Showing posts from July 8, 2012

"Seek legal advice..." - How Hanna-Barbera Took Millions From DC Comics

Ever heard the joke about how, when Beatlemania was at its peak, the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein was approached by some canny Americans who wanted to license the group’s images and names for merchandising?  The joke goes like this – the Americans sent representatives to meet with Epstein in the hopes that they’d be able to cut a good deal.  Epstein listened to their presentation, which amounted to the reps stating how they were going to plaster the Beatles images onto everything from towels to tea trays to toilet paper to underwear, cans of Beatle Breath, egg cups, wigs, shirts and more - if it could carry the Beatles name then it did.  After they finished their pitch they began to discuss the financial split and Epstein reportedly said, with a flourish, that they’d not accept anything less than 10%.  Net.  The Americans couldn't get the paperwork signed quickly enough.
Well, it’s not a joke really.  You see in 1963 Brian Epstein did sign away the rights to the Beatles for the A…

"A Curse On The Superman Movie!" - A Look Back At Jerry Siegel's 1975 Press Release

In 1975 Jerry Siegel, annoyed and frustrated over decades of living in poverty, decided to take the bull by the horns, prepared the following press release and released it to the media.  Naturally the mainstream media were never going to print it as is – far too long – but it had the desired effect.  News outlets sat up and took notice and began to sense that this was a story that had a lot of legs – the creators of Superman were poor and in ill-health, DC Comics were making millions and they were getting nothing.  Even better, or worse – depending on how you saw it – DC were standing to make even more money with the multi-million dollar budgeted movie, and it’s trickle down effect (increased sales of merchandise, comics and the like) and not a cent of that would be going to the two people whose vision had made it all possible. 
Siegel’s essay (really, it was an essay, not a press release per se) documented all of the issues that both he and Joe Shuster had faced, the legal battles, t…

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