Winter weather left me alternately without power and Internet service over the better part of the past two days, so this morning I’m playing catch-up.
Legal | Two new pieces of legislation is the U.K. designed to address “extreme pornography” and child pornography have some wondering what effect the laws could have on comic books.
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which becomes law at the end of the month, makes it illegal to possess “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise … obscene” depiction of someone that a “a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real.” The second piece of legislation, the Coroners and Justice Bill, is making its way through Parliament. It would outlaw images involving sexual activity and children. According to the law’s language, an image contains a child if “the impression conveyed … is that the person shown is a child.”
Writing for the Spectator’s blog, William Blackstock sums up the scope of the two laws: “… In a nutshell, if it looks like it’s real (i.e. it’s well drawn), then you can be prosecuted for owning it.” [Telegraph, Spectator]
Legal | The judge has postponed two trials in the Siegel estate’s lawsuit against DC Comics involving the rights to Superman because of health issues related to a witness for the plaintiffs. The trial on the alter ego claims will be on April 21; the one involving apportionment of profits will be on June 9. [Jeff Trexler]
Legal | With the initial filing out of the way, Stan Lee Media’s lawsuit against Stan Lee and Marvel Entertainment has erupted into dueling press releases. First there was Stan Lee Media’s release pointing to a ruling in a separate, ongoing case involving the transfer of assets by Lee and attorney Arthur Lieberman from Stan Lee Media to POW! Entertainment. That was followed by a press release from POW! Entertainment objecting to “false allegations” and “unfounded statements” in the original release. I imagine the phrase “looting the Estate of Stan Lee Media” was particularly bothersome.
Legal | Authorities in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday busted a smuggling ring that allegedly brought millions of dollars worth of counterfeit goods from China. Some 2,000 items were found in a Bushwick warehouse, including pirated items bearing the Marvel Comics label. [NY1]
Creators | I’ve not read The DC Vault, so I don’t have full context for this stinging letter from legendary DC artist and editor Carmine Infantino regarding comments made about him in the book. [Journalista]
Creators | Naseem Hrab and Kean Soo conduct an interview with illustrator Shaun Tan, who discusses Tales from Outer Suburbia, The Arrival, creative control, and his cover work. [Drawn!]
Creators | Gerard Way, writer of The Umbrella Academy and front man for My Chemical Romance, recounts how Watchmen changed his life: “My comic series, The Umbrella Academy, is absolutely indebted to Watchmen. You don’t want to rip somebody off, but you want to explore things they started to explore. Even if it’s just characters having an awkward conversation while drinking coffee on a rooftop or in a diner. The fact that the characters in Umbrella Academy already had a history was definitely a nod to Watchmen, too. And the fact that they’re all 30 and the fun of their youth is kind of over. I think that anyone who wants to create a progressive comic is going to be influenced by Watchmen.” [The Guardian’s Music Blog]
Creators | Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort recalls the first project he was pitched: Skrull Kill Krew, by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. [Blah Blah Blog]
Publishing | That promised slam-bang final issue of The Legion of Super-Heroes, by Jim Shooter and Francis Manapul? It turns out it’s not so slam-bang. And it’s by “Justin Thyme” and Ramon Bachs. [The Legion Omnicon, CBR]
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