Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney to Buy Marvel Comics for $4 Billion

I checked the calendar, and it's not April 1...
Disney to Buy Marvel Comics for $4 Billion
Published: August 31, 2009

The Walt Disney Company said Monday that it would buy the comic book giant Marvel Entertainment for about $4 billion.
With the acquisition, Disney will acquire more than 5,000 Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and the X-men.
I suppose we need to brace ourselves for "Spider-Mickey," "Minne Mutant," "Wolverduck," the "X-Muppets," and "Purple Pluto."

Read the entire story at the New York Times website.

Tip of the hat to Mike "ComicsDC" Rhode!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Assembled! 2: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Villains

Here's the press release for a new book on the Marvel Comics super-team The Avengers, edited by "Friend of the Blog" Van Allen Plexico. ASSEMBLED! 2
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Villains

The Jarvis Heads are back with another humorous and insightful look at Marvel Comics’ Avengers and their foes in ASSEMBLED! 2 – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Villains.

Sequel to the very successful ASSEMBLED! and an intensive examination of all things Avengers, this book focuses on the "Big Three"-- Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America-- plus the "Big Two" villains, Ultron and Kang! What makes each of them tick? How have their relationships toward one another evolved over the years, through events such as the Kree-Skrull War or Civil War? What might become of the Big Three in the future?

Additional chapters look at the recent IRON MAN movie plus YOUNG AVENGERS, AVENGERS FOREVER and more. And to top it all off, Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort supplies a fascinating and quite surprising introduction.

The Jarvis Heads combine insightful analysis with humor and sometimes surprising opinions for a total package that will both inform and entertain—and the profits go to the HERO Initiative charity for retired comics pros!

Written by the Jarvis Heads of, created and edited by Van Allen Plexico, and with an introduction by Marvel Comics Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.

Cover by Anthony Schiavino
Book design by Danny Wall
Asst. Editor Joe Crowe.

Diamond Previews order number:

A White Rocket Book. For more information, visit

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Now We Are (Not) Six

I'd heard, and considered with no little trepidation, that a new version of "The Prisoner" would debut later this year on the AMC channel. The reason for my trepidation: I am a huge fan of the enigmatic original series, created by and starring Patrick ("Danger Man" / "Secret Agent") McGoohan. In the new version, Jim (Jesus) Caviezel stars as “Six” (no more “Number”), with “Two” played by Ian (Magneto) McKellan.

Sure, some parts might appear a little too kitschy or mod by today's standards, but the series -- concerning a secret agent (man?) who retires, only to wake up in an incomprehensible apparent utopia called "The Village" -- is a riveting thirteen-episode examination of intrigue, intensity, and nigh-intolerable suspense.

Questions abound: Why is everyone referred to only by number not name, and why is the main character referred to as "Number Six"? Which side (or what?) do the succession of "Number Twos" work for, as they attempt again and again to break Number Six's spirit in order to discover why he resigned? Will Six ultimately succumb, or will he endure and discover the identity of the never-seen "Number One"? How on earth did McGoohan get the rights to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" for the final episode?

We pause now for this message from The Times:

Now, back to our show:

The final two episodes, btw, are perhaps the most riveting 90mins of television I ever have seen. And that final episode is brilliant, both meeting and disappointing viewers' expectations.

But what does this have to do with comic? Not having gone to the San Diego Comic Con myself, I didn't hear about Marvel Comics' tie-in book until today. AMC has a copy of the eight-pager (no, not that kind) available as a PDF for download. As are most teasers of this sort, it's short on plot, but it sets that stage pretty well for what's to come. Yes, there seem to have been some changes, but from the little we see here, so far there's nothing to make me apoplectic. But time -- if not Two -- will tell.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be a Library Intern at Marvel Comics

If I lived near New York city, were enrolled in an MLIS program, and 20 years younger, I would jump at this opportunity...
Library & Inventory Intern
Marvel Entertainment, Inc

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is looking for MLIS students interested in an internship for school credit. Potential candidates must be local to or able to commute to New York City. Interested candidates should apply online:

Purpose of Position
The purpose of this position is to assist with the inventory, the re-organization, and the cataloging of items in Marvel's library. The Library & Inventory Intern will be responsible for completing inventory of books and mixed media against data in a database and manually cataloging books for which no data exists. Cataloged items will be re-organized in the library according to the standards agreed upon by the Publishing Department and the Archivist. This position requires great attention to detail, superior organizational skills, ability to work independently with little supervision and the ability to lift 30-40 pounds. This internship is within the Publishing Department and is unpaid, but qualifies for school credit.

1. Complete library inventory and catalog
  • Scan UPC codes and match to Oracle data to add quantity to inventory
  • Search titles/ISBN for books without UPC codes for a match and add quantity to inventory
  • Manually catalog books without pre-existing data
2. Reorganization of library
  • Weed any material that does not comply with retention standards
  • Shelve books according to established standards and record location
Candidates must have the following experience or qualifications:
  • Enrollment in a Library Science program
  • An interest in cataloging and special collections
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access
  • Must be able to work independently with little supervision
  • Must be organized, analytical, and reliable
  • Must be accurate and able to ensure data integrity

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Marvel & DC's Super-Hero "Claim"

As BoingBoing notes (also here, with earlier info here), Marvel Comics is again flexing its muscles and asserting that it co-owns (with DC Comics) a trademark on the term "super heroes" - this time in the publicity for its "Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition."

Marvel and DC have been claiming and attempting to enforce this "trademark" for many years. According to this link (one of several) from the US Patent and Trademark Office's "Trademark Application and Registration Retrieval system," Marvel & DC claim a "First Use in Commerce Date" of October 1966. Most knowledgeable folks aggree that this claim is bogus on many levels, but that hasn't stopped the USPTO from allowing the publishers to register the claim successfully and repeatedly over the past few decades. Digging around the archives via TESS reveals that all TM claims aren't automatically registered - some are denied. But from what I can tell, they've never denied Marvel & DC's claim.

Apparently, just because the USPTO allows you to register a trademark doesn't actually mean that they're endorsing your claim's validity - they're just aggreeing that, well, you've made the claim (tax dollars at "work," folks!). I suppose if someone with deep enough pockets and stamina to spare were to take Marvel & DC to court over this, the claim's bogus nature would be revealed and overcome. But until then, these two "super-gorillas" continue to throw their imagined weight around.

Thanks to several folks at the Comics Scholars Discussion List for helping me figure out what I think is going on in this situation. Caveat lector: I ain't no lawyer!

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