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Hollywood guilds join push for Supreme Court to hear Kirby case

jack kirbyThree organizations representing Hollywood actors, directors and screenwriters have thrown their weight behind an effort to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal by the heirs of Jack Kirby that could have ramifications far beyond Marvel and the comics industry.

The case, as most readers know by now, involves the copyrights to the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Thor and other characters created or co-created by Kirby during his time at Marvel in the 1960s. The artist’s children filed 45 copyright-termination notices in September 2009, seeking to reclaim what they believe to his stake in the properties under the terms of the U.S. Copyright Act. Marvel responded with a lawsuit, which led to a 2011 ruling that Kirby’s 1960s creations were work for hire and therefore not subject to copyright reclamation. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision in August 2013, which brings us to the Kirby family’s petition to the Supreme Court.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Screen Actors Guild-Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief that insists the Second Circuit’s ruling “jeopardizes the statutory termination rights that many Guild members may possess in works they created.”

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Hyundai Tucson rolls out ‘Walking Dead’ Special Edition

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Those die-hard fans who can’t get enough of The Walking Dead, even with the comic books, television series, video game, special events, clothing and collectible toys, now have an opportunity to kick up their devotion several notches: the Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Special Edition soon will be arriving at U.S. dealerships.

Announced in November, the release of the limited-edition model coincides with the 10th anniversary of the comic series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. Featuring an Ash Black exterior with red accents (including surprisingly subtle walker hands), the Tucson comes with decals representing the comic’s four factions — Hilltop, Kingdom, Saviors and Survivors — and a 72-hour custom zombie survival kit/backpack, branded with the Walking Dead logo, naturally.

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Agent Coulson drops in on KCRW’s ‘Guest DJ Project’

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If you ever wondered how actor Clark Gregg prepared himself for Agent Coulson’s death scene — or, rather, “death” scene — in The Avengers, you only need to listen to KCRW’s “Guest DJ Project.” Hint: It’s music, but any additional information is probably above your clearance level.

For this week’s episode of the Los Angeles radio show, the star of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. compiles a track list that includes Parliament-Funkadelic’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” Public Enemy’s “Caught, Can We Get a Witness” and Radiohead’s “Go to Sleep.”

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‘The Walking Dead’ lumbers back to Halloween Horror Nights

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The Walking Dead will return to Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando for an unprecedented third consecutive year for Halloween Horror Nights 24. This year’s mazes will be based on the fourth season of AMC’s hit drama, based on the bestselling comics series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

While attractions at both theme parks will send visitors fleeing from the Prison overrun by walkers into unknown territory as they seek sanctuary at Terminus, Universal Orlando will feature what’s being billed as the largest made ever created at Halloween Horror Nights. Guests there will escape to the Big Spot store, complete with crashed helicopter, the burned-down moonshine shack and the dilapidated country club before finally making their way to the End of the Line.

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‘Supernatural’ actor Osric Chau guest stars in ‘Red Sonja’ #10

Osric Chau

Osric Chau

Fans of The CW’s Supernatural television series will recognize Osric Chau as Kevin Tran, the honor student turned prophet of God who helped Sam and Dean translate various tablets of significant importance and had to deal with an overprotective mom.

Now the actor, who also appeared in The Man with the Iron Fists and Fun Size, is making the jump from the screen to the printed page, as his likeness will be used for a character in Red Sonja #10.

Red Sonja writer Gail Simone shared some artwork from the comic on her Tumblr, showing Chau in action as “the greatest swordsman in the entire world”:

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Travel back to the 1960s in this week’s Shelf Porn

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Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look into the home of one collector. Today’s Shelf Porn comes from Bruce Button in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who shares his collection of 1960s TV memorabilia, as well books, comics and more.

If you’d like to see your collection here on Robot 6, you can find instructions at the end of the post.

And now let’s hear from Bruce …

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Tony Moore teams with comedian Marc Maron for weekly comic

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Tony Moore has drawn zombies, militant popes, dead presidents and alien invaders, but now he’s tackling a subject even more challenging: Marc Maron.

