Dynamite responds to ERB in Tarzan/John Carter lawsuit

You’ll recall that a few weeks ago, the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs sued Dynamite over their ongoing lines of Tarzan and John Carter comics. Although the earliest works in each series are in the public domain, ERB, Inc. sued on the basis of trademark infringement, claiming that Dynamite’s Lord of the Jungle was infringing their trademark for “TARZAN LORD OF THE JUNGLE” and so on. Well, Dynamite has responded, and it’s pretty much a blanket denial, as you can see above. Dynamite’s defense is pretty simple: the books are in the public domain, and ERB, Inc., doesn’t have a trademark to infringe. For instance, ERB didn’t file a trademark claim for Lord of the Jungle until March, 2012, although a shadowy company called ETT Corp. had filed one a few years earlier.

Valiant's Harbinger #1 Art Preview and "Pullbox Variant"

I think we’ve all gotten to the point where we can accept that pullboxes are pretty big part of the market and an especially important thing for new indie books. Valiant seems to be taking that to heart and is offering a “Pullbox Variant” cover just for people with pullboxes. How directly tied that is to their pullbox form (see below), I’m not sure. Regardless, it’s a way to have subscribers without a subscriptions department and retailers do pay attention to customer pre-orders.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: February 2012

With Marvel refocussing on more issues of fewer titles, and with the next wave of new titles presumably not due until after AVENGERS VS X-MEN, it’s a pretty quiet month for new titles. The main new launch is WINTER SOLDIER, there’s the much-delayed return of THE TWELVE… and that’s pretty much it.

Normal service is resumed, as Marvel had the largest share of the direct market, leading DC by 39% to 35% in unit share, and 36% to 29% in dollars. Bear in mind, though, that February was a five week month and DC didn’t take advantage of that extra week to ship further material.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

Everything You Need to Know to Read AvX

The Avengers are fighting the X-men, yes, but why? As someone who hadn’t read any 616 Avengers or X-men for a while, would I even be able to understand Avengers vs X-men? I figured it out and so can you – for your convenience, a (mostly AvX spoiler-free) guide to understanding Marvel’s newest comics event.

MoCCA Fest 2012 announces guests: Russell, Panter

MoCCA Fest 2012 has finally announced its guests and begun rolling out other activities—and they have a brand new dedicated website, above, to do so.

P. Craig Russell is the guest of honor—which explains the exquisite rococo ad we’ve been running for the past month — and Gary Panter will be presented with the Klein Award, MoCCA’s lifetime achievement honor.

Captain America sequel planned for April 4, 2014

Disney has made it official: The CAPTAIN AMERICA sequel will bow April 4, 2014. Chris Evans will reprise his role from CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and THE AVENGERS. The second installment will pick up right where THE AVENGERS leaves off, as Steve Rogers struggles to find his place in the modern world while working with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.

Thoughts from a sickbed about comics genres

While looking for a comics cover for a sick alert, I realized that the heyday era of the doctor comic was definitely the early ’60s. Licensed comics were such a big deal then, especially for Dell/Western. They licensed just about anything. The BEN CASEY and Dr. KILDARE comics were based on popular TV shows of the time. Dr. KILDARE lasted about 9 issues, BEN CASEY 10, although it did spin off into a comic strip which was written and drawn by Neal Adams.

Graphicly gets out of apps and into eBooks

And so the orphan comics begin…one of the three most prominent comics reading apps is getting out of the app business, as Graphicly has just announced they’re focusing on transitioning all kinds of material— not just comics—into ebook format for tablets. You can read the whole announcement below, but basically all of the books your purchased through Graphicly apps will still be readable—you just won’t be able to download the apps any more.

That leaves comiXology and iVerse in the comics app business…for now. Ebooks are a huge and growing market and lots of print publishers are trying to get their products into the new platforms. Graphicly has been moving more and more into offering self-authoring tools, so it all seems like a natural progression. And where does this leave such comics-centric acquisitions as iFanboy? Developing…

Marvel tops March sales charts behind AvX

Marvel bashed its way back to the top in March, winning both dollars and units and the top book with AvX #1. After getting shut out of the top 10 books for the last few months, they had three books, including the AvX 0 issues and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1.

AvX #1 is invoiced for March although it only went on sale yesterday, in April, because it shipped to retailers a week early.

Comparative charts showed March 2012 pretty flat with 2011, with only graphic novel sales up appreciably — and that’s because of a surge in WALKING DEAD VOLUME 1 sales. This perrennial led the GN chart yet again, buoyed by the TV show no doubt.