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Retailer Gordon Lee passes away

Gordon Lee, the Georgia retailer who famously fought off charges of distributing materials harmful to minors, passed away Sunday following complications from a series of strokes. He was 54.

The popular owner of Legends in Rome, Georgia, Lee was arrested in 2004 after participating in a trick-or-treat event in which thousands of comics were given away for free. Among the books was Alternative Comics #2, which contained an excerpt from Nick Bertozzi’s graphic novel The Salon depicting a nude Pablo Picasso in a non-sexual context. The comic accidentally was given to a minor, whose parents filed a complaint with the police. Although Lee acknowledged the mistake and offered to make a public apology, he was arrested and charged with two felony counts of distributing material depicting nudity or sexual content and five misdemeanor counts of unlawful disposition of materials to minors. Several of those counts didn’t name victims.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund became involved with the case in early 2005, challenging the constitutionality of the law as well as the counts that didn’t name victims. Subsequently, the felony charges and two misdemeanor counts were dropped. However, the case trudged on, with charges dropped and then refiled, hearings postponed and then, in November 2007, a mistrial was declared before opening statements could be finished. Finally, in April 2008, Lee’s case was dismissed entirely.

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Grumpy Old Fan | Going on about ongoing series, Part One

Your one-stop source for first-issue hype

First DC announced (via the May solicitations) the cancellation of five titles. Now it looks like the “First Wave” line is being shown the door.

Blogger/podcaster extraordinaire Al Kennedy suggests that “First Wave” might have benefited from a little multiversal-crossover action. I tend to agree, although I think including versions of Batman (and other pulpy DC characters like the Blackhawks) was something of a backdoor crossover.

While that’s a topic for another day, it made me wonder about the general trends within DC’s ongoing series. Thus, starting today I want to take a much longer look, ‘way back to the start of Big Event comics in 1985. DC has launched hundreds of ongoing series since then, and I want to see what made the difference in those series’ successes. This will take a while — maybe two to three posts — but I hope it’ll be worth it.

[Thanks as always to Mike's Amazing World Of DC Comics, an invaluable source of data for any DC fan.]

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