Tokyopop is back. The manga publisher, known for its rapid rise and subsequent implosion in the early 2000s, announced a new push toward active business at Anime Expo on July 2. Tokyopop founder Stu Levy (also known as DJ Milky) led a panel that unveiled an ad-supported comics app called Pop Comics and unspecified plans to return to manga publishing in 2016.
The response from creators who have been published by Tokyopop was… let’s call it “less than enthusiastic”:
In 1978, a group of A-list comics creators calling themselves the Comic Book Creators Guild gathered together to attempt to unionize. Members of this group included Paul Levitz, Neal Adams, Jim Shooter, Frank Miller, Walt Simonson, Chris Claremont, and more. One of the things the group did was put together a list of recommended rates for publishers, which CosmicBookNews posted last week. The union ultimately didn't work out, and the saddest thing is that the very reasonable rates they posted still aren't hit today by many publishers, even adjusted for inflation.
A favorite among many longtime and hardcore Batman fans, writer Alan Brennert released a statement on Facebook this week regarding his lack of compensation for the use of the character Barbara Kean Gordon in the upcoming Fox TV show Gotham, a live-action series based on the Batman characters. Brennert wrote a story in 1981 where the character was created as the fiancée of then-Lt. James Gordon. While it was an out-of-continuity story, the character was later brought into canon as Commissioner Gordon’s wife (most notably in Batman: Year One, and in the films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight). In the television series' pilot episode -- which ComicsAlliance staffers have seen and verified -- Barbara Kean is introduced as James Gordon's bride-to-be, played by Erin Richards.
For this reason, Brennert requested equity in the character and compensation for her use in Gotham – a request that has been denied, which has in turn inspired consternation among Brennert's fans, industry observers and other creators.
The Supreme Court may take up the case of Lisa Kirby v. Marvel Characters to determine whether or not works produced by Jack Kirby and published by Marvel between 1958 and 1963 were work-for-hire. The case could allow the Kirby estate to terminate Marvel's copyright claims to several of its best-known characters, including Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.
With only one issue released so far, the BOOM! Studios series Day Men has already attracted serious Hollywood attention in the form a reported seven-figure deal for the film rights. Drawn by Brian Stelfreeze and co-written by Matt Gagnon (also BOOM! Editor-in-Chief) and Michael Allan Nelson, Day Men imagines vampires as clans of supernatural crime families secretly controlling everything in the world. The titular Day Men are specially trained human agents tasked with doing the vampires' dirty work during the day.
Because there have been some unfortunate circumstances with respect to films based on comics whose original creators are not compensated to their or their families' liking (or even credited), we reached out to the BOOM! and the Day Men team to see if the news was indeed good from their points of view.
Tally another legal victory for the Big Two vs. comic creator heirs. A federal appeals court ruled today that the family of Jack Kirby, the artist who famously co-created characters including The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Silver Surfer and the X-Men, can claim no rights to those Marvel Comics characters.
In response to ethical concerns raised about Marvel's much anticipated The Avengers film, which is based on characters co-created by Jack Kirby and other comic book professionals who (or whose estates) will not benefit financially from the hugely popular motion picture, cartoonist Jon Morris offered a thoughtful proposal for conflicted fans who are mindful of the situation but do not wish to boycott the film: donating the price of a movie ticket to The Hero Initiative, the comics industry not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping comics creators in need of financial aid...
Writer Chris Roberson announced yesterday that he would seek no further work at DC Comics because of his concerns about the company's treatment of creators, though he intended to complete his planned work on the Fables spinoff Fairest...
I made a conscious decision to stop supporting Marvel and DC with my money a while back. This decision was a long time coming, built on the back of my increasing uneasiness with how they do and have done business...
The latest ruling in the legal struggle between Marvel and Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich took an even uglier turn this week, with Marvel stipulating that they will only drop their countersuit again Friedrich if he pays $17,000 for selling Ghost Rider merchandise at conventions...
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