Publishing | As the smoke settles around the turmoil at Platinum Studios, it appears that company founder and CEO Scott Rosenberg remains in his position following an attempt by President Chris Beall to unseat him — and it’s Beall instead who’s been voted out. According to Deadline, Beall stands by his claims that Rosenberg has mismanaged Platinum and transferred controlling interest in the company to a shell entity called RIP Media without the approval of shareholders. Rosenberg denies the accusations, including that he controls RIP. The Beat has background on the whole mess. [Deadline]
Passings | Cartoonist Chris Cassatt, one of the contributors to the comic strip Shoe, has passed away following a short illness. He was 66. Cassatt started out in 1993 as the assistant to Shoe creator Jeff MacNelly and worked with him until MacNelly’s death in 2000. After that, he collaborated with Susie MacNelly and Gary Brookins on the strip. In earlier days he was a photographer for the Aspen Times in Colorado and also created a local comic featuring a character named Sal A. Mander whom he had run in actual local elections. “After candidate Sal A. Mander was thrown off the ballot in an Aspen mayoral election on the shaky (in Aspen, anyway) grounds that he was not a ‘real person,’ Cassatt legally changed his name to Sal A. Mander and ran for Colorado governor in 1978, finishing fifth in a six-candidate contest,” the newspaper writes. The following year, he mounted a write-in campaign for Sal against an unpopular district attorney who was running unopposed. He lost, but the ridicule Cassatt’s character heaped on the D.A. during the campaign took its toll, and he didn’t stay in office for long. [Aspen Times]
The 30 Characters Challenge, which asked comic creators to come up with a new character every day last month, ended earlier this week, and if you head over to the site right now, you can see round-up posts by some of the artists who participated of all the characters they came up with in what was surely a very busy November.
One participant was Vito Delsante, writer of FCHS, who I spoke with about another character-in-progress last summer. Delsante created 35 new characters — or in a few cases revised older public domain characters — and now he’s releasing them into the public domain under a Creative Commons license.
Delsante said he was inspired by Mark Waid’s Harvey Awards keynote speech, in particular the part where Waid said “…culture is more important than copyright.”
“Waid argues many points about many different topics, but this…these bolded words above, hit me in a very soft spot (I’ll readily admit that I might be missing the point of his speech). He’s right,” Delsante wrote on his blog. “The idea of public domain adds to comics. But there are very few characters (as compared to copyrighted/franchise/creator owned characters) that are in the public domain. That changes today.”
Delsante isn’t asking for money or even the right to approve their usage; he only asks that he be credited with their creation when they’re used. Waid gives his approval in the comments section to Delsante’s post, while Sage LaTorra has already said he is going to use them in a role-playing game he’s designing. Although as Sean Kleefeld points out, it’s highly unlikely Spider-Man will be facing any of these characters anytime soon for a variety of reasons, it’s still an interesting move and I admire the spirit under which Delsante is doing it. Although I probably would have kept Tuo, the Alligator Man for myself.