Monday, July 12, 2010

A Comics Clash in the East; New York Times, 7/11/10

Michael Cieply, New York Times; A Comics Clash in the East:

"It appears that New York, not Los Angeles, will be the battleground for a supersize legal contest between the Marvel Entertainment unit of the Walt Disney Company and heirs of the comic book genius Jack Kirby.

When last seen in these pages, the Kirby heirs and Marvel had squared off in the federal courts of both New York and Los Angeles. Marvel first filed suit in the Southern District of New York, asking the court to confirm Disney’s ownership of comic book characters like the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men, despite Mr. Kirby’s work on them. The Kirbys fired back in the Central District of California, asserting, among other things, the right to reclaim copyrights to many of those characters.

On Tuesday, however, the Kirbys filed notice of dismissal of their complaint, closing the California case. Marc Toberoff, a lawyer who represents the family, did not immediately respond to a query about the dismissal.

But the legal battle continues to rage in New York, where the Kirbys in April filed a 29-page response to Marvel, and a counterclaim that insists on their right to terminate the copyrights, on the return of some Kirby artwork said to be in Marvel’s possession and on damages yet to be determined.

Marvel and the Kirbys have since been slugging at each other with dueling declarations and motions in the New York court, portending a long, dark struggle for control of a comic book universe on which much of Hollywood has come to depend."

No comments: