INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Paolo Rivera is perhaps best known as the Eisner Award-winning artist of Daredevil, Mythos and The Amazing Spider-Man, but before he began working for Marvel almost a decade ago, he sculpted a Mystique bust for Dynamic Forces. He followed that with another commission from the company in the form of a Red Sonja statue that he thought would amount to “a few weeks of sculpting.” However, as he explains in a new blog post, the project became a little more involved.
“As you can probably guess, a few weeks turned into 2 full months of intense noodling,” he wrote. “Aside from the challenge of being my first full figure, the mass production process required it to be divided into several pieces — what ended up being 6 in all. I let the professionals do the casting and painting this time, as I had learned my lesson with Mystique.”
Rivera, whose process posts are always informative and entertaining, goes into quite a bit of detail on his blog, and even provides a work-in-progress slideshow (below).
In response to the lawsuit filed in February by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., Dynamite Entertainment has filed what amounts to a blanket denial to accusations of trademark and copyright infringement and unfair competition involving its Lord of the Jungle and Warlord of Mars comics.
ERB Inc., which holds the existing rights to the works of the author of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars novels, claims the comics Lord of the Jungle, Warlord of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris and Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom are likely to “deceive, mislead and confuse the public” about the source or sponsorship of the content, causing “irreparable injury” to the family-owned company. It also insists the titles were published without authorization after Dynamite Entertainment President Nick Barrucci was told that Dark Horse held the licenses for the Tarzan and John Carter of Mars books.
In its answer to the complaint, filed last week in federal court in New York City and first reported by The Beat, Dynamite points out that the Burroughs works on which the comics are based are no longer protected by U.S. copyright law. As to the trademarks, the publisher notes, “There are numerous examples of Burroughs’ novels, and other works inspired by Burroughs’ novels bearing such alleged marks or similar marks, which have been published by third parties without any reference to” ERB Inc.
“In addition, Burroughs’ public domain novel Tarzan of the Apes has been republished by numerous publishers without any attribution to plaintiff, and the basic story of a jungle-dwelling, Tarzan-like character has appeared in literature and film without any affiliation to plaintiff,” the document states.
Dynamite, of course, asks the court to dismiss the lawsuit, which will likely be watched closely by those concerned with what’s been characterized as an effort to use a trademark to, effectively, prolong the duration of copyright. Read the publisher’s full answer below.