Legal | Neil Gaiman addresses some of the news coverage of his continuing legal dispute with Todd McFarlane, which was punctuated this week by an evidentiary hearing regarding the characters Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany: “There are some knock-offs of the characters I’ve co-created that Todd published and made toys of over the years, and I felt they were derivative of the characters I’d created (or in one case, one actually was the same character I’d created). Todd didn’t want to pay anything at all on them so he (not me/my lawyers) took it back before the judge. Nobody ‘stole characters’ and there’s no argument over ‘ownership of characters’ going on. We’re now waiting for a ruling on if those characters are (in my opinion) derivative or (Todd’s opinion) not of the characters I co-created and have an established copyright interests in. It’s not an ‘epic battle.’ The epic battle was fought and won in 2002.” Gaiman and McFarlane have until July 25 to submit additional arguments. [Neil Gaiman’s Journal]
Legal | Simon Jones has commentary on the defeat this week of a controversial bill in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to tighten regulations on the sexual depictions of minors in manga, anime and video games: “This is a social battle waged in legislature, and the ultimate goal is to once again push adult content back into the darkest recesses of society, by getting people accustomed to the idea of granting rights to fictional characters, and eroding the rights of real people to have free and unpleasant speech. In the logic of the censors, this would have been an intermediary step to a complete porn ban; if we can convince the people that non-obscene manga can harm children, why not say the same for adults?” [Icarus Publishing]
Digital comics | Graeme McMillan talks to ComiXology CEO David Steinberger about his company, the newly announced BOOM! Studios comics app, pricing, and retailer reactions to digital distribution. [Techland]
Digital comics | After a week of owning an Apple iPad, Chris Sims declares, “It is basically the perfect way to read comics.” [Comics Alliance]
Conventions | Donna Rolando previews the New Jersey Comic Expo, which is expected to draw “certainly over 1,000” people on Saturday to the Riverdale Armory in Riverdale, New Jersey. Comic guests include Denny O’Neil, Irwin Hasen, Joe Staton, Bob Wiacek and Jim Salicrup. [NorthJersey.com]
Events | Ellen Spitaleri reports on “Hometown Superhero,” an exhibit of the comic art collection of Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson at the JC Lillie Performing Arts Center in Milwaukie, Oregon. [Clackamas Review]
Creators | Writer Joshua Dysart discusses his recently canceled Vertigo series Unknown Soldier: “… I still think that we’re going to see a complete ending. It’s not the ending I would of ultimately liked to have done, but back in December I literally had a dream that we were canceled. And it wasn’t a prophetic dream because our numbers were bad it was just kind of my unconscious waking me up, literally. I called my editor and decided, before we ever got the cancellation notice, that we would start working on the ending. And so we devised a way to begin planting these elements that would allow us to wrap up if we had to in a quick manner, but still give us open enough spaces that we could put other stories in there.” [The Unseen Eye]
Creators | Johanna Draper Carlson chats with cartoonist Sarah Becan about her Xeric Grant-winning minicomic The Complete Ouija Interviews. [Comics Worth Reading]
Creators | Tom Mason checks in with the creators of Malibu’s Ultraverse. [Comix 411]
Graphic novels | Eva Volin leads a roundtable discussion of Foiled, by Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro. [Good Comics for Kids]
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