Plus: assistant principal fired for Pepe the Frog book, new Madefire/DC Comics digital deal, and the hunt for H. G. Peter photos
When Graham Jules (pictured above) wrote his book, Business Zero to Superhero, he had no idea he would end up in a battle against the two largest comic publishers in the world. When his book was about to be published in 2014, he received a letter from Marvel and DC Comics claiming the word infringed on their jointly owned trademark since 1979. Jules, who also studies law, decided to represent himself in the case. A two-and-a-half year legal case ensued and this week, the two comic giants decided to drop the case for “commercial reasons.” The entrepreneur estimates that he spent a total of £200 and 200 hours in writing letters.
“This is an amazing result. It shows that even the little guy can achieve something with determination.”
It will not be surprising if his next book is about being a superhero of trademark cases.
Plus: Big Hero 6, DC saves the day, Graphix winners, Best comic shops in the US, Todd Klein’s SDCC, and Spider-Man mows a lawn!
Fly the confusing skies: While at the San Diego airport on Sunday morning, Twitter user @AdiChappo sent out a warning to other Comic-Con attendees about a comic book ban on flights. Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggested passengers needed to remove books from luggage for inspection, so this idea wasn’t out of the ordinary. Despite the fact that the pilot project was trashed due to civil liberty concerns, this was the message that greeted travelers:
Todd Klein walks us through Comic-Con. Plus: Robert Sikoryak parodies Trump, San Diego Police, beer for the thirsty con-goer.
And the winner is…: The Eisners are tonight! Our own Brigid Alverson will be live tweeting the awards show and the results on our Twitter feed @smash_pages. The Eisners are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Pacific.
The Walking Dead will die: Creator Robert Kirkman has confirmed that the Walking Dead will have an ending. At the Walking Dead panel in San Diego, Kirkman told fans, “I think about two or three years ago, I had a pretty good idea for a definitive ending. I have known that since then and been working towards that, so I know exactly where I’m going and what’s going to happen when I get there.” He expects the series will wrap up in the next 2-3 years.
Comic-Con International’s annual publication will pay tribute to Jack Kirby, in honor of his 100th birthday.
Every year Comic-Con International in San Diego pays tribute to various anniversaries in their annual Souvenir Book, which features artists contributing pieces related to whatever comic or pop culture phenomenon is celebrating a milestone. With the upcoming 100th birthday of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby, this year’s edition will feature a cover by Bruce Timm of Batman: The Animated Series fame (which is also celebrating an anniversary) that honors the King in two ways.
Timm and award-winning letterer Todd Klein pay homage to Kirby’s cover to Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen #141:
Klein remembers his “creative inspiration as a letterer” and friend, who passed away Aug. 4.
“When I started working at DC in 1977 I was blown away seeing and working with Gaspar’s lettering in person, such as the examples above. I learned a lot from the work of other letterers, but Gaspar was the one who constantly impressed me. At that time, Gaspar would come into the DC offices once a week to turn in work and pick up new assignments. He was doing lots of cover lettering and quite a bit of story page lettering regularly, and logo designs from time to time. Gaspar was always smiling and friendly, with a hearty laugh. Traces of Brooklyn remained in his voice, and he talked and joked with everyone. He was friendly and polite, a gentleman. I got to know him, and liked the person as much as the work. When he would sit down to do corrections or last minute cover lettering in the production room, I would sneak glances to see how he was doing what he did. I never actually asked him to show me how to do anything, but I absorbed what I could from those brief looks and the work itself. Gaspar was testy at times about the fact that so many letterers tried to copy his work, but he needn’t have worried. We could never copy his innate brilliance and talent.”
—Letterer Todd Klein on Gaspar Saladino, his “creative inspiration as a letterer” and friend, who passed away on Aug. 4 at the age of 88. Klein shares a thorough obituary and tribute to his friend on his site that covers a lot of comic history as well.
Klein worked with legendary paperback and movie poster artist Robert McGinnis to create a new cover for Neil Gaiman’s book, the first of many from the Gaiman library.
With the American Gods TV show getting a lot of attention right now, demand for Neil Gaiman’s original novel about old gods facing new gods has skyrocketed. Luckily, Gaiman and his publisher were already discussing a new paperback printing of the book — one featuring a cover by Robert McGinnis.
The award-winning letterer celebrates his birthday by discussing how he got his first job at DC Comics.
In grade school, a vocational test decided I should become a forest ranger. I thought that sounded okay, I loved the outdoors. In grade school I did well in math and science, but less well in high school with more competition. I didn’t head in the Art direction until senior year when I finally realized art class was my favorite, and had been all four years. I went to art school for two years, then ran out of money and had to get a mundane job to support myself. I worked at several paperwork jobs, and at one was able to use some of my art training to design air conditioner user manuals.
–Letterer Todd Klein, who turned 65 last week, explains on his blog how he broke into comics when DC Comics offered him a two-week stint filling in for a vacationing production artist. He says Vince Colletta “must have seen something in those air conditioner manual paste-ups.” Also, happy belated birthday to Todd Klein!
In 1977 Todd Klein was hired by DC Comics, and hit the ground running designing logos immediately. To this day he is designing logos like a madman.
As Klein recently noted: “Logos continue to evolve, but the challenge remains the same: capture a potential buyer’s attention with a logo that is readable, bold, attractive and exciting. I hope to continue to find ways to make that work.”
Klein more recently found another way to entertain through Logos of the Day. Klein gave me permission to feature a few.
Any Three Prints for $35 (United States) or $42 (Elsewhere)
To take advantage of this sale, EMAIL your request to me at the website link and I will reply with Paypal payment information. Only Paypal orders accepted. All orders in multiples of three, lower shipping costs for orders of six, nine or more. NJ residents must pay NJ Sales Tax. EMAIL LINK
If you’d rather order and pay by mail, using a check or money order, click HERE for an order form to do that. NOTE: if you plan to mail order, email me and let me know, I’ll hold items for you.
Shipping amount varies based on the total cost of items you order. Here is a chart for U.S. shipments:
Up to $20 = shipping $3, up to $100 = $5, over $100 = $8.
New recent large increases in international shipping rates by the US Postal Service have forced me to raise my shipping rate for all packages to other countries to a flat $12 per package.
New Jersey residents must pay 7% sales tax on items and shipping.
Prints and vellum overlays will be placed in a protective plastic sleeve, rolled and sent in a sturdy mailing tube. CDs will be sandwiched between two layers of corrugated cardboard, wrapped in bubble wrap and mailed in a Tyvek envelope. Bookmarks ordered without other items will be sent in a letter-size envelope with cardboard stiffener.
The first 500 copy printing of this 11 by 17 inch signed print in collaboration with artist Shawn McManus is now available. GO FREELANCE! is a board game that outlines the lives of two budding comics artists. It’s written, designed and lettered by me with over fifty wonderful spot illustrations by Shawn in a 1950s-advertising art style that’s sure to bring a smile. Here you’ll meet Artie and Scribbler as they make their way from childhood to retirement through the challenges, pitfalls, rewards and catastrophes of a creative livelihood…their original creations, terrific T-Man and the mysterious Master of None…plus other characters like the Old Pro, and a special guest appearance by a certain Top Writer! (hint: initials NG) The print is on ivory-colored Wausau cardstock paper, printed in black, and highlighted with green watercolor, each hand-painted by me. Shawn and I have individually signed each print.