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Comics A.M. | Kirby/Marvel copyright fight continues, John D’Agostino dies

Jack Kirby

Legal | New York federal judge Colleen McMahon made several decisions last week in the case of Jack Kirby’s heirs attempting to terminate Marvel’s copyright of his works. The judge agreed with Marvel that it would be premature to make an accounting of how much money is at stake, but rejected a bid by Marvel to throw out the Kirby estate’s main counterclaim. She also ruled that the Kirby estate’s attempt to reclaim original art is barred by the statute of limitations, counterclaims of breach-of-contract and violation of the Lanham Act were tossed, and Disney will be part of the case, even though Marvel said it shouldn’t be.

“In sum, the judge has narrowed the case to its most crucial issue. Both sides disagree about Kirby’s working environment in the 1950s and 1960s when he, along with Stan Lee, conceived many of Marvel’s most popular characters. The judge will soon be tasked with looking at Kirby’s work history and some of the loose contracts and oral agreements that guided his efforts in those years,” wrote Eriq Gardner. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Creators | Artist, letterer and colorist John D’Agostino died Nov. 29. D’Agostino started his career as a colorist for Timely Comics and was head of their coloring department for several years. He also worked for Archie Comics, Charlton Comics and Marvel Comics, and lettered the first few issues of Amazing Spider-Man in the 1960s. Tom Spurgeon offers an obituary. [Mark Evanier]

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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Supreme Court

Legal | The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided Tuesday during oral arguments on a California law that would forbid the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor raised free-speech objections to the statute, with Ginsberg asking: “If you are supposing a category of violent materials dangerous to children, then how do you cut it off at video games? What about films? What about comic books?” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr. indicated their belief that the state can restrict the access of minor to video games, while Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Elena Kagan probed the issues without showing their cards. It will probably be several months before the court hands down a decision. [Los Angeles Times, PC World]

Crime | A man charged with orchestrating the July theft of the expensive comics collection of an elderly Rochester, N.Y., man who was beaten and later died has been arrested by FBI agents for allegedly selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise on eBay. [The Daily News]

Crime | Police in Stamford, Conn., charged Spider-Man and Captain America with assault and Poison Ivy with breach of peace following a weekend brawl in a parking garage. [The Associated Press]

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Chew on this: Would you pay $13,000 for the first issue of the hit series?

The $13,000 copy of Chew #1?

Chew, the action-comedy series by John Layman and Rob Guillory, has been one of the surprise hits of the past year, earning critical acclaim, Eisner and Harvey awards, spots on The New York Times bestseller list, and the attention of Hollywood.

So you might expect the speculator market to take interest in the quirky comic, which centers on police detective turned FDA agent Tony Chu, a cibopath who receives psychic impressions from whatever he eats. But does that interest amount to, say, $13,000? For one issue?

Guillory points this morning to an eBay auction for a Certified Guaranty Company-graded 10.0 copy of Chew #1 — it’s billed as “the ONLY one” — for a starting bid of $3,500. Or you could buy it now for a mere $12,999.

“Will this sell?” Guillory asked. “WILL IT?” He goes on to call the “Buy It Now” price “a steal.”

When asked on Twitter whether the issue is worth that much, Guillory responded, “As co-creator and artist of the book, I can (without bias) say YES. YES, IT IS.”

If you have an extra $13,000 burning a hole in your pocket, take note: The auction ends on Saturday. Chew #15, priced at just $2.99, is set for release on Nov. 10.

Straight for the art | 2010 Doug Wright Awards art auction

Catwoman by Jillian Tamaki

Catwoman by Jillian Tamaki

Since my repertoire of Canada-based witticisms is entirely derived from half-remembered viewings of Strange Brew, I’m just gonna skip the clever opening and point you straight to this rather amazing gallery of (mostly) DC Comics superheroes drawn by (mostly) alternative comics artists (entirely) from Canada. It’s The Doug Wright Awards 2010 All-Star All-Canadian Art Auction, in which these pieces are being sold on eBay to help fund the annual award program. That’s Jillian Tamaki’s gorgeous take on Catwoman above (DC editors, are you paying attention?); click here to see Kate Beaton’s Wonder Woman, Chester Brown’s Batman, Jeff Lemire’s Hawkman & Atom, Matt Forsythe’s Hawkman, Marc Bell’s Iron Man (guess he didn’t get the “DC Comics characters” memo), original art from Bryan Lee O’Malley and more, and click here to start bidding.

