Cartoonist on TV alert: Dave Devries on CBS This Morning tomorrow


Marvel/DC comic book artist Dave DeVries is being featured on CBS This Morning tomorrow at 8:45 am E.D.T. for his “The Monster Engine” work. If you’re not familiar with this project, it’s a thought provoking series of illustrations that takes children’s drawings of monsters and paints them in a fully detailed fantasy art style. It’s been spun off into books, gallery shows and more.

h/t Denise Dorman

WB gets major victory in Superman suit against attorney Marc Toberoff — UPDATED with analysis

Warner Bros is doing the happy dance in the Superman legal tangle after what was called a unanimous and extremely significant ruling from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Heard before Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain and N. Randy Smith, Circuit Judges, the Opinion (see link below) was written by Judge O’Scannlain.
The decision is pretty heavy on the legalese, but until Jeff Trexler comes along and explains it, this seems to be a WB victory as Trexler wrote about recently, and also refers to WB’s attempts to get attorney Marc Toberoff removed from the case based on papers that were stolen from his office. Warners was arguing that Toberoff was participating in the proceeds of the Jerry Siegel estate’s legal quest to receive half of the profits from Superman—and as such was materially connected.

We’ll have a read through but in the meantime, Warner Brother released the following statement:

We are extremely pleased that the 9th Circuit unanimously found in our favor.  The ruling means that defendant Mark Toberoff must now turn over critical evidence in the pending litigation against him and others. 

Toberoff also released a statement:

“We cooperated with the US Attorney’s office to enable them to investigate the theft from our law firm of the Siegels and Shuster’s privileged documents. We are disappointed in today’s decision which holds that such cooperation with law enforcement by the victims of a privacy crime, itself waives privilege as to stolen documents. However, nothing in this ruling or the documents at issue will affect the merits of this case.  We are considering our options as to the ruling, and will continue to vigorously defend our clients’ rights.”

UPDATE: And here’s the Beat’s legal analyst, Jeff Trexler, explaining what happened for laymen:

Earlier today, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of DC in its case against Marc Toberoff and his company, Pacific Pictures. While the core of the decision is a technical aspect of procedural law pertaining to attorney-client privilege, the court’s opinion reinforces the central point of my most recent posts: namely, that by making Toberoff the target, Warner Brothers (WB) very well might be able to undo the Siegel heir’s historic courtroom victory.

As you may recall, WB and its replacement outside counsel, Daniel Petrocelli, filed a lawsuit challenging the propriety of Toberoff’s representation of the Siegel heirs in their attempts to regain Superman-related material from the company. A key part of WB’s case was a set of documents regarding Toberoff’s dealings with the Siegel and Shuster heirs, which had been sent to DC executives by a whistleblower.
This is the case at issue today. Toberoff claimed the leaked documents were protected by attorney-client privilege and thus could not be part of WB’s evidence. However, Toberoff had provided these same documents to the U.S. Attorney’s office in its criminal investigation into the whistleblower’s alleged theft. WB asked the court to give the company full access to the documents that Toberoff had given the government. According to WB, once these documents were supplied to the government, the attorney-client no longer applied.

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling today gives a clear victory to WB in the dispute over these documents–the panel unanimously held that attorney client privilege no longer applied. The reasoning is somewhat technical, and because there is a split on this issue among federal circuits, there’s a chance, however slim, that the Supreme Court might hear an appeal. Unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise, the magistrate’s order that Toberoff provide WB with all of the documents given to the government will stand.

What does this mean for the Siegel lawsuit? Come back to The Beat in a few for my next post.

Beautiful comic alert: The Celestial Bibendum by Nicolas de Crécy

Nicolas de Crécy is one of the greatest artists currently working in comics, and his book THE CELESTIAL BIBENDUM is spectacular proof of that. An English language edition goes on sale tomorrow in the UK from Knockabout, but probably some copies will be slipping into the US. You can also order a deluxe edition from TFAW for $55.96. Pricey but beautiful.


Wizard signs "The Situation" to create a superhero

Until now, Jersey Shore and the comics industry had been on blissfully separate tracks. In fact, during a brief interview we had with the Nerdist, Chris Hardwick, he mentioned Jersey Shore as being a part of pop culture that was not part of nerd culture.

But now, Wizard has blurred the line.

And nothing will ever be the same.

It seems that members of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s family, along with Mike, will be creating a superhero and making comics and showing up at Wizard shows. Move over, Virgil. There’s a new nerdlebrity in town.

