§ Another IP battle! Johanna has word of Warners and Disney squabbling over The Wizard of Oz:
The book The Wizard of Oz is in public domain, since it was published in 1899. The 1939 movie is not; it’s owned by Warner Bros., along with elements unique to the film, such as the ruby slippers. (And when I was searching Amazon for those, all the various special editions and even more special edition re-release DVDs came up long before the books, for what that’s worth.) Disney is making a movie called Oz: The Great and Powerful, due out next year, that focuses on how the Wizard (James Franco) became the Wizard, how he got to Oz and whom he met before Dorothy and her friends. The two copyright behemoths are now quietly battling over related trademarks, trying to file them out from under each other.
Oh man! With so many of the great characters of the 20th century coming into the public domain, this is going to be one wild ride—and being a copyright lawyer was never more lucrative.
§ One thing comics editors get right: matching the amount of cleavage a woman is showing on the cover with the interiors.
Corey Pandolph, who took over on Phil Frank’s The Elderberries five years ago, has announced that he’s retiring the strip. March 4th will be the last comic. Corey has been working on a comic strip (notably Barkeater Lake, Toby, Robot Satan) in various forms for the last 15 years. He tells me that in the two years that he’s been living in New York City, he’s sold four cartoons to The New Yorker, hosts and produces a monthly live storytelling show and has been appearing on stage doing storytelling and wants to be more engaged in this new direction of his career.
§ In recent branding news, GeekChicDaily is now called Nerdist and it’s part of the Nerdist empire of Chris Hardwick. You may recall that GeekChicDaily was once allied with certain other comics personalities.
§ After his sterling work last week uncovering Marvel’s file leak, David Brothers launches another investigation and discovers that Jerome Opeña draws better than Greg Land.
§ A Japanese cartoonist named Pikupikun has missed a deadline due to a masturbating accident: Pikupikun styles himself as a bit of an idol, so perhaps this is just part of the myth:
But sorry ladies, Pikupikun’s work won’t appear in the April issue of Pinky magazine. It seems Pikupikun has injured himself. While pleasuring himself. The magazine’s publisher, Bunkasha, passed along an apology via Twitter, stating that Pikupikun was stricken with laceration on penis during “furious masturbation”. Because of this misfortune, Pikupikun missed his deadline, and his work won’t be in print for the April Pinky. The manga artist has not updated his blog since Feb. 8. “We do expect him to return for the next issue,” tweeted the publisher. “From here on, masturbation is prohibited before deadlines.” Noted!
If injuries of this kind became widespread, the American comics industry could be decimated.
§ A nice profile of Tom Gauld’s new GN, GOLIATH:
The brilliance of Guardian cartoonist Tom Gauld‘s new graphic novel, Goliath, is the artistic license it takes with the story of David and Goliath. Instead of being a punk rocker or a particularly scary looking man–as Goliath has invariably been portrayed throughout the ages–Gauld’s Goliath is a gentle giant, who is more pacifist than aggressor. He’s also the fifth worst swordsman in his platoon.
§ Jim McCann (RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN) has a new book coming out from Image called MIND THE GAP about a young woman who doesn’t remember why someone is trying to kill her. Rodin Esquejo and Sonia Oback provide the art.
§ Speaking of Image, this preview of the Image Expo includes a nice profile of the publisher.
§ And speaking of the Bay area—where the Image Expo is taking place—Charles Brownstein profiles the once fertile bookstore scene of Telegraph Avenue:
In Cometbus #51, “The Loneliness of the Electric Menorah,” Aaron Cometbus examines the history of the 2400 block of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA, where a handful of forceful personalities settled to form businesses that would influence the course of book retailing and publishing, and would also impact more than three generations of culture in the Bay Area and the world beyond.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.