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Cheat Sheet | From ‘Trillium’ to ‘Catalyst Comix’ to D23

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Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. This weekend is the D23 Expo, the event that Disney devotees look forward to for months. But the latest installment also promises plenty for Marvel and Star Wars fans.

Before you pack your mouse ears, though, there are new comics to read, ranging from Sidekick #1 to The Thrilling Adventure Hour to In the Days of the Mob. Continue on to see what ROBOT 6′s contributors have to say about their picks of the week.

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Studio JMS sues self-publisher in feud over ‘Sidekick’ character

Sidekick #1, featuring the Red Cowl

Sidekick #1, featuring the Red Cowl

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.

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SDCC ’12 | J. Michael Straczynski to relaunch ‘Joe’s Comics’ at Image Comics next spring

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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.”


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