Catching up with the Marvel court case, plus the latest on Ike Perlmutter, Scott Adams and Ben Garrison.
Marvel: In case you haven’t had time to digest the news that Marvel has sued several creators who had taken legal action to get the rights to their characters back, here’s the scoop from The Hollywood Reporter. If you have access, the New York Times talks to the lawyers on both sides.
Meanwhile, Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter has had a busy week. On Monday, the Military Times reports, the House Oversight Committee stated that Perlmutter and two others had “violated the law and sought to exert improper influence over government officials to further their own personal interests.” At the time, the three were “unofficial advisors” to Trump on Veterans Administration Affairs. Things went better for Perlmutter on Tuesday, when he succeeded in fending off a lawsuit by a neighbor, with whom he had quarreled over tennis courts, and who subsequently accused him of sending poison-pen letters to their neighbors and 1,000 prison inmates. If you like true-crime stories where all the crimes are petty misdemeanors, get comfy and settle in with THR’s coverage, which has plenty of links to the various tentacles of this story.
Bors will turn his attention to creating fiction comics and longer-form nonfiction comics.
After almost two decades, cartoonist and The Nib founder Matt Bors has announced he’s retiring from his weekly political comic. His comic on background checks that ran at the end of March will be his last regular political cartoon.
He plans to continue running The Nib, the award-winning webcomics site that features political and nonfiction comics on a daily basis by a variety of artists. He also said he plans to do more nonfiction comics, including comic interviews, for the site. And he’s preparing pitches for fiction comics as well.
“So I will be staying busy, as always,” he said in his announcement post. “Something had to give in my life to make room for other things and, frankly, it was an easy decision. I’ve drawn political cartoons every week since I was 19 and feel like I have said everything I can say, often a few times over. I know this may be disappointing to longtime readers, but my creative desires pull me in another direction, one where I hope to create more work on par with what I’ve done in this field. I also owe it to both The Nib’s readers and creators to keep the publication going as long as possible.”
Upholding cartoonists’ unbridled freedom of expression, Justice Swaminathan stated that the “art of the cartoonist is often not reasoned or even-handed, but slashing and one-sided.”
He went on to quote extensively from US Supreme Court Justice William Rhenquist’s celebrated judgement in Hustler Magazine Inc v Falwell (1988): “The political cartoon is a weapon of attack, of scorn, ridicule and satire; it is least effective when it tries to pat some politician on the back. It is usually welcome as a bee sting, and it is always controversial in some quarters.”
The judge and several other commentators made numerous references to American cartoons, including the New Yorker cover depicting Donald Trump naked.
Also: Dave Gibbons talks about writing, Dyer and Dorkin discuss ‘Calla Cthulhu,’ and ‘Criminy’ finds a publisher.
Cold Case Files: Thirty years after the murder of Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, London police have appealed to the public for any information they may have on the case. Ali was shot in the back of the neck on July 22, 1989, near the London office of the Kuwaiti publication Al-Qabas, and he died on August 29 of the same year. Police released descriptions of the two suspects and a sketch of what the shooter might look like today.