Friday, October 28, 2011

My time at the 2011 New York Comic Con...

As I had mentioned before, I was anticipating the 2011 New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. I had my professional pass, and met up with Joey B. Despite my criticism of the fannish nature of comic book conventions, the New York Comic Con is still chocked full of fun. I always get the opportunity to visit friends, talk with colleagues, and see my editors.

This year, the New York Comic Con seemed more crowded and more insane than ever. Joey B and I saw things that I should never mention, nor post here at P.I.C. News. Now, Joey B has never before been to the New York Comic Con. So, He was having a grand time at the event. I‘ve gone to the convention each year, and just wanted to see who I wanted to see and then head on out.

I saw those ATOMIC ROBO guys, Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. Scott drew this shiny Atomic Robo sketch…

Rick Leonardi drew this sketch…

I had the chance to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Staton (I try and do that every year). Joey B and I talked with Michael Golden, and then with Rich Buckler. I chatted with my one-time Archie Comics colleague, Dan Parent. I had a conversation with Neal Adams about his comics association, the Comics Creators Guild. I was able to pick up the first issue of RAISING RACHEL and meet up (again) with Terry Moore.

And, of course, Joey B and I saw Plastic Man…

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Strange visitor from another planet...

Above: Cover art to DC Comics’ rebooted and renumbered ACTION COMICS #5 by Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang.

ACTION COMICS #1 was first published in April 1938 (which had a cover date of June) by National Allied Publications (know known as DC Comics). It has been reported that Superman creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, were paid $130 by National for this first Superman story. My understanding is that the payment covered only publishing rights. It did not include rights to copyright or trademark of the Superman property.

Above: The cover to 1938's ACTION COMICS #1 featuring the origin and first appearance of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman.

In March of 2008, a federal court awarded Jerry Siegel’s heirs fifty-percent of the copyright to the Superman material that appeared in ACTION COMICS #1.

Federal District Judge Stephen G. Larson stated:

After seventy years, Jerome Siegel’s heirs regain what he granted so long ago — the copyright in the Superman material that was published in ACTION COMICS Vol. 1. What remains is an apportionment of profits, guided in some measure by the rulings contained in this Order, and a trial on whether to include the profits generated by DC Comics’ corporate sibling’s exploitation of the Superman copyright.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster should have retained ownership of Superman. Other than the folks at DC Comics (and DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Time Warner), I don’t think many, nowadays, would disagree with this. It only makes sense to me since Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster drew the Superman origin story that appeared in ACTION COMICS #1 before ever being hired by National Allied Publications.

Recently, DC Comics has relaunched ACTION COMICS. It looks like with (the new) ACTION COMICS #5, the story of the infant Superman’s escape from a doomed Krypton will (again) be retold. This sounds to me like the same origin story that first appeared beginning in (the original) ACTION COMICS #1.

ACTION COMICS #5 solicitation from DC Comics:

As the assault from an alien threat takes a turn for the worse for Metropolis, keys facts about Superman’s past are brought to light for the first time! And how can certain elements from The Man of Steel’s future help to prevent the theft of the millennium? Don’t miss this awesome issue from series writer Grant Morrison and the guest art team of Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang!

If DC Comics retells Superman’s origin in ACTION COMICS #5, will the Siegel family be compensated? Does the Siegel family have any say or control over the content in ACTION COMICS #5? Do they have reprint rights to the original ACTION COMICS #1? If they own half of the copyright, can the Siegels be ignored? Are they even making a stink about this?

Now, I’m not interested in DC Comics’ new rebooted and renumbered universe. But, I do care about how creators are treated.

For more on this topic, check out "Siegel and Superboy" and "SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGINS?"

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Getting ready for the 2011 New York Comic Con...

