Some cool iPhone News images:
kirby unbound (320x480 for iPhone)
Image by undergroundbastard
UPDATE: Dunno if you've been following the battle over copyright ownership in the comic book industry, but here's a tight little synopsis, courtesy of Rich Johnston:
The heirs of Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor and have sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios that have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created, including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.
Just as the Jerry Siegel estate has done so with rights to Superman, so Kirby’s heirs are looking to regain his share of copyright in the characters and their use in comics and other media. the heirs are using the same lawyers as the Siegels, Toberoff & Associates, who have been fairly successful in their case against DC/Warner so far.
Such claims, if found valid, would begin from 2014 and, as always, its worth noting that Marvel/Disney will still own the trademarks of the characters in comics, and the studios in movies. The likelihood is that, if successful, Kirby heirs would enter into negotiation with Marvel over terms to continue publishing comics based on his work.
Jack Kirby battled Marvel for years over the return of the physical artwork to his comics, and was asked to sign documents that would have irrevocable and specifically signed away rights to the characters, something he refused to do. He also contributed to other creators fights with Marvel, including Steve Gerber, co-creating Destroyer Duck with Gerber in a benefit book over the Howard The Duck deal.
The LA Times' overview of how Marvel's IP is leveraged - or, from Disney's perspective, tied up:
Paramount Pictures has the rights to distribute five movies produced by Marvel Entertainment, including next year's "Iron Man 2" and 2011's "Captain America" and "Thor." In 2012, Paramount will distribute "The Avengers" and in 2013 most likely "Iron Man 3."
Marvel currently finances production of its movies through a 5-million debt facility set up by Merrill Lynch in 2005. Disney will likely take over financing of Marvel movies once that deal expires in 2012.
Until the deal expires, Disney will benefit substantially from the movies distributed by Viacom's Paramount, as that studio keeps only an 8% distribution fee for its services after recouping costs. Once the Paramount deal expires, Disney will be able to receive all of the potential profits, and losses, from Marvel movies not already set up at other studios.
-Sony Pictures has the rights in perpetuity to keep making "Spider-Man" movies. The first three garnered a total of .5 billion in worldwide ticket sales and are key to Sony Corp. "Spider-Man 4" is set to come out in May 2011, and fifth and sixth installments are currently being written.
-News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox has rights in perpetuity to make movies based on the X-Men team and individual characters, Fantastic Four and Daredevil. There have been three hit "X-Men" movies, as well as this past May's spinoff "Wolverine." Movies based on characters Deadpool and Magneto are in development.
The two "Fantastic Four" movies were solid hits as well, selling 0.6 million and 9 million worth of tickets worldwide, respectively. "Daredevil" (2003) took in 9.2 million and was something of a disappointment, while 2005 spinoff "Elektra" was a flop, grossing just .7 million.
-Universal Studios has the rights in perpetuity for its Marvel Super Hero Island attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla., which includes rides based on Marvel characters Spider-Man, Dr. Doom, the Hulk and Storm, and features a number of other characters from the X-Men. The company, which is part of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, also has a 10-year-plus deal for its Spider-Man attraction at Universal Studios Japan.
It was not immediately clear, however, whether Universal's deal is exclusive or if Disney can, at some point, produce attractions based on those same characters at its theme parks.
-Lions Gate Entertainment has two projects remaining in its eight-picture deal with Marvel to create direct-to-DVD animated movies based its superhero characters.
-Viacom's Nickelodeon kids cable network has multi-year deals to air animated series based on Iron Man and the X-Men. Time Warner's Cartoon Network has a similar multi-year deal for "Super Hero Squad," a series aimed at young children that features the entire Marvel universe.
-Activision Blizzard Inc. controls the rights to publish video games based on Spider-Man and the X-Men characters through 2017.
-Sega has a multi-year deal to make video games based on all of Marvel's movies currently being produced internally, including Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.
-Start-up publisher Gazillion Entertainment has a 10-year deal ending in 2019 to produce massively multi-player online games, similar to World of Warcraft, based on Marvel characters.
(The reason that Marvel's IP is tied up in so many directions is that when the comic book industry contracted a decade ago, Marvel, like DC, found its circulation drop precipitously. While DC's ownership by Warner Bros. gave it not only financial insulation but also distribution synergy, Marvel had no such support and was on the brink of bankruptcy. What to do? Leverage that IP through licensing, a no-capital/high-reward move that made a ton of sense back then, but is no doubt frustrating Disney's synergistic daydreams.)
As KidShirt notes, the timing of the Kirby estate's lawsuit is impeccable, what with its disruptive potential for the merger, and sums it up with words I'd wish I'd writ (though with the word litigious instead):
Particularly satisfying as Disney's lawyers have themselves been amongst some of the most litigative in the past.
(And, one last parenthetic discursion: fwiw, I titled this image long before the lawsuit, prescient bastard that I'd like to be.)
How to Navigate the New World of Publishing - New Writers Litquake 2010 2010-10-045
Image by Steve Rhodes
Moderated by Scott James
who writes fiction as
Ethan Nosowsky is Editor-at-Large for Graywolf Pres
He is Stephen Elliott's editor & they talked about how he has promoted The Adderall Diaries & the new iPhone/iPad app
Literary agent Amy Rennert amyrennert.com
Eileen Gittins blurb.com
She showed the paperback of the book by Pat Tillman's mother & former LA Times & Chron editor Narda Zacchino which they published
Jay A. Hartman held up the Rocket Reader he bought 12 years ago this week. He said the Sony Reader is the most popular ebook device in Europe.
His ebook company
She said Wordcatcher sold 1000 copies after this interview
Litquake continues through Oct 9, 2010
Photos from Litquake's opening awards