Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Appeal in Superman legal fight; Brett Ewins arraigned

Superman

Legal | The attorney for Marc Toberoff, the lawyer representing the Siegel and Shuster families in the bitter battle over the rights to Superman, argued last week before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that Warner Bros. shouldn’t be granted access to sensitive documents stolen from Toberoff’s office and delivered anonymously to the studio in 2008. A federal magistrate judge ruled in May 2011 that Toberoff waived privilege to the documents when he turned over the files in response to a grand jury subpoena issued in the investigation of the theft. An attached cover letter, dubbed the “Superman-Marc Toberoff Timeline,” was determined in 2009 not to be covered by privilege, and become the basis for the studio’s lawsuit against the attorney, in which it claims he acted improperly to convince the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to seek to reclaim the original copyright to the Man of Steel. Warner Bros. also alleges that Toberoff schemed to secure for himself “a majority and controlling financial stake” in the Superman rights. [Courthouse News Service]

Legal | Former Judge Dredd artist Brett Ewins was arraigned Thursday on charges of grievous bodily harm with intent following an incident last month in which he allegedly attacked police officers with a knife when they responded to a public-disturbance call. The 56-year-old Ewins, who reportedly has a history of mental-health issues, was remanded into custody pending a Feb. 17 preliminary hearing. [Ealing Gazette]

Ghost Rider

Creators | Stephen R. Bissette, Mike Grell, Chuck Dixon, Erik Larsen and Steven Grant offer their perspectives on the Gary Friedrich case. [poplitiko]

Piracy | If you have already paid for something — a comic, a movie — and you want a digital copy, is it OK to get a bootleg? David Brothers looks at this scenario and the question of whether you are obligated to pay for content more than once. “Legally, I think the answer is clear, but… morally, ethically, how bad do you need to feel about yourself if you bootleg Amazing Spider-Man 121 because you’re too lazy to dig Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys out of storage?” [4thLetter!]

Retailing | Two real-life retailers, Steven Brown and Carmelo Chimera of Chimera’s Comics, review the first episode of Kevin Smith’s “reality show” Comic Book Men and find it wanting: “It took a full 30 seconds for the cast of Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men to make their first penis joke. Immediately, we realized the show would do little to dispel any of the stereotypes associated with comic store owners and staff.” [The Huffington Post]

Retailing | Two entrepreneurs have opened an anime and manga store in Wausau, Wisconsin. [Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune]

The Manhattan Projects

Creators | Jonathan Hickman discusses all of his new Image projects Secret and The Manhattan Projects, as well as graphic design and working for Marvel: “Well, a few misconceptions there. Marvel doesn’t have many layers of corporate approval. Sure, I guess if you’re talking about wanting do a story where Spider-Woman’s aborted fetus, after a religious conversion spurred on by drug use, decides to kill the President of the United States… yeah, there will be lawyers. But design of a book? That’s pretty much an editorial decision, which usually means one person. Also, and I’ve said this before, Marvel hired me to be me. For better or worse, this is kind of what you get.” [ComicsAlliance]

Creators | Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole, The Silence of Our Friends) answered a questionnaire about his favorite books with a neat little set of cartoons. [Shelf Awareness]

Comics | Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Juan Fernandez looks at several comics that take love as their theme. [The Tartan]

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Comments

3 Comments

As a woman who loves comics, and as someone who is half Japanese, I found myself alternately bored and offended by Comic Book Men. The guys in my local comics shops do not behave like these guys, at least not in my presence. And to have the only woman to appear on the show giggle incessantly – yecchh. I am very disappointed.

How Warner Bros can even make a case about what’s right when they’ve got stolen documents in their hands is beyond me.Did they hire someone to steal the documents because they reached that moment of desperation because they felt that they were losing Superman? Desperation is a powerful tool.Not saying they did it but it does make you think what are the odds of receiving a stolen document from the home of the attorney you have to face in court?

It’s a million to one odds.If this happened in a straight up criminal case and a prosecutor received stolen documents from the house of the defense team and tried to use it in court no way in hell would the judge allow it to happen.So I am glad that this judge is taking precaution when dealing with this case and not just allowing the stolen documents to be used in the case.At least for now and hopefully never.

The documents were allegedly stolen by an attorney who had worked in Toberoff’s office and then delivered anonymously to Warner Bros., presumably out of spite. Warner Bros. immediately complied with a court order to turn over the documents. However, once the studio was aware the documents existed, it argued it should have access to them. There’s no evidence that Warner Bros. did anything wrong in this instance.

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