Well, I’m getting ready for the 2011 New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. For those of you not-in-the-know, the Con is a big to-do in the comics industry. The Con is huge. The Con gets crowded. And the Con has its share of creepy fan-boys and fan-girls…

And people like this charming lad…

I've gone to the New York Comic Con every year since it’s beginning in 2006. The plan each year is to get my professional pass, visit friends, talk with colleagues, and smooze with my editors, which is always a whole lot of fun. Then, I jet on out of there as soon as I am able. I like to leave the convention before they open the doors to the public. I do enjoy the Con, but I would enjoy it more without bumping into folks like this…

However, this year will be a bit different. I’m not leaving early. I’m meeting up with Joey B. (Hopefully, Scan can make it, as well.) Joey B wants to go to a panel or two. This is his first visit to the New York Comic Con. Of course, I had to warn him about these guys…

And folks like this fellow…

Hey, I remember these gals. Maybe the Con won’t be so bad after all…

And puppies like to go to the New York Comic Con, too…

But, be warned…

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Comics versus Terrorism: Frank Miller’s HOLY TERROR...

Above: The cover to Frank Miller’s HOLY TERROR. HOLY TERROR is Copyright © 2011 Frank Miller, Inc.

Comics have the potential to be a powerful medium. This is a form of literature and entertainment that should say some things. Frank Miller addresses a certain something, Islamic terrorism, in his graphic novel, HOLY TERROR.

I could have done without the harsh language, though. Naughty words make me squeamish.

Frank Miller posted on his website:

My new comic book (or "graphic novel", I suppose it should be called, because it’s square bound) is naked propaganda.


3000 of my neighbors were murdered. My country was, utterly unprovoked, savagely attacked. I wish all those responsible for the Atrocity of 9/11 to burn in hell. I’m too old to serve my country in any other way. Otherwise, I’d gladly be pulling the trigger myself.

In 2006, at the WonderCon convention in San Francisco, Miller shared a bit about how politics have played a role in comics:

It is, not to put too fine a point on it, a piece of propaganda... Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for.

In an interview with NPR, Miller stated:

I schooled myself in the writings of Madison and Franklin and Adams and Jefferson. I came to love those noble, indestructible ideas. They were ideas, to my young mind, of rebellion and independence, not of idolatry.


Then came that sunny September morning when airplanes crashed into towers a very few miles from my home and thousands of my neighbors were ruthlessly incinerated — reduced to ash.


For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years. Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation's survival. Ben Franklin said it: "If we don't all hang together, we all hang separately." Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lincoln’s National Fast Day...

Above photo: President Abraham Lincoln.

Excerpts from President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation appointing a National Fast Day (Washington, D.C., March 30, 1863):

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.


We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.


It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

-Psalm 33:12 (King James Version):

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

An art museum for Jack Kirby? Maybe…

Above photo: I just love this photo of comics’ legend, Jack Kirby. And I love the idea of a Kirby museum just as much.

Randy Hoppe of the Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center states in "So, where is the Jack Kirby Museum?":

Our intention is to set up a temporary, or "pop-up," brick-and-mortar location for the Jack Kirby Museum during this November, December and January. The ideal size for this purpose is between 800-1,200-square-feet, and would feature original artwork, artifacts from Jack’s life, prominent guest speakers, educational programs and installation pieces inspired by and celebrating the unique work and life of Jack Kirby.

A space like this dedicated entirely to the life and work of Jack Kirby would be equally appealing to seasoned art patrons, pop-art connoisseurs, casual fans, tourists, and families. Successful implementation of this pop-up museum will allow us to pursue the ultimate goal of a PERMANENT space for the Museum in the near future.

Again, nothing like this has ever been attempted. And, in order to make this happen, we need funding.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Washington’s first inaugural address...

Above photo: Federal Hall National Memorial, located at 26 Wall Street in New York City, was built in 1842. This was also the original site of the old Federal Hall where, on April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath as the first president of the United States of America.

On that day, before a large crowd, George Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Hall with his hand on an open Bible (as depicted above). After his oath of office was completed, Washington delivered his inaugural address to a joint session of Congress. Afterwards, President Washington and Congress traveled down Broadway to St. Paul’s Church for prayer, fellowship, and worship.

Excerpts from George Washington’s first inaugural address:

It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to His charge.


We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.


Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

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