Legal | Disney has filed a motion to dismiss a $5.5 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit filed in October by failed dot-com Stan Lee Media Inc. in its sixth attempt to claim ownership of the Marvel characters co-created by Stan Lee. SLM, which is no longer affiliated with its co-founder and namesake, asserts Lee didn’t properly assign ownership of the works to Marvel, and that Disney didn’t file its Marvel agreement with the U.S. Copyright Office. Disney calls the lawsuit “completely frivolous,” and argues, in part, that the claims have already been litigated and rejected. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Publishing | As final print edition of The Dandy promptly sells out and the venerable U.K. children’s comic migrates online, David Fickling briefly discusses why he launched The Phoenix — a weekly geared for readers ages 6 to 12 — nearly a year ago, and why comics aren’t dead: “Reading comics was always a delight. Reading them under the bedclothes or the desk, even better. Now at last the experts are understanding the importance of reading comics. The loss of reading for pleasure has been identified as one of the principle reasons for falling standards of literacy. Perhaps part of the reason for our disgraceful literacy rates is that we don’t have comics. Comics are a link to books not competition; in short they are a great leveller.” [The Telegraph]
Creators | Jonathan Hickman talks about taking over the reins on the new Avengers series that launches this week and will feature an expanded team of up to 20 heroes. The question is, what do you do after your six lead characters save the world? “We made it, if possible, even bigger and the threats even larger and the stakes even higher. As a result, we needed a bigger team, so we’ll have arguably one of the largest Avengers teams in the history of the franchise and things just spiral out of control from there,” Hickman said. [USA Today]
Creators | Brian Azzarello talks about his Before Watchmen: Comedian miniseries. [USA Today]
Creators | Rob Tornoe, the sports cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has figured out a clever way to stay relevant as newspapers fade away: He live-tweets cartoons during games. [ESPN]
Creators | Robert J. Walker, a former freelancer for DC and Marvel, talks about his two self-published comics: Delete, about an African-American Marine with superpowers, and O+men, about a team of superheroes who all are HIV positive. [Jacksonville.com]
Comics | Psychology professor Travis Langley, author of Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, recommended against therapy for Batman during his talk at New Orleans Comic Con; Batman needs to keep his “edge” to remain who he is. [The Times-Picayune]
Digital comics | Symbolia, an iPad magazine of journalism in comics form, debuts this week with work from Susie Cagle, Kat Fajardo and Sarah Glidden, among others. PW’s Calvin Reid talks to editor Erin Polgreen about the nuts and bolts of the magazine, including how it’s put together and what they pay the contributors. [Publishers Weekly]
Digital comics | Speaking at the Mediabistro Media App Summit, comiXology’s David Steinberger offered some thoughts on creating a successful app. The first point is probably the most important: “Think about the material and how a consumer will be thinking about the material.” [AppNewser]
Best of the year | Joey Manley is severely critical of the Washington Post’s decision to include “DC Comics: the New 52″ on its list of the top ten graphic novels of 2012: “‘The New 52’ is not a graphic novel. It is not even a comic. Choosing it is like saying that ‘The New Deal’ was your favorite President, or ‘Season 2’ was your favorite comedian on Saturday Night Live. There’s no sense to be made of it.” [Joeymanley.com]
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