, notably the testimony of Mark Evanier and John Morrow.  Marc Toberoff, the lawyer acting for the Kirby estate, wants the court to believe that Stan Lee is a totally unreliable witness, lacks credibility and his testimony should be stricken from the books.  The court is also to believe that Evanier and Morrow know more about the workings of Marvel during Jack Kirbys time than those who were actually there, such as Larry Lieber, John Romita and Roy Thomas - something that the court has already stated it can't do.  Even more disturbing is an allegation that Stan Lee threatened the livelihood of his brother, Larry Lieber, by ins…

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