Welcome to the three hundredth and eighty-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, marvel at a comic book filed as a legal brief in a United States District Court! Plus, did an insult by a Marvel editor drive Jim Valentino to help co-found Image Comics? Finally, discover the comic origins of the classic Nintendo video game, Hogan’s Alley!
Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and eighty-three.
COMIC LEGEND: A lawyer recently submitted a comic as a brief in a case.
Recently, the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Apple and five publishers of e-books on charges of price fixing as Apple and the publishers were trying to get around Amazon’s standard $9.99 price for e-books, which the publishers felt were, in effect, pricing other competitors out of the market.
The judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cole, was set to accept a settlement between the Department of Justice and Apple and the publishers. Lawyer Bob Kohn wanted to submit an amicus brief to the court to argue against the settlement. Cole limited the length of his brief to just five pages. With this limit in place, Kohn decided to get creative. With the help of a comic artist friend of his daughter, Kohn produced a five-page comic book to argue the case.
Here is the brief in full…
Sadly (for Kohn, at least), Cole was not persuaded and the case settled.
You can download the full brief here at the American Bar Association.
Thanks to my father for suggesting that I feature this one.
In honor of my new Sports Legends Revealed column at ESPN.com (you can read the first one, Did Richard Nixon really call a play for the Washington Redskins?, here), I’ll spotlight a few of my Sports Urban Legends Revealed.
Like, Did the Governor of Colorado Really Lose Pikes Peak in a Football Bet With the Governor of Texas?
COMIC LEGEND: Did Jim Valentino leave Marvel for Image Comics after being told that he was less valuable on Guardians of the Galaxy than anyone else on the book?
STATUS: False (but close!)
Before becoming one of the founders of Image Comics with his creations Shadowhawk…
Jim Valentino was likely best known for his run on Guardians of the Galaxy as the writer and penciler of the series…
Reader Travis Pelkie wrote in to suggest a story he heard about Valentino’s departure from Marvel to Image…
I was thinking of was an old Wizard interview with him where he said that his editor on Guardians of the Galaxy told him that the colorist on that book was more important than he was. And he was the writer and penciller! So that’s what pushed him to join the other Image boys.
I asked Valentino about this and he confirmed/debunked the story.
Yes, it is true that the editor said it to me. No, it’s not true that it had anything to do with my participation in the co-founding of Image. In fact this was said to me when I asked to be let off of penciling duties, but to continue to write the book due to my increased responsibilities as a result of Image’s formation.
It is worth noting that Valentino did, in fact, write an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy after Shadowhawk #1 came out…
So it all works out, time-wise.
Thanks to Travis for the question and thanks to Jim Valentino for the answer!
Did Dennis Eckersley Coin the Term “Walk Off” the Same Year He Gave Up Kirk Gibson’s Legendary Walk-Off Home Run in the World Series?
COMIC LEGEND: The classic Nintendo video game Hogan’s Alley is based on the Yellow Kid, in a roundabout way.
Hogan’s Alley came out in 1984.
It was one of the very first video games where you would use the Nintendo “gun” to shoot at stuff on the screen. In this case, it was a galley of bad guys mixed with good guys…
The game was based on the real life Hogan’s Alley, which was an FBI training ground in Camp Perry in Ohio that used a town as a simulated training ground for agents. Today, Hogan’s Alley is set up in the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia…
The video game mentions the FBI connection…
However, the FBI, of course, named their training complex after…Hogan’s Alley from the Yellow Kid!
The FBI freely admits to lifting the name from the strip, stating on their website:
Curious where we got the name Hogan’s Alley? Turns out, we borrowed it from the “Hogan’s Alley” comic strip of the late 1800s. The alley was located in a rough neighborhood, so we thought the name fit our crime-ridden town.
I gave you the history of the Yellow Kid (created by Richard Outcault) here.
So much like how the comic strip Skippy gave us Skippy peanut butter (a tale I detailed here), now the home of the Yellow Kid lives on more as the name of an FBI training ground and a classic video game than it does the original usage!
Thanks to Jeff Ryan for suggesting I feature this one and thanks to Mike Wright’s excellent feature on the origins of the video game for the information (Mike, in turn, credited the above-mentioned Yellow Kid column, so this piece is like a snake eating its own tail).
Did the Jamaican Bobsled Team Carry Their Sled to the Finish Line After a Crash?
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
Here’s my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? It came out this week! The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).
If you want to order a copy, ordering it here
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Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…
If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…
See you all next week!