Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stuff and whatnot

A more and more prominent issue in the study of folklore is creator's rights and copyright. This is paralleled by its prominence in the world of comics. It's particularly relevant where Superman is concerned. The creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, sold the rights long ago. There has been a great deal of legal conflict over this, as Siegel himself felt cheated. His (and Shuster's heirs) have continued the fight. I don't feel the need to go into the history of this conflict here, nor am I qualified to comment on the technicalities of copyright.

That said, I side with creators.

There has been a new ruling that seems to favor Warner Brothers and DC Comics, who own the copyright at the moment. The only really interesting piece of news here (to me) is the fact that the heirs will gain all rights to the character in 2013. If I were them, I'd have a giant clock counting down the seconds, like the Chinese used to have in Beijing, right by Tiananmen Square, to count down the time until Hong Kong was once more part of China. That thing was huge.

I found this article on Smallville. I don't have much to say about the writer's opinions, other than I'm not a fan of the show. He makes some interesting comments about "canon" and "straying too far", but the one thing I have to get down in writing is that Smallville's creators didn't come up with the notion that Superman and Luthor were friends as kids. That was Jerry Siegel. He wrote a story in 1960 called "How Luthor Met Superboy" where the true reason behind Luthor's hatred of Superman became known. Superboy made Luthor lose all his hair. I'm not even kidding about that. See this article. This phenomenon of thinking the first time YOU encounter something is the first time it happened is pretty common, I think. I've certainly fallen victim to it a number of times. On TV Tropes they call it "Older Than They Think." TV Tropes is one of my favorite websites. I could read that thing all day long.

In other international news...

The new Prime Minister of Bulgaria is referred to as Superman.

So is Michael Jackson.

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