Wizard World Inc. (WIZD.PK) announces Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino along with the Sorrentino family have signed a publishing, development, and appearance deal with Wizard World to create and publish a comic book hero based on Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his family.

The agreement will team Mike Sorrentino, along with his brothers Marc and Frank, sister Melissa, and mother Linda, with Wizard World, the largest Comic Con Tour in North America, spanning a dozen cities and reaching millions of fans every year through its events, social media, digital and PR outreach.

The series of comic books based upon stories by Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his family will be written and drawn by some of the comic book industry’s leading artists and writers. In addition, the Sorrentino family members will be making appearances at several Wizard World conventions to promote their characters and greet the fans in attendance.

“MPS Entertainment and I are thrilled and excited about our new business relationship with Wizard World. I grew up reading comic books and now I get a chance to star in my own. I can’t wait for everyone to see what we are working on,” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.

“Wizard World is excited to partner with one of pop culture’s greatest stars. Mike ‘The Situation’ and his family will broaden our relationships with celebrities to new areas that leverage our access to the media, the fans, and especially our ability to bring comic book characters to life,” said John Macaluso, CEO, Wizard World.

The mystery of DC, comiXology, and the Kindle Fire may never be publicly solved

At the C2E2 comiXology panel it was confirmed that DC graphic novels are no longer being sold through Kindle Fire’s comiXology app, and CEO David Steinberger said it was intentional. However the reasons are hidden behind many layers of NDAs.

This is all odd because you can certainly still buy DC books via Amazon and their Kindle store. You can purchase tons of DC comics from comiXology, on the web and their IOS app. Apparently, you just can’t buy DC Comics through the Kindle Fire comiXology app (we don’t have a Kindle Fire handy to check).

DC have not responded to inquiries. ComiXology only give the line “ComiXology readers can continue to access DC Comics that are in their My Comics library. Plus, comiXology on the Kindle Fire syncs libraries from any part of the ComiXology platform, so DC readers can access comics purchased through the web.”

The DC/Kindle Fire exclusive GN marriage was announced with great fanfare and promise, but soon resulted in heartache and acrimony when B&N and Books A Million pulled their DC graphic novels off the shelves in spite. While no one is saying anything at all about this glitch, it probably has some weird technical proprietary cause and isn’t very dramatic at all.

Or that’s a guess anyway.

In the meantime, there are still plenty of ways to get DC Comics on your Kindle Fire, and the arguments over platforms and proprietary interfaces for digital comics will continue.

Marvel teams with Barnes & Noble for Avengers ebook/Nook promotion


Marvel and Barnes & Noble have teamed up to offer $30 off the purchase of a Nook Tablet when you buy two Marvel digital graphic novels from the Avengers collection. Titles available include various New, Mighty and Dark flavors of Avengers, but also classic flavor, The Kree-Skrull War, and Avengers Assemble from the Busiek/Perez run.

The Nook Comics store currently offers books from Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Viz, Archie, Dynamite and Yes Press. DC is exclusive to the Kindle, you’ll recall.

To Do Tonight, Brooklyn: Leaping Tall Buildings


Tue Apr 17, 7:00PM @ BookCourt
163 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
[email protected]

Seth Kushner (The Brooklynites) has taken his skills as a photographer and his passion for comic books and turned them into two unique projects. In Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics, Kushner created distinctive environmental portraits of over 75 top comics creators, a selection of which will be presented and discussed. Kushner’s other long-term project, CulturePOP Photocomix, allows him to profile fascinating subjects such as Emmy Award winning comix creator Dean Haspiel, author Tim Hall, and Bravo’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” reality show star/bootleg toy designer, Sucklord, who will all be reading from their CulturePOP profiles while the images are projected

More Info

Webcomic alert: DR. SLUMP by Akira Toriyama

Best known for his hectic DRAGONBALL series, Akira Toriyama is probably one of the most successful cartoonists of all time. His first big hit was DR. SLUMP, a slapstick humor strip about an inventor who creates a little girl robot who is hopelessly naive about the world.

Hijinks ensue. Hijinks that anyone who likes FAMILY GUY will appreciate. This is not sophisticated humor but it is energetic, wildly imaginative cartooning at the highest level. It’s also world building in the classic McCloudian-approved way, with the setting of Penguin Village, like Springfield or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a friendly place filled with colorful characters.


Viz has a 20-page preview of the first issue up, and you can read the early volumes in digital format. If we could embed the preview, we would but…Viz doesn’t allow that but go check it out.

[Via David Brothers]

Eye Opening Session: John Carpenter's The Thing with Cats in Clay

Exactly what it sounds like. But so much better than you could possibly imagine.