Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

Left: panel from “Check, Please!” Right: panel from “Spellbound”

Publishing: BOOM! Studios has cancelled a planned collection of Husband and Husband after allegations that creators Jonathan and Aaron Ferrara plagiarized the webcomic Check, Please! when creating a different comic, Spellbound, that they were kickstarting. The crowdfunding campaign has now been cancelled.

Ngozi Ukazu, creator of Check, Please!, commented on Twitter: “It has come to my attention that @HusbandsTweet is tracing Check, Please! They have a funded @kickstarter (now at $14,000), and basically do not care about the optics of white men profiting off of the ideas and work of black women.”

The Ferraras soon responded: “Words cannot express how sorry and full of regret I am right now. I am such a huge fan of @ngoziu work in comics and I got too inspired and I see now what I did by drawing from that inspiration was wrong. The Kickstarter is cancelled and I am so sorry for this.”

Comic strips: The Chicago Sun-Times has announced they will reduce the number of pages in their weekly editions dedicated to comics from three to one. The Sunday edition will remain as is.

Digital: Image Comics has stopped selling digital comics directly on their website, they announced in an email to previous customers of the service. Digital copies of their titles will still be available through other vendors, such as comiXology. Image launched their own DRM-free digital comics program back in 2013.

Creators, Interviews and Profiles

“They Called Us Enemy” creative team

Creators: George Takei, Star Trek alumni and the writer of the upcoming They Called Us Enemy, gave the keynote speech at the School Library Journal Summit. The book recounts of Takei’s years in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

“Next year, we will put it in your hands, you librarians, to build the future of America, to inform the young people who will become the leaders of our future that we have a glorious history but we should also be mindful of some of the horrible mistakes that we made,” he said. “As Americans, we all have a responsibility to build a better America.”

Interviews: Chip Zdarsky talks about the appeal of Spider-Man, how he got his start in comics and more.

Interviews: Newsweek talks to Chris Hastings and Branson Reese about their Kickstarter for their new graphic novel, Draculagate.

Creators: Flaming Carrot creator Bob Burden is selling a copy of the obscure Cancelled Comics Cavalcade comic that DC Comics used to publish back in the 1970s.

Awards: SuperMutant Magic Academy creator Jillian Tamaki has received the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for her children’s book They Say Blue.

Awards: Edith Pritchett’s An Artistic Odyssey has received the Observer/Cape graphic short story prize.

Awards: Somnambulance creator Fiona Smyth is one of the recipients of this year’s Acker Awards for contributions to the Toronto arts scene.

The Biz

People: Valiant has promoted Julia Walchuk to the position of Sales and Live Events Manager.

Sales charts: John Jackson Miller looks at Diamond’s reorder numbers for October, November and December.

Process: It’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, and Jim Zub offers advice on how comic writers can participate.

Process: Speaking of NaNoWriMo, several authors, including comic creators like Chuck Wendig, Gene Luen Yang and Neil Gaiman, offer “pep talks” to participants at Tor.com.

Retailers: Hoodline counts down “America’s 50 favorite comic book shops,” based on Yelp data.

Commentary, Reviews and Criticism

Best of the year: It’s that time again; Publisher’s Weekly has released their best books of the year list, highlighting their five choices for graphic novels. Their list includes Bad Friends by Ancco, Chlorine Gardens by Keiler Roberts and Young Frances by Hartley Lin, among others.

Best of the year: Goodreads has posted the nominees for their 2018 Choice Awards, which you can vote on. Ms. Marvel, Black Bolt, Fence and Sabrina, among others, make the cut.

Reviews: Writing for the AV Club, Oliver Sava has an extensive, thoughtful review of the first two issues of Man-Eater, by the former Mockingbird creative team.

Reviews: Esquire’s Sarah Rense looks inside The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem, a cocktail book/graphic novel.

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