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In a preemptive move, Studio JMS has sued a self-publisher who threatened legal action over a character in J. Michael Straczynski’s Sidekick. The dispute centers on the Red Cowl, the former masked mentor of the protagonist in the upcoming series from Joe’s Comics and Image Comics.
Straczynski and Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson received a cease-and-desist notice in late May from an attorney representing Richard A. Hamilton of Dial “C” for Comics, insisting that the Cowl (as he was then called) infringes on his client’s trademark and copyright for a costumed character of the same name in the series Miserable Dastards.
According to the lawsuit, filed late last month in federal court in Los Angeles, despite seeing no similarities between the two characters, Studio JMS changed the name to the Red Cowl in hopes of arriving at an “amicable resolution,” and “for other creative reasons.” It’s when Hamilton’s lawyer was notified of the alteration that the conflict got interesting — or at least extremely prickly.
J. Michael Straczynski’s Joe’s Comics imprint has released a trailer for the first issue Ten Grand, the supernatural crime thriller that teams the writer with artist Ben Templesmith.
Debuting May 1 from Image Comics, Ten Grand follows Joe Fitzgerald, a mob enforcer who, after being fatally wounded during that one last job, is given an opportunity by an angelic force to be reunited with the woman he loves. However, there’s a significant catch. You can see a 10-page preview of the first issue on Comic Book Resources.
Publishing | J. Michael Straczynski discusses the revival of Joe’s Comics, which returns in May with the Image Comics release of Ten Grand, illustrated by Ben Templesmith. Top Cow was home to the imprint from 1999 to 2004, publishing such series as Delicate Creatures, Midnight Nation and Rising Stars. A preview of Ten Grant will be available in April at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. [MTV Geek]
Creators | Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics and the writer for the Adventure Time comic, talks about his work habits. [Lifehacker]
Creators | Penny Arcade co-creator Mike Krahulik talks about Strip Search, the reality TV-style webseries they will launch on Friday. [IGN]
As a part of a “new media company” that will produce stories for movies, TV, digital series and more, J. Michael Straczynski will relaunch his “Joe’s Comics” imprint next spring at Image Comics.
As reported by Deadline, Straczynski will revive the imprint that Top Cow once published circa 2000-2004, which brought us Delicate Creatures, Midnight Nation and Rising Stars. The first four comics that will appear under the imprint include Falling Angel, Ten Grand, Guardians and Sidekick.
Joe’s Comics is one piece of Studio JMS, which has film and digital media projects in the works, including a film called The Flickering Light and a web series for MTV titled The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al. On the TV front, JMS has two projects in the works–Vlad Dracula for Starz and one called Epidemic.
“The center of the storm is what comes out of my keyboard,” he told Deadline. “It’s all about creating IP. For 20 years, I’ve had the remarkable good fortune to work successfully as a writer and producer in a wide variety of fields, from television to comics and movies. I’ve always dreamed of creating a mini-studio where I can put all of that work under one roof, telling stories that I want to tell and which can be spun up between various platforms: comics that can become TV shows, TV shows that can become movies, and movies that can become comics. With the tremendous recent success of films such as The Avengers, Thor and the Batman series of films, this feels like the best time to tackle that dream. Best of all, unlike many other start-up ventures, I’m not looking to get into these areas, I’m already working in them; now it’s just a matter of taking the next logical step: consolidation.”