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Comics A.M. | Jack Kirby’s heirs appeal Marvel rights ruling

Jack Kirby

Legal | The lawyer for Jack Kirby’s heirs asked the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to overturn a 2011 ruling that Marvel owns the copyrights to the characters the late artist co-created for the publisher, arguing that a federal judge misinterpreted the law. Attorney Marc Toberoff, who also represents the heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in their fight against DC Comics, told a three-judge panel that a  freelancer who gets paid only when a publisher likes his work is not, under copyright law, performing work for hire. Marvel countered that Stan Lee’s testimony established Kirby drew the contested works at the publisher’s behest; the Kirby family insists the lower court gave too much credence to Lee’s testimony. Kirby’s children filed 45 notices in 2009 in a bid to terminate their father’s assignment of copyright to characters ranging from the Fantastic Four and the Avengers to Thor and Iron Man under a provision of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act. However, in July 2011, a judge determined those comics created between 1958 and 1963 were work made for hire and therefore ineligible for copyright termination. []

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Skate, read or die? Penguin Classics turns altcomix book covers into skateboards

Penguin Skateboards

Over the last few years, Penguin Books has gotten various cartoonists to draw covers for classic books, like Tony Millionaire, who drew the cover to Moby Dick, or Richard Salas, who drew the cover to Great Expectations, and so on.

Now via Flog comes word that some of those covers have made their way onto skateboards. Yes, classic literature covers, drawn by some of alt.comix’s best, featured on skateboards.

As you’ll see above, Penguin created some limited edition skateboards using the covers by Jason for Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums, Lilli Carré for Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Thomas Ott for Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. These were given away in a photo contest on Facebook, which unfortunately is over, but they’ll be showing them off on various college campuses this month and next. Hopefully they’ll be available to purchase at some point … not that I’m coordinated enough to skate.

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