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Showing posts from December 9, 2012

"Literature calculated to encourage depravity" - The Banning Of Detective Comics

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What do The Shadow and Batman have in common other than Bob Kane swiping aspects, inspiration and images from The Shadow for Batman?  The answer is that neither Batman nor The Shadow were available in Australia from 1938 onwards, thanks to the Customs and Excise office, which placed an outright ban on The Shadow and Detective Comicsdue to them being labelled as “Literature calculated to encourage depravity”.  If that sounds very much like how Max Gaines described Mad – “Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad” – it’s worth bearing in mind that the Australian customs came up with their title a good decade and a change before Gaines used his.  This also means that Detective Comics might very well hold the dubious distinction of being the first American comic book banned in Australia as sweeping changes came into effect.
While it’s commonly known that American Golden Age comics were non-existent in Australia during the 1940s and ‘50s, first due to import restrictions placed upon newsprint durin…

"...invalid and unenforceable..." - Marc Toberoff Loses Superman To DC

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The most recent judgement in the DC Comics vs Marc Toberoff case is a doozy and an outright win for DC Comics.  Not only has the judge ruled that, "...the copyright termination notice served by the Estate of Joseph Shuster on November 10, 2003, is deemed invalid and ineffective," but Marc Toberoffs, "...rights-encumbering agreements—including the 2001 Pacific Pictures agreement, 2003 Pacific Pictures agreement, and 2008 consent agreement—are deemed invalid and unenforceable."  This means he no longer has a claim on Superman - DC Comics have all but won the case, with a few more outstanding issues yet to be resolved.

There'll be some who will celebrate this, and those who will decry it, but worry not, as expected an appeal has been filed, meaning that the case is far from finished and will soon drag on into it's ninth year - or fifteenth, if you started counting from when the Siegels first filed in 1999.  How this will affect the forthcoming Superman movie, p…

"Super-Movie Super-Cost Superman!" - Parade Magazine, June 1978

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