Joe Shuster

AlexRossSupdesk

There’s a lot of shame to go around when one looks back at how creators, and the rights to their creations, were treated back when comic books were still a fledgling industry. It gets even more confused when you throw in the truck loads of cash made when these characters started to appear on the big screen. Something that back then, wasn’t really a consideration when these characters were created. Hell, it wasn’t until recently that some creators actually got any compensation or credit for their creation in movie credits. All because the lawyers and purse string monitors didn’t want to accept their shameful role in the whole thing or loss even a percentage of all that wonderful superhero movie money. (more…)

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Coinciding with the 75th birthday of Superman last year, the Royal Canadian Mint created seven celebratory collectors coins to mark the occasion. Well, Superman’s now a year older, but it seems that the celebrating isn’t over yet, as the Mint and the Government of Canada used the occasion of the National Fan Expo to release four new coins featuring the image of the Last Son of Krypton. Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Patrick Hadsipantelis, Vice-President of Marketing and Communications for the Royal Canadian Mint, were on hand at Fan Expo today to unveil the new coins. (more…)

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The rich history of Superman places a burden on those who choose to sift through those 75 years of comics in search of identifying a finite batch of stories that define the character. Frankly, it is a fool’s errand that is guaranteed to rankle readers who have their own ideas about which Superman stories are must read, but that is part of the fun. So we have gone and done just that with an eye toward balance, historic significance, and good old fashioned quality.

Along the way, we hope that any missing tales don’t stand out like a beacon. With Superman’s 75 year history, an all inclusive list is difficult and impossible to narrow down to ten. What we hope to do is share these and maybe have you discover a few new tales or perspectives on the Last Son of Krypton that give new perspective on the hero.

Many call Superman a character that is often boring, over powered or impossible to relate to by those who haven’t looked deep enough into the character’s origins and his long journey from a scribble and a notion that fell out of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster‘s head. That is selling the story telling short. While the Man of Tomorrow is an orphaned alien from a distant world, he is a reflection of us, and has evolved with us for the last seven and a half decades.

The Superman “S” is the second most recognizable symbol in the world. He was the founding Father of the Superhero genre. A complex hero, an outcast, a Christ-like figure, a being comprised of unfathomable strength and virtue, a scared kid, a stoic old “man”, wounded, alone, a savior and someone who has been saved. Superman has been all of these things throughout his existence, and we hope that these stories demonstrate that, so without further ado, we present the Ten Superman Comics that Everyone Should Read. (more…)

Coinciding with the re-release of  Watchmen “Ultimate Cut” on Blu-ray this week, director Zack Snyder spoke with L.A. Times about the serious tone we can expect in Man of Steel.

“It’s a more serious version of Superman,” he says. “It’s not like a heart attack. We took the mythology seriously. We take him as a character seriously. I believe the movie would appeal to anyone. I think that you’re going to see a Superman you’ve never seen before. We approached it as though no other films had been made. He’s the king-daddy. Honestly that’s why I wanted to do it. I’m interested in Superman because he’s the father of all superheroes. He’s this amazing ambassador for all superheroes. What was it about him that cracked the code that made pop culture embrace this other mythology? What we’ve made as a film not only examines that but is also an amazing adventure story. It’s been an honor to work on. As a comic book fan, Superman is like the Rosetta Stone of all superheroes. I wanted to be sure the movie treated it respectfully.”

Well, that was nice. Hearing Snyder speak about the character with such vigor is convincing. Truthfully,  I believe Snyder has a better understanding of Superman than most.

Supes is a hard egg to crack. Literally, he’s indestructible. Quite frankly, though, he’s not as compelling as other superheroes out there. Simply for the fact that he lacks conflict. Think about it, interest comes from tension, and tension from conflict. Yes, Supes has had few moral dilemmas here and there, but truly, what affecting conflict do you find in an indestructible, incorruptible, morally absolute, god-like character? Not much, I’ll tell you.

Snyder took one of the most horrendous jobs ever… making Superman interesting. Perhaps Snyder has crafted a version of Superman that can finally be seen as one of us. A man with more vulnerable weaknesses than just a stick of kryptonite.

Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, Harry Lennix, Michael Kelly, Richard Shiff, Russell Crow and written by David S. Goyer hits theaters June 14th, 2013.

