"Gotham" Debuts First Look at Mr. Freeze
Legal | SLG Publishing revealed it’s embroiled in a trademark dispute “revolving around our comic book about a certain gun heiress,” and has established a legal defense fund to help pay for what’s already become a costly fight. Although Publisher Dan Vado doesn’t provide details, it seems likely that Winchester Mystery House, LLC, has objected to Winchester, the historical fiction/horror series by Vado and artist Drew Rausch. The comic, which debuted in October 2009, centers on rifle heiress Sarah Winchester and the construction of Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California. Just last year, Winchester Mystery House sued a production company for trademark infringement over a DVD called Haunting of Winchester House.
“Just so we are being clear, SLG is not raising money to fight some long, drawn-out court case, there isn’t enough money in all of comics for that kind of fight,” Vado writes on the publisher’s website, “we are asking for money to pay for the costs of responding to the letters and harassment from the baseless claims thrown at us. This is money we have already spent, a lot of it borrowed, for which there will be no return and is now affecting our ability to operate.” [SLG Publishing]
Legal | An attorney for Marc Toberoff, the lawyer for the Siegel and Shuster families, filed motions on Friday to dismiss the Warner Bros. action against Toberoff, citing California laws designed to curb lawsuits intended to intimidate the opposition through delays and legal expense.
Warner Bros. sued Toberoff in May, claiming he convinced the families of Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to reject “mutually beneficial” longtime agreements with DC Comics and seek to recapture copyright to the property. The studio also insists that Toberoff struck agreements with the heirs that would give him “a controlling financial interest” in their collective claims. However, in documents filed on Friday, Toberoff said that, for at least the past five years, he has only been on retainer with the Siegel family and Shuster estate. [Variety]
Publishing | George Gene Gustines looks at efforts by Archie Comics’ new executive team — Jon Goldwater, Victor Gorelick and Nancy Silberkleit — to transform the company into a global multimedia brand. “The company had been neglected, and the bottom line suffered,” Goldwater said. “That has turned around.” [The New York Times]
Publishing | Heidi MacDonald provides an overview of recent imprint additions at Image Comics. [Publishers Weekly]
Conventions | The first Minneapolis Indie Xpo will be held Saturday in Minneapolis. Exhibitors include Robert Kirby, Tyler Page, John Porcellino, Spike, Sparkplug Comic Books, Top Shelf Productions and Noah Van Sciver. [Downtown Journal]
Conventions | Comik Market, Japan’s largest manga event, drew 560,000 people to the Tokyo Big Sight over the weekend, matching the record set at last summer’s convention. That figure is for the number of attendees each day added together, not unique attendees. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Cartoonist Cathy Guisewite discusses ending her syndicated comic strip Cathy after 34 years: “I am not stopping the strip because I think anything has been resolved. When I see my daughter and her generation, I see that a lot of the games between men and women, the fixation on fashion — ‘I’ll die if my hair doesn’t look right.’ And I really thought we could have lost that in the last 30 years. But we haven’t.” [The New York Times]
Creators | Brian Heater continues his multi-part interview with Dan Goldman. [The Daily Cross Hatch]