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Comics A.M. | Hedge fund is backing Stan Lee Media’s Disney lawsuit

Stan Lee

Legal | Forbes profiles Michael Wolk, a lawyer who’s organized the financial backing for Stan Lee Media’s prolonged, and so far unsuccessful, multibillion-dollar lawsuits against Marvel and Disney over the rights to the characters co-created by Stan Lee. Wolk’s primary investor is Elliott Management, one the nation’s largest hedge funds. SLM, which is no longer affiliated with its co-founder and namesake, asserts Lee didn’t properly assign ownership of the works to Marvel, and that Disney didn’t file its Marvel agreement with the U.S. Copyright Office. “We are in the right here,” says Wolk, who’s not actually a Stan Lee Media shareholder. “No court has ever addressed or ever decided who is the owner of the characters — all of the prior litigation got dismissed for reasons that have nothing to do with who owns the characters.” [Forbes.com, via The Beat]

The Amazing Spider-Man #583

Comics | In recognition of Black History Month, Collin David presents some notable examples of comics featuring real-life African-American figures. [Biography]

History | A researcher at the University of Illinois says she has evidence that Fredric Wertham altered the words of his research subjects, and some of the facts as well, in the writing of Seduction of the Innocent. [University of Illinois News Bureau]

Creators | Neal Adams talks about his long career as an artist, which started with him copying his Old Maid cards at the age of six and has taken him through stints drawing Superman, Batman and the X-Men, despite the fact that when he originally went looking for work, in the 1950s, he was told not to bother because the industry would be dead within a year. [The Abington Journal]

Penny Arcade

Creators | Michael Cavna talks to the Penny Arcade team of Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins and Robert Khoo about Strip Search, their American Idol-type reality show featuring budding cartoonists. [Comic Riffs]

History | KC Carlson interviews comics historian John Wells, whose American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-1964 is out this week from TwoMorrows Publishing. [Comics Worth Reading]

Creators | Selena Harrington discusses the challenges involved in creating a weekly webcomic about Nokia phones. [NokNok]

Graphic novels | According to Jane Paulick, everyone in Berlin is writing a graphic novel these days; she looks at the trends and some prominent local creators. [Deutsche Welle]

Awards | And now, the moment you have all been waiting for: The Broken Frontier Awards, nominated by the writers at Broken Frontier and voted on by their readers. [Broken Frontier]

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Comments

13 Comments

Stan Lee should sue Stan Lee Media. Their absurdity while using his name damaging his reputation or some such.

is it going to take a ruling and dismissal from the u.s supreme court for stan lee media to finaly knock off this stupid legal fight and finaly accept that they have no claim on any of the marvel characters stan lee co created. disney does for stan lee never had the rights to the marvel characters to being with they were work for hire by marvel.

“Forbes profiles Michael Wolk, the hedge fund manager who’s organized the financial backing for Stan Lee Media’s prolonged, and so far unsuccessful, multibillion-dollar lawsuits against Marvel and Disney over the rights to the characters co-created by Stan Lee.” – This is somewhat incorrect.

If you read the article, you’ll know that Michael Wolk is a lawyer who organized the funding for Stan Lee Media’s minority shareholders to take control of the company and pursue the lawsuit against Marvel. Forbes.com points out that he isn’t even a shareholder in SLM or the lawyer representing the case. Paul Singer is the hedge fund manager/founder of Elliott Management which is the primary backer for Wolk’s efforts.

While the comic book angle is interesting, what’s scary is that you have big money financing lawsuits for profit.

Do you hear that? It sounds like the ghost of Jack Kirby, laughing hysterically.

Mark Toberoff is suing Stan Lee Media for infringing on his copyrighted IP of suing companies for ownership of characters he didn’t create.

“That’s my schtick! Back off!” Toberoff was quoted as saying when asked about the lawsuit.

So, that Wertham guy is THE ULTIMATE ANTI-COMIC JERK after all!

Get over it Stan Lee.

60 years on, Wertham is dead and so is the Comics Code – and people are still having a go at him? C’mon, apes, that’s a dead leopard.

@akachris: I think you are right here in part but does this mean that the corporations get to walk away totally unchallenged? Granted this particular suit is bogus but in order to challenge big money you have to have big money behind you. Let the courts thrash it out.Maybe we will see a final ruling that throws out once and for all Work for Hire and people like Kirby and Rosa will get their due.

“Get over it Stan Lee.”

One caveat that should be included on every article related to Stan Lee Media, especially their many lawsuits is that Lee himself is no longer involved with Stan Lee Media. In fact, Lee himself has sued SLM in the past.

Which is why the item states, “SLM, which is no longer affiliated with its co-founder and namesake …”

I can understand Brian’s confusion, but if he had read the article he would realize Stan Lee Media is not Stan Lee the man. He likely just saw Stan Lee’s name and the word lawsuit and had a reaction.

It is amazing how people with little to no knowledge about something (those commenting here) still find it necessary to advertise their ignorance.

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