Nearly one month after what would’ve been Jack Kirby’s 97th birthday, the announcement was made: Concluding a five-year copyright battle, and decades of contention about credit and compensation, Marvel and the Kirby family revealed Friday that they had reached a settlement, just ahead of a conference to decide whether the U.S. Supreme Court would take up the case.
“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes,” they said in a joint statement, “and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”
This is, without question, excellent news, and cause for celebration.
As is typical with settlements, the terms of their agreement aren’t made public, and the one-sentence statement gives no indication of how Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history will be honored.
Those close to Kirby’s family have been reserved with details. In some instances, they don’t appear to know any more than we do.
Legendary Comics has debuted Shane Davis’ cover the first issue of Epochalypse, the upcoming sci-fi adventure written by Jonathan Hennessey and drawn by the Superman: Earth One artist.
Set in a dystopian world where a space-time phenomenon causes 600 years of history to collapse into one era, forcing societies from the past, present and future to coexist, Epochalypse centers on a defiant Resynchronization Officer — part of an elite team tasked with ridding futuristic artifacts that threaten the laws of time — who leads a manhunt for an elusive scientist and a notorious outlaw in a bid to save history.
Epochalypse #1 goes on sale Nov. 19.
He may be one of the most powerful telepaths on Earth, but it turns out Charles Xavier is kind of a wimp. And judging by this video compiled by Screen Junkie, and a bit of a drama queen to boot.
Using a scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past as a framing device, the website puts together a supercut of some of Professor X’s worst moments from the 1990s X-Men animated series — many of which involve him grabbing his head and screaming “Aaaaaaah!” Although just to mix things up, he does toss in the occasional “No!” and “You … are … driving … me … insane!”
Frankly, after watching this, you may wonder how the X-Men have survived this long.
Like Tony Stark himself, Patrick Priebe likes to update his Iron Man armor. Last year the custom-props builder wowed us with a functioning gauntlet that fires lasers powerful enough to burn objects and pop balloons, but now he’s taken things to the next level, or perhaps one or two after that.
Forget all of that kiddie stuff, the Mark II (sure, let’s call it that) fires an honest-to-goodness missile. None of that Nerf nonsense, either; there’s smoke and an explosion! You can check it out in the video below.
Bad news for tech-heads, but good news for emergency rooms: Priebe isn’t releasing any plans for tutorials.
Following through on one of the promises of Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s successful Indiegogo campaign to fund a new Middleman graphic novel, the cast of the short-lived television adaptation reunited for a table read of The Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation, which was of course captured on video.
“Why is this man smiling?” Grillo-Marxauch writes beneath a photo of himself at the reunion. “Might be that I am in the middle of one of the happiest moments in my middle-history!”
One of the most memorable Spider-Man storylines of the 1980s remains J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck’s “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” which featured the ultimate battle between Kraven the Hunter and Spider-Man. Now, nearly three decades later, Marvel has enlisted Neil Kleid to author a prose adaptation, Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt.
To mark the novel’s release today in comic stores, Kleid talked with me about the nuances of the adaptation. He’ll appear today at 6 p.m. for a book signing at JHU Comic Books in New York City.
Pittsburgh Magazine has produced a remarkable profile of Ed Piskor that includes a print interview and a video of the artist walking through his childhood home, where the drawings he did as a teenager are still visible amid peeling paint and fallen plaster.
Both pieces focus heavily on the milieu in which Piskor was raised, the Homestead neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which took a sharp nose dive after the steel mills closed; Piskor’s parents were among the many who lost their jobs. When he was growing up, the neighborhood had a heavy gang presence, so Piskor spent a lot of time indoors, drawing, but it was also there that he was exposed to hip-hop and became fascinated by it; his Hip Hop Family Tree has grown out of that youthful obsession.
Law.com has an interesting follow-up to the surprise settlement last week in the five-year-old legal battle between Marvel and Jack Kirby’s heirs, noting that the larger copyright issue at its center remain unresolved.
The children of the legendary artist filed 45 copyright-termination notices in September 2009, seeking to reclaim what they saw as their father’s stake in such Marvel characters as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk. Marvel, joined by its then-new parent company Disney, responded with a lawsuit, setting the dispute down a path that ultimately saw the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirm Kirby’s contributions to the publisher between 1959 and 1963 were “work for hire,” and therefore not subject to copyright termination.