(via Tom Spurgeon)

Mid-Ohio-Con holds charity auction to benefit Hero Initiative

The Mid-Ohio-Con is holding a charity auction to benefit the Hero Initiative:

Wolverine by Todd Nauck

Wolverine by Todd Nauck

I wanted to let you know that the Mid-Ohio-Con charity auction is now up and running on eBay. The auction features original art and other work, including books and DVDs from our creative guests at Mid-Ohio-Con 2009, many of whom made incredibly generous contributions of their talent and time. Of particular note, the auction includes all the giant sketches (19″ x 24″) done by artists on the Main Stage easel during last October’s show.

Among the artists whose work is featured in the auction are Dave Aikins, Arvell Jones, Dick Ayers, Art Baltazar, Darryl Banks, Andy Bennett, George Broderick, Pat Block, Jacob Chabot, Jay Fife, Sean Forney, Michael Golden, Chris Giarrusso, Fred Hembeck, Lora Innes, Scott Kolins, Gary Kwapisz, Ren McKinzie, Todd Nauck, Chris Sprouse, Steve Scott, Mark Texeira, Billy Tucci, Uko Smith, Chris Yambar, and Thom Zahler.

All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization that creates a financial safety net for comic creators who need emergency medical aid, financial support for the essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work, so I’d really appreciate it if you would spread the word so that we can get a lot of attention and proceeds for this year’s auction.

You can check out all the auction items here.

Heroes 4 Haiti auctions go live

by Dean Haspiel

by Dean Haspiel

As we mentioned last week, Heroes 4 Haiti is putting together various charity auctions to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. You can now bid on several donated pieces, including the above art by Dean Haspiel, A Graveyard Book drawing from Dave McKean and many more. Find the complete list here.

Alex Ross donates Catwoman artwork to cat rescue organization

Catwoman by Alex Ross

Catwoman by Alex Ross

Artist Alex Ross donated this incredible piece of Catwoman art to benefit the Saved Whiskers Rescue Organization, Inc., a non-profit cat and kitten rescue organization. You can find more details and place a bid over at the eBay listing; the auction ends this Friday.

Straight for the art | Silvestri & Portacio’s Philippines flood relief jam piece

Witchblade by Marc Silvestri & Wetworks' Dane by Whilce Portacio

Witchblade by Marc Silvestri & Wetworks' Dane by Whilce Portacio

Sure, Image co-founders Marc Silvestri and Whilce Portacio have teamed up in the past—most recently for the Robert Kirkman-penned mega-crossover Image United—but this is their noblest joint effort yet. The pair is auctioning off the above jam piece, starring Portacio’s Wetworks character Drew and Silvestri’s flagship heroine Witchblade, to raise money for flood relief in the Philippines.

The Southeast Asian nation was recently hit hard by back-to-back typhoons Ketsana and Parma, and the number of casualties and people left homeless by flooding is grim. But as reported by Comic Book Resources, the burgeoning Filipino comics scene—which includes such world-famous artists as Leinil Francis Yu, Francis Manapul, Philip Tan, and Carlo Pagulayan, plus a thriving national industry–is rallying to help raise much-needed funds for the victims. The effort has been led by Gerry Alanguilan, Yu’s frequent inker and a writer-artist in his own right, and the Silvestri/Portacio jam is just one of several items that will be made available through benefit auctions on Alanguilan’s eBay page. Go and bid, then check out Alanguilan’s blog for photos of the live relief auction he helped conduct this weekend at Manila’s Komikon 2009, plus more info on what else you can do to help.

