Previously on Comics: Of Mouse and Marvel (and Copyright)

Hello again faithful readers! I’m back this week with another Previously. There’s a lot of news to share, so I’m gonna jump right in to talk about the biggest story early in the week, which is the news that Disney is pulling the same bullshit it pulls with The Mouse and using all of its money and legal resources to try to get around the legal copyright laws and cheat Steve Ditko’s heirs out of their money. This Hollywood Reporter article sums it up nicely:

If the plaintiffs win, Disney expects to at least hold on to at least a share of character rights as co-owners. The studio would have to share profits with the others. Additionally, the termination provisions of copyright law only apply in the United States, allowing Disney to continue to control and profit from foreign exploitation.

It was wild to see social media responses to the early tweets breaking the news, not unlike the social media responses to when ScarJo filed to sue Disney for breach of contract. Sometimes it takes a day or two, but nothing restores my faith in humanity than people banding together to point out how a giant corporation is exploitative and does not love you. I think we all need that reminder sometimes. Bottom line is, the Mouse has billions and does a lot of shitty, shady things to people who do not have the money to sue over it and they should be forced to pay for things whenever somebody can afford to go up against them and make them do so. I dearly hope that it was a coincidence that this happened the same week that Victoria Alonso was given a new role as president of physical and postproduction, visual effects, and animation production for Marvel Studios.

That’s enough on Marvel.

Greg Berlanti is going to be making a documentary about DC Comics for HBO Max. I felt like Berlanti, creator of the Berlanti-verse of CW DC shows, had reached peak fanboy when I realized that Jordan, the invented non-canonical not-Jonathan Kent angsty teenage son of Clark and Lois on Superman and Lois was basically a fusion of Ephram, Berlanti’s self-insert original character on Everwood, but nope, I was wrong. Maybe he’ll explain why he’s obsessed with inventing siblings for all of his heroes.

I was excited to read the Serena Williams Wonder Woman comic based off of the DirecTV commercial (that is honestly better than Wonder Woman 84), but it’s only available on the DirecTV website.

The creative team is Amanda Deibert (script), Cat Staggs (art), Dave McCaig (colors), and Josh Reed (letters), which I hope is enough that DC has plans to collect it and release it on its app later.

Other news!

Last week I reported on the Ignatz awards and noticed that many of the comics were self-pubbed, so I was very happy to see this new amazing resource, Domino Books Wholesale, for retailers wanting to stock self-pubbed comics.

Fantagraphics just announced a modern revamp of The Comics Journal branding and social. I was today years old when I learned that Fantagraphics is the publisher for The Comics Journal. Seems like a conflict of interest, no? Time will tell if they plan on modernizing their coverage as well.

And finally, this week of Previously was not supposed to be my week BUT I’m kind of glad it is because I get to announce this! You may remember that I am the editor of Comics Academe, but I’m also a Member-at-Large for the Comics Studies Society and have had the very great pleasure of working with Jenny Robb at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library at OSU, so I am stoked that they have announced their travel research grants due November 8th. Please go there and dig around in their fantastic archive and then report back on all the cool stuff you find, okay? Because I can’t, and I really want to. Tell them Kate sent you.

Kate Tanski

Kate Tanski

Recovering academic. Fangirl. Geek knitter.

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