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Random Comic Book Thoughts

Totenkindly

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Not sure why we never had one of these threads. Anyway, to start things out, this happened yesterday:


As of now, 15 September 2023, the comic book property called Fables, including all related Fables spin-offs and characters, is now in the public domain. What was once wholly owned by Bill Willingham is now owned by everyone, for all time. It’s done, and as most experts will tell you, once done it cannot be undone. Take-backs are neither contemplated nor possible.


“The Fables comic books and graphic novels published by DC, and the storylines, characters, and elements therein, are owned by DC and protected under the copyright laws of the United States and throughout the world in accordance with applicable law and are not in the public domain,” the statement reads. “DC reserves all rights and will take such action as DC deems necessary or appropriate to protect its intellectual property rights.”


I have no clue who legally is in their rights here. I guess Willingham's strategy was just to piss off DC by forcing them to go after anyone who buys into what Willingham was offering, having them waste money and funds and time litigating and getting bad press in the meanwhile from the fan base? That's kind of amusing, honestly. Because I'm not sure whether he really believes he was allowed to do this but is just forcing them to justify it.

I know there was a big hubbub recently with Fables, which I learned just this week had done another 12 issues or so after ending a few years back. The last issue or two was heavily delayed for some reason, and Bill seemed agitated. Now this happened on Friday. Not really sure of all the backstory.

I have known of Willingham for many decades, as he was in the TSR artist bullpen for D&D 1st edition or so -- along with other artists like Erol Otus and Jeff Dee. He was my favorite artist at the times, with spot art appearing both in the hardcover books and various modules, so I was bummed when he left that work behind. A few years later I ran across him doing comic books, like Elementals (Comico) -- which I liked esp if he did the art for an issue but was bugged because it also seemed to be a really angry book and misogynist at times. I also suspect our politics are different. ;)

I lost track of him after that until he started doing Fables a few decades later, and his writing and attitudes seemed to have really smoothed out. In fact, his female characters were more spectacular and amazing than his male characters -- and they all seemed to have both strengths and weaknesses. It's like he got his shit together and everything more in balance in his own mind, and while I was bummed when the series ended (and that Totenkinder got messed up by that tramp Cindy, ha ha), it was a nice stopping point. And it's one of the most favorite comic series I have ever read, and Buckingham (the main artist for quite a while) is a really sweet guy as well as talented.

So I'm kinda curious what's been going on with this. This definitely seems like a Bill move, I'm not really surprised, I'm just not really familiar with the legal contract for "creator owned properties" and how that all works in this particular situation. I am REALLY sure it isn't going to be simple.
 

Totenkindly

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I also recently got into two artist groups on Facebook: One for Alan Davis, one for John Byrne. Byrne is possibly more famous and earlier, although both worked on the X books at various times. Byrne was a big inspiration when I first got into comics and also when I was drawing comic book characters at the time (this was mainly the 80's for me). He eventually went to DC for awhile and revamped Superman and other main books, before going more independent comics. Man of Steel's "Krypton" look and feel seems pretty much ripped off of how Byrne visualized it during his reboot of Superman. In any case, he's the artist for the fabled Claremont/Byrne run of X-Men (creating Phoenix) and also Alpha Flight, the first major Canadian superhero team which appeared in that run of X-Men. (Byrne is also Canadian.)

Davis I think is a brit and was doing Captain Britain and similar before he came to Marvel and was doing X-Caliber in the 90's and then a lot of X books or one-shots. I loved his distinct style which I'd recognize anywhere. They are both in the heyday of the time I was actually invested in comics (probably early 80's through about the year 2000), along with Rick Leonardi, John Romita Jr, Paul Green, Walt Simonson, and Chris Bachalo.
 

Totenkindly

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Gee, from before they screwed up her character....

Not sure what the price point is on this (an 11" with multiple points of articulation and costuming), but I'm sure it will even be much higher when all the skeeves prepurchase it in bulk so they mark it up horrifically and resell on eBay. (For comparison, the 6" RWBY McFarlane characters originally sold for $35-40 but depending on the character will go for $150-300 on eBay nowadays.)

 
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Totenkindly

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386736737_10232019647982104_2962000512214124249_n.jpg


Bill Sienkiewicz strikes again -- he makes it look so easy.
 

Totenkindly

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So do folks remember this, and what other examples of ripping off celebrity faces exist in mainstream comics?


1699822019716.png



I remember at the time thinking, "Wow, that looks like Amy Grant," and found out later Marvel was sued by her over the image theft.

Here's another I recall noticing -- I have the hardback compilation with this cover on my shelf here. Do you think Marko Djurdjevic copied a famous face (from the MCU, even!!!) for his version of Emma Frost AKA White Queen or that it was just an accident? (Gotta tell you, that face is nothing like the actual White Queen as rendered by multiple artists over the years.)

1699821863888.png
 

LightSun

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Hello my favorite superhero is Superman. He is just too good to be true. My favorite Marvel character is Thor the god of thunder with his hammer Mylnor.

I once was on a thread that asked which superhero I liked least. I relied Deadpool.

Someone asked, “What was wrong with me?” I didn’t reply, comment nor explain the answer.

Look if you like or love Deadpool, I’m fine with it. I realized the person projected their own opinion.

I statistically know percentage wise that to engage would statistically would be fruitless.

I know it is off target. Once I replied, “I liked Godfather III.” I got someone reply, “Was I drunk?”

I perceived zero hostility nor extreme sarcasm toward myself. It was only an individual comment.

I just found in Godfather III an existential crises. I saw it only one time. I’m an intuitive. It did spark me initially with insight. Different strokes for different folks.

Look I saw the movie perhaps once. I don’t necessarily recommend this movie film. It’s not in any way a masterpiece.

What these two individuals did not realize is they were projecting their own inner private phenomenological subjective view.

I did not take it personally. I did not engage in what would amount to a useless engagement over a difference of opinion.

In psychology to reply to any contrarian, negative difference of private opinion, or even overt or a hostile defamatory insult is called negative reinforcement.

You unintentionally reinforce their inappropriate behavior. Now I don’t see this ever too occur realistically to change the other persons opinion by being either derogatory or insulting.

I scrolled on Facebook and to my astonishment I saw an argument about who would win a fight. Either Superman or Thor. I saw useless name calling and insults hurled at one another.

Rhetorically do you really believe that name calling and putting down the other will change much less alter their viewpoint? When I see such clearly irrational behavior I have a habit and block the person.


In read a classic and excellent read book written by Bruno Bettelheim. He worked with disturbed and troubled children and youths.

The staff was too ignore any inappropriate response of the children. Not unless they were a harm to themselves or others would the staff intervene.

Instead Dr. Bettelheim and his trained staff utilized the token system. Approximate behavior steps towards desired behavior was rewarded. This technique is used in the Behaviorism branch of psychology.

In this way the children were rewarded consistently in behavior approximation steps to more functional and appropriate behavior.”
 

Totenkindly

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At least this retcon makes sense (despite convolution involved in how comic book stories become tangled knots after many decades) -- it was essentially what Claremont wanted to do back in the 80's but Marvel felt it was too edgy. Mystique and Destiny were always a couple but had to settle for being known as "roommates" essentially in comic book terms.
1701398589724.png
 

Totenkindly

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I am really excited-- I found a copy of IGW's large size volume of Michael Golden's work that shows blue lines and other margin notes.

1000003846.jpg


A section of the book shows pages from Avengers Annual 10, where Rogue had recently stolen Carol Danver's powers but was still with Mystique.

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Here's the beginning of the two page spread of Claremont's course correction on the Danvers/Marcus subplot.

1000003847.jpg
 
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