We’re battling some kind of virus that we got from eating some ill-advised food. It’s a real tussle that goes back and forth, and going to sleep before 4 am would probably help, as would getting up before noon. We’re working on it. So just a big newsy round-up today.

First, some people on the move:

Joe Yanarella has been promoted to Senior Vice President — Operations at Wizard, from which he’ll oversee Ad Sales, Special Operations, and Conventions as well as his original editorial duties.

Pamela Mullin has joined DC Comics as a publicist. She was formerly the publicist for Pantheon’s graphic novel line.

Reportedly, Shannon Denton of Komikwerks and Actionopolis is joining Wildstorm as an editor.

Johanna Draper Carlson has dropped out of the Savage Critic website.

§ You know a while ago someone suggested to us that the writer’s strike was a good opportunity for cartoonists to get on chat fests, but we didn’t think that was really going to happen! Marjane Satrapi beat Joe Quesada to the strike struck version of the Colbert Report. Satrapi put up with Colbert’s schtik pretty well, prompting him to say “That’s one of the dangers of your film — when you humanize your enemy, your enemy seems much more human.” Perhaps a writer could have made that line funnier. Quesada came on board to warn Colbert of a Skrull invasion.

200801301403§ Kevin Melrose has an excellent summary of the Red Sonja/Red Sonya legal battle which actually got to trial without anyone knowing what the heck was going on.

Red Sonja LLC, which owns the rights to Red Sonja — with a “j” — had filed a $5 million lawsuit in April 2006 accusing Paradox Entertainment of infringing on its trademark and attempting to create confusion in the marketplace. Paradox, which bought Conan and the entire Robert E. Howard library in 2006, owns the rights to Red Sonya — with a “y” — a character created by Howard in the 1930s.

Red Sonja is a character created in 1973 by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith for use in the Conan comics then published by Marvel. Red Sonya is Howard’s lesser-known pistol-packing Russian warrior from the 16th century.

The upshot is that Red Sonja LLC now owns ALL the Sonj(y)a’s, while Paradox retains rights to the rest of the Hyborian Age. In fact, here’s Paradoix’s statement. ICv2 has more.

A newsletter from MoCCA has a few news notes that we hadn’t seen elsewhere:

§ Ellen S. Abramowitz, of Newmark Real Estate, is the new Chairman. “2007 was a year of growth and great accomplishment for MoCCA,” she writes. “The MoCCA Art Festival drew close to 6,000 visitors and the Stan Lee Retrospective showcased one of cartoon arts finest. We have established a creative presence in NYC but need to do more! It has been and always will be the mission of MoCCA to promote the understanding and appreciation of comic and cartoon art. With our dedicated volunteers top-notch board of trustees and officers, we are poised to continue to make that happen.”

§ The gallery is closing from February 1st and March 5th, 2008 so the gallery can be reconfigured.

Currently our plan is to realign our movable wall units to allow for a more open gallery area, and allow for a more recognizable division in our exhibit areas.

The layout of the gallery is being handled by EPoc Partnership, a SoHo based design firm headed by partners David J. Ennis 2, RA and Shelly M. Pocsidio, who are also involved in a more extensive remodeling of the gallery to take place over time.

§ Upcoming shows:

When the monsters and web artists come down in March, they will be replaced by “Moving Pictures” an exciting showcase that will examine the transition of print comic and cartoon characters into live-action and animated film and TV stars. Previews will begin on “Moving Pictures” on April 17th, with official opening and closing dates to be announced shortly.
In September, MoCCA will switch its spotlight from the screen to the political stage, when it opens “Drawing the Vote,” an exhibit exploring the election process through the filter of comic and cartoon art. Official opening and closing dates, and opening night party details to come.


  1. If Paradox bought all Howard material, they should therefore also own Howard’s character Sonya. As to Marvel’s “Sonja,” those guys should have been sued up and down the block for their blatant rip-off. But the bottom line is that the Howard estate never should have sold anything to Paradox or anyone else in the first place. Never sell out your birthright.

  2. Your birthright? The Howard material was sold long, long ago to a series of ‘investors’; none of REH’s heirs have been involved for generations, probably. And seriously, if they made money off the printing rights for all this time, and invested it, they would still have a ‘birthright’.

    Which brings up my question–why isn’t this in the public domain already? REH died in 1936–over 70 years ago. Even HPL is now in public domain.

  3. “Which brings up my question–why isn’t this in the public domain already? REH died in 1936–over 70 years ago.”

    “The Shadow of the Vulture” was published in January 1934, which I believe means that, as long as the registration was renewed in 1962, it should remain in copyright until 2029. I think.

  4. Yeah, according to the handy cheat sheet maintained at http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/public_domain/ , a work published in 1934 whose copyright was renewed wouldn’t be in the public domain for a while yet.

    (As for HP Lovecraft, his material published before 1923 is public domain, but he published some material afterward that would still be copyright protected, I believe…)

  5. Thanks for that link! Very informative. Sadly, the idea of public domain seems to be almost lost. 95 years? 120 years? Might as well just put “long after you’re dead” under all headings.

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