Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Ex-intern hits Marvel with class-action wage suit

Marvel

Marvel

Legal | A former Marvel intern has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging he was incorrectly classified and unfairly denied “minimum wages.” Kenneth Jackson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, claims he’s owed back pay for the work he performed for Marvel from August 2008 to December 2008, and seeks to include in his motion “all similarly situated persons who are presently or formerly employed by Marvel Entertainment, LLC.” [TheWrap]

Passings | Pran Sharma, the creator of the Indian comics character Chacha Chaudhary, died late Tuesday of complications from cancer. He was 75. The first comic featuring Chacha, “a wise old man who solves problems with his sharp intellect,” was published in 1971, and the character went on to star in his own comics and animated series. Sharma also created the teenage character Billoo. “If I could put a smile on the face of the poor, I would consider my life successful,” he once said. [The Wall Street Journal]

Words For Pictures

Words for Pictures

Creators | Brian Michael Bendis discusses his new how-to book, Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels. [The Oregonian]

Creators | Paul Pope talks about his Eisner-winning Battling Boy and the recent reissue of his older comic, Escapo. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen talk about their work on Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. [Kindle Post]

Creators | Scottish creators Neil Slorance and Colin Bell discuss their all-ages series Dungeon Fun, which won in the best artist, writer and series categories in the Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards. Bell sums it up nicely: “At the outset, Dungeon Fun is the story of a girl raised by trolls, who comes across a cursed sword and sets off on a quest to stop assorted rubbish being thrown into the moat where she lives. Broadly speaking, it’s me and my pal Neil Slorance pouring our love for dungeon-crawling videogames, epic adventure and silliness into a comic.” [Comic Spire]

Publishing | The first installment of a series  about defunct comics publishers spotlights Marvel’s Epic imprint, a creator-owned line of comics for older readers that was a bit ahead of its time. [io9]

Piracy | Deb Aoki compiles her own comments and the tweets of others regarding the new anti-piracy initiative rolled out by the Japanese manga and anime industry, which includes a new website designed to guide readers to legitimate sources of online manga. [Manga Comics Manga]

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Comments

12 Comments

That’s what internships are… Thanks for making it that much harder to get one at Marvel.

If I were working for a business and didn’t get paid on my first scheduled payday, I’d quit. Good luck convincing the court that he worked 4 months and didn’t get realize he was an intern and not getting paid.

chakal the insane god

August 6, 2014 at 9:15 am

I was doing a lot internships and I always got payed. BUT, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t internships which are for free. I was payed, because I chose the right internship.
Kenneth should treat this experience as a life lesson and tell himself “I will never let myself get screwed again”. Instead, he is doing what average american do: sue.

Out of curiosity I read the rules in regard to internship at marvel, and frankly, I would discourage anyone
from trying. But then again, Lowe, Brevoort started as interns and look where they are now!

I was an intern at Marvel and I did it for credit. That is the job. I knew that when I signed up. There was no payment and but I was richer for doing it.

There are a lot of exploitative internships out there. I can’t say whether Marvel’s is one of them, but a ton of companies don’t use internships to teach anything but just to get free labor, and that’s not only wrong, but illegal. If they want someone to do grunt work for them, they should pay them. Here’s the federal guidelines on internships: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

I could be wrong about this, but didn’t two Interns sue a movie production company for receiving no money and failed? Could have actually won, all I remember that it happen.

Lando – No; I was under the impression that they had won, but the case hasn’t actually been heard yet. However, it was widely misreported that they had won because they got a key ruling that seemed to indicate they would definitely win when it finally got to court. I can’t find any more recent info than June 2013, so I’m guessing Fox Searchlight settled.

Internship laws in NY are a lot stricter these days, but it’s really hard to prove you were taken advantage of. The legal fees might exceed anything this guy could win.

I had an internship years back, where the school assigned the students to various company or businesses that had previously applied to be added to the list. About 30 of us students were assigned to a company that primarily focused on selling health products as sales agents. It was a network marketing company, so they wanted us to sell the products to our friends and families. Needless to say, none of us did that, since we were skeptical about the products the more we heard about them. The big shots there refused to pay us after the first month because the sales agents there were paid via commission, and there were never supposed to be any basic pay. When we argued that we did other work there that didn’t involved selling products, they said that those work were trainings.

In the end, we went back to the school and the school managed to get only half of us paid. I was part of the other half. Apparently, you had to express your dissatisfaction explicitly and threaten to sue if you wanted to get paid, which I didn’t do. There was no such things as having one guy representing the whole group. Of course, the school was the one that was ultimately at fault since they didn’t bother doing background checks on the companies that registered with them.

Also, I forgot to mention that I’m an engineering student, not a marketing student.

I know people have a lot of brand loyalty when it comes to Marvel, but the idea of a company that basically prints money at this point not kicking college graduates at least minimum wage for an internship is pretty awful. It doesn’t really happen in the financial sector, I don’t think it even happens at Disney…why should it happen at Marvel?

Not only should he have known he wasn’t getting paid after, at least, the first month, but he’s just now going about suing for this? After almost six years? Seems a little suspicious, if you ask me.

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