Under a clause in the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act, which extended the duration of copyright, authors or their heirs can reclaim rights transferred before 1978 after a period of 56 years. However, if a work is determined to be “for hire,” meaning it was created by an employee as part of his employment or specially commissioned as part of a larger work, then the publisher (or movie studio, record label, etc.) owns the copyright, and it is not subject to termination.
Awards | The finalists for the inaugural Kirkus Prize literary awards include two graphic novels: Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is one of six nominees in the Nonfiction category, and Cece Bell’s El Deafo is one of the picks for the Young Readers award. The winners in all three categories, who will receive $50,000 each, will be announced during a ceremony held Oct. 23 in Austin, Texas. [The Washington Post]
Manga | A prequel to Osamu Tezuka’s classic Astro Boy manga is in the works for the Japanese magazine Monthly Hero’s. Tezuka’s son, Makoto Tezuka, is supervising the production of the story, which focuses on the time before the “birth” of the iconic robot boy. [Anime News Network]
“I use the Gillette Pro power and skintimate shaving cream. yes, this is woman’s shaving cream but as I learned many years ago from listening to tiny Tim of the Howard Stern show, you heard me :-), that most women’s cosmetic products are far superior to the ones that they sell men. they are softer and they smell better.
“And that’s why no skin bumps or razor burn for me.
“I often use strawberry scented and I’m telling you that at least three times a week a woman says: your head smells very good. if I was single, I know that this is a home run move I’ve been married for 18 years and I know my head smell has kept my marriage happy
“The new Gillette razor system that moves with the contour of your face is a disaster. do not buy it. it doesn’t work.
“If this isn’t quote of the day on robot six I’m going to be very angry “
– Brian Michael Bendis, responding to a Tumblr question about shaving his head
For weeks fans of The Walking Dead have been parsing quotes from the producers and stars of the hit AMC series, searching for clues as to which characters won’t survive the upcoming fifth season. However, despite their diligence, it appears a significant casualty has already slipped by them.
When The Walking Dead returns Oct. 12, it will be without one of its fixtures since Season 2: the kiwi-green Hyundai Tuscon found by Rick Grimes & Co. on the gridlocked highway after they left Atlanta in hopes of reaching Fort Benning. It quickly became the survivors’ most frequently used vehicle, participating in supply runs and the search for Sophia, herding walkers and fleeing Hershel’s overrun farm (the Hyundai even received its own backstory, in the web series The Oath).
Japan’s Sendai Airport is installing a massive mural designed by Katsuhiro Otomo, the acclaimed creator of Akira.
Blending elements of traditional Japanese art with Otomo’s distinctive stylistic touches, the 258-square-foot ceramic relief depicts a boy, accompanied by the gods of wind and thunder, riding “against nature’s might towards the future he desires.”
Although it may not be as big as National Novel Writing Month, over the past five years InkTober has grown into a global event. What’s InkTober, you ask? It’s a challenge created in 2009 by illustrator Jake Parker to help improve inking skills and work habits — and this year’s edition starts tomorrow.
If the date sneaked up on you, don’t panic: All that’s required is a pen or brush and paper — but you’ll probably also need an Internet connection, and either a scanner or digital camera.
Each day throughout October, you simply make an ink drawing and upload to your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter or Instagram account, accompanied by the hashtag #inktober. (Or, as Parker suggests, you can simply pin it to your wall.)
That’s it: 31 drawings in 31 days. Parker breaks down the rules, and provides a list of resources, on his website.
Amy Reeder, who redesigned the Brooklyn Defender beer label for New York Comic Con, has revealed the signage she created to help promote the convention’s new zero-tolerance harassment policy.
“In addition to designing the Brooklyn Defender this year, NYCC asked me to illustrate something they can use for their anti-harassment signs around the convention floor,” Reeder, co-creator of Rocket Girl, writes on her blog. “The smart idea would probably have been to draw one character in my style, for recognition’s sake, but I had this idea in my head and really wanted to try something new. I wanted it to be modular, so they could change it and use bits as they like. And I wanted it to feel inclusive. No one wants to be harassed.”
The two projects meet in the image below, which includes a Brooklyn Defender cameo.
In an unexpected turn, the smiling blue robot cat Doraemon has become embroiled in a political controversy in China, where critics charge that the popular anime character is a tool for Japan’s “cultural invasion.”
The New York Times reports the rumpus follows the successful opening in mid-August of the 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo in Chengdu, which apparently led three major newspapers last week to question the motives of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, and not its cultural or economic branches, in naming the cartoon cat as “anime ambassador.” Doraemon, the argument goes, is merely a Trojan Horse for Japan’s political goals.