Six by 6 | Six comic items I’d bid the hell out of on eBay, if I could


If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent at least one night staying up until 2 a.m. to get in a final bid on an item on eBay. In my case, it was a vintage Mickey Mouse watch that my wife had her eye on. While I’ve never burnt the midnight oil for anything I’ve personally wanted off the site, there are a few fictional, comic-related items I could see bidding the hell out of on eBay for, if indeed they were real. And today I present six of them.

No doubt many of the items on this list would violate eBay’s prohibited and restricted items, at least in our world; for the sake of this list, let’s pretend it’s not in continuity.

1. Mr. Freeze’s freeze ray: The temperature today in my neck of the woods is over 100 degrees … in May, in California. What the hell? So on a day like today, I’d be more than willing to spend some time on eBay bidding on Mr. Freeze’s freeze ray. Instead of using it to make everyone’s life miserable and to fight guys in bat suits, I’d use it to turn my town into a winter wonderland … at least until Wednesday, when we should be back around the normal and more palatable 85 degrees.

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Colleen Doran, other celebrities contribute doodles for charity

Colleen Doran's doodle

Colleen Doran's doodle

May is Neurofibromatosis Awareness month, and long list of celebrities, including A Distant Soil creator Colleen Doran, have contributed “doodles” for an auction that benefits Neurofibromatosis Inc. The auctions started yesterday on eBay and run through May 17; you can find the complete list here.

Introducing Garth Medors, inker extraordinaire

Spider-Man by Dave Finch and Garth Medor

Spider-Man by Dave Finch and Garth Medor

There’s a pretty touching item up for auction on eBay right now, with proceeds going to artist Josh Medors, who has cancer. The description of the item says:

Spiderman drawn by Dave Finch, printed blue line, with inks by Garth Medors, Artist Josh Medors 10 year old son. David Finch is one of Josh’s favorite artist, so Garth picked out a piece by David Finch to try out his inking skills. This is the first time Garth has showed any interest in art. After Garth finished inking the piece he came to me and said “Mom I want to put it up for auction to help Dad fight his cancer.” So with that said Garth is auctioning off his first inks to help his Dad.

The price is currently over $500, and the auction ends April 3.

Cooke, Stewart, Chiang + more provide art for charity auction

Batman by Darwyn Cooke

Batman by Darwyn Cooke

Artist Cliff Chiang posts about a charity auction he and several other artists have started for a friend in need:

There’s a series of eBay auctions beginning this week that I’d like to draw some attention to. I’ve joined a group of comic creators trying to raise funds for a friend’s hospital costs, and anything we collect beyond that will be donated to the HERO Initiative, a non-profit charity that offers assistance to comic creators in need. The auctions are under the seller name artfriends2009. There will be some fantastic items from a stellar list of artists, including Adam Hughes, Amanda Conner, Nic Klein, Essad Ribic, Cameron Stewart and Darwyn Cooke.

You can check out all the auctions here. Currently up for bid are a Darwyn Cooke Batman illustration (pictured), a Catwoman illo by Cameron Stewart and an Adam Hughes sketch of your choice, to be done at MegaCon later this month.

Spider-Man inauguration fever hits eBay

As Comic Book Resources reported earlier, USA Today broke the news today that next week’s issue of Amazing Spider-Man will feature Spider-Man and President-Elect Barack Obama teaming up in a five-page story. Half the print run will feature an Obama cover by Phil Jimenez.

And even though we’re still six days away from the book’s, it’s already popping up on eBay. Actually, it started popping up before the cover was revealed, which lead to some interesting, and some downright bizarre, images being used on the listings. I think this one is my favorite:

The Amazing Obama

The Amazing Obama

Some of them are offering from five to ten copies of the issue, while one listing noted that the Stephen Colbert variant cover was a hot item, and “his popularity is no where near that of Obama.” So far I’m not seeing any bids, but that could have changed by the time you’re reading this.

Update: You can see the Obama variant cover after the break.

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