Comics Lowdown | Waid/Meyer lawsuit settled

Plus: Court rules Dr. Seuss/Star Trek mash-up book not protected by fair use, ‘Batman’ #1 auction and more!

Legal: Comics creator Richard Meyer has dropped his lawsuit against Mark Waid, according to Waid’s legal defense GoFundMe page. The suit began in 2018 after Meyer announced that Antarctic Press would publish his comic Jawbreaker. The publisher reversed that decision after a phone call from Waid, however, and Meyer successfully crowdfunded the comic instead. He also sued Waid for “tortious interference with contract and defamation.”

On Dec. 22, Meyer and Waid issued a joint statement, saying:

Since the filing of the lawsuit, ‘Jawbreakers’ has been successfully published and COVID-19 has significantly impacted the world around us. Upon consideration of all the circumstances, the parties have jointly decided that it is in the best interests of all concerned, and the comic book community at large, for this litigation to end and Mr. Meyer has decided to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit. Neither party has admitted any liability or responsibility, can claim to have achieved any victory and both have agreed to assume their own fees and costs.

With the dismissal of the lawsuit, the parties have executed a confidential agreement and have no interest in continuing this dispute in the public arena or anywhere else.

Legal: A three-judge panel from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower-court decision and ruled that the Dr. Seuss/Star Trek mashup Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! was not protected by fair use. The decision allows the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to continue.

David Gerrold, who wrote for the original Star Trek series, wrote the book, Ty Tempelton was the artist, and Glenn Hauman of ComicMix was the editor. The book was slated to be funded on Kickstarter and $30,000 had been raised when Dr. Seuss Enterprises issued a cease-and-desist letter to ComicMix and sent a DMCA takedown notice to Kickstarter. The book has not been published, and Hauman is raising funds to pay the legal bills on GoFundMe, with an appeal written entirely in anapestic tetrameter.

Auctions: Heritage Auctions has an auction scheduled for Jan. 14-17 that will include a copy of Batman #1 with a CGC grade of 9.4, the highest known, and a copy of Captain America Comics #1 with a CGC grade of 8.5.

Interview: Filmmaker Eric D. Powell talks about his graphic novel The Revolution of Cassandra, which was inspired by a woman he met while making a documentary in Peru, but also draws on many other people and experiences. The first three volumes can be read for free online at the Revolution of Cassandra website, and a print edition is in the works.

Publishing: Seven Seas is teaming up with the webcomics site Hiveworks and will publish their comics as trade paperbacks.

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