So behind in link-blogging, but here’s a ton of stuff to keep you going.

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§ How could we have missed the ‘Lord of the Rings’ lawsuit ending? Christopher Tolkien — amazingly still alive after decades poring through his dad’s papers — issued a statement and all the squabbling over the money from the New Line trilogy were wrapped up. Meaning: HOBBIT HO!

At the time, the plaintiffs wanted a court order that would give them the right to terminate any rights New Line might have to other Tolkien works, including “The Hobbit.” New Line and MGM have announced plans to turn that work into a film with “Rings” helmer Peter Jackson producing.

But in a statement on the settlement, Christopher Tolkien said, “The Trustees regret that legal action was necessary, but are glad that this dispute has been settled on satisfactory terms that will allow the Tolkien Trust properly to pursue its charitable objectives. The Trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of ‘The Hobbit.’ “

§ American Entertainment’s Jeff Katz got named one of 10 Producers To Watch by Variety.

Jeff Katz’s career in entertainment began in earnest at the age of 9. At a dinner party in his hometown of Franklin, Mich., the young horror and comicbook buff found himself seated next to Max Shaye, the father of New Line topper Bob Shaye, the man responsible for unleashing Katz’s all-time favorite villain, Freddy Krueger, into the nightmares of millions of terrified viewers. The pint-sized operator-to-be turned on the charm with his hero’s dad, and within weeks, he and Bob had become pen pals. “As I soon as I got my first letter from (Shaye), I thought, ‘OK, I’ve got my in,'” Katz recalls.

§ Sean Kleefield is planing to write a book about comics fans.

§ Paul Karasik is interviewed on Inkstuds.

§ Our OWN Indie Comics Marketing from this year’s SDCC has been posted — it features The Beat, Kevin Church and Chip Mosher.


§ Could the Marvel Visionaries series look better? Probably.

§ Another look at the heat death of the Direct Market, this time via ‘Young Liars’ :

“Hey, did ‘Young Liars’ come out today?” I asked, knowing the answer already. It’s a polite way of asking if there are any copies left.

“Actually, we don’t carry that,” he said, and quickly added “but we can order it for you.”

“Ah, no, that’s okay,” I said, already planning my Frogger-like sprint to the retailer across the street. It was a little confusing. The store had a healthy assortment of independent and Vertigo titles, why not YL? “You know it’s like the best book on the stands, right?”

“Oh yeah?” he nodded. “Yeah, I love Dave Lapham, but I haven’t read it yet,” he said. “I’m waiting for the trades.”

“Ah,” I said, swallowing three pints of blood from my own tongue.

§ J. Caleb Mozzocco pegs BATGIRL #1 from 2008 as perhaps the worst comic ever?

That isn’t comics, it’s Adam Beechen trying to explain and apologize for a bunch of other shitty comic books, many of which he himself also wrote. It cost $17.94 as part of a six-month payment plan, or $19.99 to get it all at once.

§ Could comics reviews in mainstream media be better? Probably.

§ Christopher Allen responds to two recent jeremiads.