Source: L.A. Times

Wednesday afternoon Warner Bros. scored a major victory in the long running legal battle over the ownership of the Man of Steel. U.S. District Judge Otis Wright shot down the heirs of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster in their attempt to reclaim 50% of the rights to the Last Son of Krypton. The reasoning behind this that back in 1992 Shuster’s sister, Jean Peavy, struck a deal with DC Comics in 1992 covering her late brother’s debts (plus paying her $25,000 a year for the rest of her life). A deal that then DC VP Paul Levitz warned would ‘fully resolve any past, present or future claims against DC’ by the Shuster estate. Case closed.

Had the ruling gone the other way, WB and its DC Comics subsidiary would have lost the right to use key elements to the of the characters mythos, severely hampering any future projects. As it stands there is still the other creators estate to contend with, Jerry Siegel‘s heirs can still terminate half of Warner’s Superman copyright in 2013. This will be appealed on the 5th of Novemeber by the studio.

So what does this mean? WB/DC now firmly hold half of Superman and under copyright law can use the character however they see fit (just so long as they keep paying Siegel’s estate half of the profits.)

Wow, comic book law is exciting stuff, huh?

Without dropping into the abyss of the creator rights debate once more, let’s focus on the good things here. This now means the studio is free(er) to move ahead with little risk on projects like next summers Man of Steel and more importantly the long stalled Justice League movie.

Yes, that’s right. Justice League. Just one day after the ruling The LA Times is reporting that filming will begin next year and the DC Comics super team will hit the big screen in the summer of 2015.   Apparently they have a script, written by Will Beall, ready to roll and are just looking to attach a director and cast the lead roles.

One word of caution, the source that the LA Times cites is described as ‘a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter publicly‘ – so if you had ‘Summer 2015’ in your Justice League release date office betting pool hold off on collecting your money till we get the official word.

 

You guys have a Justice League release date office betting pool too, right?

 

 

Source: LA Times, 1, title image via  daniel-morpheus.deviantart.com

We’ve all had those jobs. The jobs that we want to storm out of, double-handed flip-offs on full display with a smile and a string of profane words so severe that they would make Andrew Dice Clay wash his own mouth out with soap. Sadly though, that’s just a fantasy for most of us. A “one day I’ll” that dances around in our brains during the blissful peace of a cubicle daydream. That’s why Chris Roberson (iZombie and Superman) is destined to become a momentary icon, not only did he tell his boss to go to hell, but that boss was DC Comics, and he did it in a very public, and embarrassing way by questioning their ethics and the way they treat writers.

Now, Roberson wasn’t explicit in speaking on the details of his mistreatment by DC, hell he didn’t even say he was mistreated — and who knows, maybe a few well placed tweets on the way out the door are merely the appetizers to a more stout statement on DC, everything is a teaser for another teaser nowadays, an ad for the big reveal. Maybe that’s how Roberson will play this, and maybe he won’t say anything more — focusing on his work and building a career away from DC. One thing is clear though, it takes guts to stand in against Goliath and it is something that is uncommon due to the long memory of powerful people. (more…)

Gary Friedrich is the creator of the modern-era Ghost Rider. You’d think with such a creation that he would get a fair cut from the Ghost Rider movies. You know, because the first movie was so good and made so much money.  Well, Marvel didn’t think so. Naturally, Friedrich took them to court back in 2007. Five years later it looks like the case has been resolved…and it’s not good for old Gary.

Friedrich claimed that he held the rights to the Ghost Rider character (which replaced Marvel’s original character of the same name, the “cowboy-style character” from Marvel’s comics in the ’50s and ’60s). He also said he owned the rights to any Ghost Rider merchandise, but according to The Wrap, a U.S. District Court judge in New York ruled that Friedrich has no rights to his character. But how could this be?

In short, while he did create the modern incarnation we know today, he did so knowing full well that Marvel comics would hold all the cards to it’s ownership. Judge Katherine B. Forrest said that Friedrich was working for Marvel in a “work-for-hire” capacity, and that Friedrich “conveyed by contract to Marvel all rights” to the Ghost Rider character, both when he originally created him and when he signed a new contract with Marvel in 1978. Forrest continues:

“Friedrich concedes that he had read the 1978 Agreement when he signed it, that he discussed it with other freelancers — in particular, the topic of relinquishing rights which they may have had in exchange for the possibility of additional work — and that he understood its import.”

I’m sorry but that is any business. Whenever you create a character or product for a company unless otherwise stated then that company owns the product and character.

Friedrich will file an appeal to the decision.

Via: Cinema Blend

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