Reacting to analysis of Marvel’s much-publicized dispute with Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich, Joe the Barbarian artist Sean Gordon Murphy has announced he’ll no longer sell convention sketches or commissions of characters he doesn’t own, and encourages other creators to do the same.
“Am I rolling over in fear of Marvel? Maybe, but [...] they’re in their legal right to come after me if there’s ever a dispute,” Murphy wrote this morning on deviantART. “I love to complain about the Big Two, but I can’t (in good conscience) get upset at them if I’m breaking the rules myself. Being DC exclusive, maybe I can get a waiver that allows me to sketch DC characters, so I’ll keep you updated.”
Friedrich sued Marvel, Sony Pictures and other companies in 2007, claiming the rights to Ghost Rider had reverted to him six years earlier because the publisher never registered the character’s first appearance in 1972′s Marvel Spotlight #5 with the U.S. Copyright Office. Marvel counter-sued in 2010, seeking damages from Friedrich who, through Gary Friedrich Enterprises LLC, had produced and sold unauthorized Ghost Rider posters, cards and T-shirts at conventions and online. The company also asserted that Friedrich had “aided and abetted third parties” in reproducing and selling “graphic and narrative elements” of Ghost Rider comics.
Retailing | Rumors have begun to swirl that online retail giant Amazon plans to open a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle within the next few months to help gauge the profitability of a chain. The store reportedly won’t just sell e-readers and tablets, but also books from Amazon’s newly launched publishing division. [Good E-Reader, Gawker]
Publishing | Japanese publisher Shueisha Inc. released the 65th volume of Eiichiro Oda’s pirate manga One Piece last week with a first printing of 4 million copies, tying the record set in November by the previous volume. [The Mainichi Daily News]
Retailing | Howard Ackler writes about the final days of Dragon Lady Comics, the Toronto retailer that closed last week after 33 years in business. [National Post]
Sorry, just had to get that out of the way. After starting as a comic from the now defunct CrossGen, Abadazad found another life as a short-lived series of books when Disney bought CrossGen’s assets. Only two books were released in the United States, while a third found it’s way to England … and over on his blog, DeMatteis has posted some of Ploog and colorist Nick Bell’s artwork that appeared in it.
Really great stuff, and it’s a shame it didn’t have a wider audience. But maybe one day DeMatteis and Ploog will have a chance to return to the world they created.
With the Halloween-themed fun we’re having this week at Robot 666 (aka Robot 6)–it seemed like the perfect time to talk to Todd Dezago about the recently released Perhapanauts Halloween Spooktacular One-Shot (featuring stories drawn by the likes of Craig Rousseau, Rich Woodall and Fred Hembeck). Normally in an interview with Dezago, I would characterize him as one of the nicest folks in comics. But in the spirit of the Halloween season, I instead choose to characterize him as the most paranormal-fascinated person in comics. In addition to the one shot (with three stories in it)–we discuss other spooky topics like volleyball and iTunes. You are warned!
Tim O’Shea: Is it apt to say that Halloween is about your favorite time of the year, given your affinity for the paranormal?
Todd Dezago: Oh, Halloween definitely holds a special place in my heart, both for memories of Halloweens past and for the spooky, scary, creepy haunted element!
And I love that we were able to put together this fun and, hopefully, frightening anthology featuring very different artists on very different stories!