Moore announced he’s collaborating with the popular comedian/podcast host on a series of one-panel comics based on episodes of IFC’s Maron (the cable refers to them as “recaps”). Installments will be released concurrently with new episodes, which debut Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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Best of 7 | Kids comics, ‘The Flash’ and more

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Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to something great fans are doing to an awesome comic that came out. So let’s get to it …

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DC Collectibles unveils Michael Allred ‘iZombie’ statue

izombie statue

All it took was a television adaptation for iZombie fans to get a statue of protagonist Gwen Dylan, designed by series artist Michael Allred. Revealed this morning by TV Guide, the DC Collectibles sculpture by Phil Ramirez is about 9.25 inches tall; it goes on sale in November for $99.95.

The statue doesn’t much resemble actress Rose McIver, who plays the lead in The CW’s upcoming supernatural procedural, but some might argue that the show doesn’t much resemble the Vertigo series by Allred and Chris Roberson.

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Grumpy Old Fan | Clothes calls, or the perils of practicality

Boys and their toys

Boys and their toys

This past week (ish), DC Entertainment was so pervasive in the television upfronts, it almost made me forget the company still publishes comics. Joining Arrow on the 2014/2015 TV schedule will be adaptations of The Flash, iZombie and Constantine, as well as the Bat-prequel Gotham. (And hey, that was Caity “Black Canary” Lotz reprising her role as Don’s pregnant-hippie “niece” on Sunday’s Mad Men!) Moreover, we’ve now seen a moody black-and-white photo of Ben Affleck as Batman, standing next to his new Batmobile and ready to dominate the next Superman movie; and The CW has shown us a nifty little clip of the Flash in action.

While I’m prepared to like all of these shows, and certainly willing to give them reasonable opportunities to succeed, once again they remind me that no comic — and certainly no superhero comic — can be adapted to live-action with complete fidelity. Indeed, by taking its cue directly from the comics of the ‘40s and ‘50s, the old Adam West/Burt Ward Batman show was one of the more faithful projects. Likewise, the pilot of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series didn’t go too far from Diana’s earliest adventures in All Star Comics #8 and Sensation Comics #1. However, I don’t think that approach would work these days.

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In the weird ’90s, the Ninja Turtles paid a musical visit to Oprah

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When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted in 1984, I was far too wrapped up in the full-color adventures of The New Teen Titans, Uncanny X-Men and New Mutants to pay much attention to their black-and-white escapades. And when the heroes in a half shell made the leap first to animated television and then to live-action film, I considered my self too old to follow along. And that’s unfortunate, because it means I missed the 1990 appearance by Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo on The Oprah Winfrey Show, a proposition so ridiculous that it requires video proof to be believed.

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George R.R. Martin’s Santa Fe theater to screen ‘Sixth Gun’ pilot

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Fans of the supernatural Western The Sixth Gun who were upset last year when NBC passed on the television adaptation may want to pack for an impromptu trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. That may be the only place you’ll be able to watch the unaired pilot.

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, who last year bought the Jean Cocteau Cinema in downtown Santa Fe, has announced the venue will stage two screenings of the episode on May 23.

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Best of 7 | Marvel ‘Cosmic,’ comics TV, Hello Kitty! and more

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Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to something great fans are doing to an awesome comic that came out. So let’s get to it …

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Comics A.M. | ‘The 99′ creator questions reasons for Saudi ban

The 99

The 99

Publishing | In the wake of the ban in Saudi Arabia of the animated adaptation of The 99 comic, creator Naif Al-Mutawa writes about what he had to go through in the first place to get approval in that country for the Islamic superheroes (one of the steps was the sale of Cracked magazine at a loss so his company would be sharia-compliant to the satisfaction of an Islamic bank). He looks at what led to the fatwa, and concludes by seeking one of his own, posing questions for the clerics who issued the decree. [The National]

Publishing | As part of its five-year anniversary celebration, Multiversity Comics surveys such industry figures as Eric Stephenson, Rachel Deering, Tom Spurgeon and Gina Gagliano about the biggest changes that have taken place during that time, and where comics are headed. [Multiversity Comics]

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Has Stephen Colbert secretly been an agent of Hydra all along?

colbert-hydra

Much like Hydra, the subversive organization set on world domination, Stephen Colbert is a master deception, and of the long game.

For the past eight and a half years, we’ve been fooled by the talk-show host, who’s so adept at the art of subterfuge that, in the wake of Steve Rogers’ “death” in 2007, he was bequeathed Captain America’s shield, which to this day is displayed — like a trophy! — on the set of The Colbert Report. Heck, he was so bold, so self-assured, that he even made a run for the White House in the Marvel Universe (a bid that was unsuccessful, thankfully).

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