The most revealing development in the Siegel case since I last wrote for The Beat involves a check. Not the check issued to Siegel and Shuster in exchange for the Superman copyright, but one that DC has apparently* not written–payment to the Siegel family for Grant Morrison’s relaunch of Action #1.
My last post explored how continuities between the cover image of Action Comics #1 and subsequent material could give DC a substantial part of the copyright in the original Superman. One question left unaddressed, however, was the issue of Clark Kent, not to mention other key elements of Superman’s character and mythos appearing in that historic first issue.
In this post, let’s take a quick look at that question and the role it could play in bringing this case to an end.
A sad day for those who hoped, perhaps against hope, that Jack “The King’ Kirby’s heirs would get some of the money their father’s creations have made over the years. Characters including Captain America (created in the ’40s with Joe Simon), The Hulk, Iron Man and Thor– you know, if they called next year’s potential biggest-movie-of-all-time THE AVENEGRS “JACK KIRBY’S AVENGERS” they would not be far from the mark.
Deadline has analysis, seeing it as a big setback for lawyer Marc Toberoff, who has won many unlikely IP cases against giant studios in the past:
Not since Star Trek waffles (I’m not kidding) has a movie had so many unconventional food tie-ins as Captain America: The First Avenger. Clearly this called for a review in the interest of science journalism. So while visiting my parents for the Fourth of July weekend, I decided an expedition into patriotic tie-in food was required and resolved to try and review it all, a project which revealed one vitally important fact – apparently Americans really, really like patriotic donuts.
By Jeff Trexler– In March 2008, Grant Morrison’s homage to Siegel and Shuster appeared in comic shops on the very same day that the Siegel heirs recaptured half the original Superman copyright. Now Morrison is set to work his shaman’s magic once again in the September relaunch of Action #1–and this time, the Siegels could lose everything.
Morrison’s upcoming Supergods holds the key to understanding why. For an explanation and a sneak preview of Morrison’s new book, click below. A mysterious appeal, Joe Shuster’s super-swastika and the final crisis of the legal multiverse–this one has it all.
DC has cited its changes and additions to the Super-verse as grounds for reducing the Siegel heirs’s share of Superman material produced since 1999. A recent Variety article takes this even further, reporting thatNeil Gaiman’s success in winning co-ownership of Medieval Spawn provides legal precedent for giving DC complete ownership of the contemporary Superman, limiting the Siegels’ interest to the far less lucrative 1938 version of the character.
Does DC have strong legal grounds for splitting Superman between The Man of Tomorrow and The Man of Yesterday? Click below to see if Gaiman v. McFarlane is legal kryptonite for creators’ rights–or whether that’s just another misconceived retcon.
Judging from the images released so far, it would appear that the relaunched versions of Superman and Superboy will be different from previous versions. Superman will no longer be wearing red shorts over his blue tights, and his belt, boots and S-symbol have also undergone notable alterations. Somewhat more dramatically, Superboy is sporting a black shirt and pants, a black-and-white S-shield mini-cape attached to his back, and a stylized red S-shield tattoo. It also appears that both characters will have significant changes in their continuity, most notably Superman’s age and his relationship with Lois Lane.
This changes in the Superman costume are in themselves not likely to provide a solid foundation for erasing the Siegel heirs’ ownership interest. However, the costume changes and other shifts in continuity are consistent with DC’s arguments for limiting what the Siegels now own.
Perhaps it’s only fitting that double identity has been a central issue in the never-ending battle over the Superman copyright. As longtime readers of my posts may recall, the relation between the original and contemporary versions of Superman has been central to the Siegel lawsuits from the beginning. To set the stage for the posts that follow, let’s take a quick review of how the multiple versions of Superman have played a role in the Siegel lawsuits.
This year’s Reuben awards weekend — the traditional yearly gathering of traditional comic strip cartoonists — saw some special guests from the webcomics world specially invited, like Kate Beaton, Randall Munroe, and Scott Kurtz. Kurtz has written up the weekend in an absolute must read on the changing of the guard from a world where creators live by the structured patronage of big media companies in exchange for exclusivity, to a much more fluid world where entrepreneurship is as important as content and living by your wits is literally the way to the big payoff.
Art schools and apprenticeships find themselves more popular than ever, let’s all tip our hats to inspiration artist Rudolph Töpffer’s for his creation of boarding school for boys. While anyone can teach themselves and become successful on their own, a lot of the specialty schools allow access to equipment, connections, mentorship of working professionals and opportunities in a condensed amount of time that are priceless.
During C2E2, I discovered some old issues of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld in the quarter bins. I knew of this series, but had not read any comics of the character. I have an eight-year-old niece who loves Wonder Woman, and thought she might enjoy another super-powered princess.
TweetHere’s a comic from my brothers’ collection, the type of comic kids read back in the 1960s and 70s. We didn’t care about condition or collectibility, we just read the comics, tossed them in a cupboard somewhere, and maybe re-read them when we were bored. That pile never got in the way, never got too […]
Tweet It’s Kyle Baker’s birthday today so wish him a happy birthday over on Facebook, visit his blog, leave a comment, and buy tons of his books while you’re at it. For the occasion, I wanted to spark a discussion about the differences between digital vs hand drawn comic art. What better artist to focus […]
Cartoonist Michel Fiffe and pundit Tucker Stone have teamed up for Jumpstart That Comics Career! which might be the ultimate in “how to” advice. A sample: