Writer. Creator. Large mammal.

The Doctorow Doctrine and Other Techno-Tectonic Upheavals – Part 3

Creative Commons

Cory Doctorow opposes technology that limits what one can do with digital content and laws that criminalize people for alleged copyright infringements that he believes are harmless, or even beneficial. I think that’s an accurate assessment. If not, I hope Cory will correct me.

In any case, don’t take my word for it. Check out his position statements for yourself. They’re entertaining reads. The guy writes like the Silver Surfer surfs. Here are the links again:



The Doctorow Doctrine and Other Techno-Tectonic Upheavals – Part 2

First This

Yesterday, I took issue with Cory Doctorow’s “dandelion” theory. Cory says: “Dandelions and artists have a lot in common in the age of the Internet.” He believes that spreading your digital content for free across the Internet like zillions of dandelion seeds scattered by the winds helps sales of physical products. It seems to work for him. However, I said: “Now, about how Cory’s marketing advice applies to most creative people and the comic book business—it doesn’t. Or I don’t see how. Maybe he’ll set me straight….”

Maybe he already has.

Check out these passages from his book CONTENT – Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright and the Future of the Future:

“Technology giveth and technology taketh away.”

Shelly Moldoff

I just found out that Shelly Moldoff died on February 29th.Shelly was one of the great comic book artists of the Golden Age. He is did outstanding work on many features, most notably Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and of course, Batman.

Shelly co-created Poison Ivy, Mister Freeze, Clayface, Batgirl, Bat-Mite and Ace the Bat-Hound. Ace the Bat-Hound made his first appearance in Batman #92, 1955. In those simpler times, when I was a little boy who loved dogs and desperately wanted one, the advent of the Bat-Hound was a thrilling development.

The Doctorow Doctrine and Other Techno-Tectonic Upheavals

First This

I’m back. Sorry I’ve been absent so long. Pay-the-bills-work on tight deadlines, plus a protracted case of the flu interfered with my best laid plans.

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow describes himself as a science fiction writer and a technology activist. A science fiction writer, says he, “envisions the future” and a technology activist strives to “change the future.”

Not all science fiction is future-oriented, but most is, I’d say. Anyway….

Wikipedia says that Cory Doctorow’s parents were “Trotskyist teachers” and that he grew up in a Jewish activist household. Jewish activists, also referred to as the Jewish left, are supportive of left-wing, generally liberal causes and policies.

The Spirit of Vengeance

Gary Friedrich sued Marvel over rights to Ghost Rider. Gary lost. Marvel sued Gary for unauthorized exploitation of their trademarked Ghost Rider property. Gary lost. He is obliged to pay Marvel $17,000.

The web is a-Blaze with controversy about the above. Lots of people, including many notable comic book creators, have weighed in with their thoughts and theories.

Most of them have a flawed understanding of intellectual property law, work-made-for-hire and the circumstances of Gary’s services to Marvel way back in the 1970’s.There has been discussion, for instance, about whether or not the W4H acknowledgement on the backs of the checks Gary received for his services back then specified certain rights, or whether or not Gary crossed out certain parts, and what those things might mean.

SEVEN, Issue 1

JayJay here. I finally have all of the pages to the first issue together. To make it easier to read I’ve put the full size images on a web page so you can just scroll down. Click the cover below to go to the page:

SEVEN, the Kabbalah Kustom Komic

Sometime back in 2006, Denise V. Wohl called me.

I could tell you the exact date if I had the time to dig through my logs. Boxes and boxes of notebooks. From the end of VALIANT, around the end of June, 1992, until some point in 2007 I kept a log of every phone call made or received, every significant communication of other varieties and the noteworthy occurrences of every day. I could tell you exactly when the squirrel up on the telly pole took a bad step, got electrocuted and blacked out the neighborhood.

Those logs helped me out several times in court. Not the squirrel part.

And I also have all my old e-mails going back to 1997 when I first got a computer. Interesting story about that, first getting a computer. I’ll tell you sometime. But, those e-mails are on disks in boxes in a storage space, at least as difficult to find as the logs. Sigh. If I win the lottery, I swear I’m going to take a couple of months off, sort through everything and put it all in easy-to-find order.

Untold Tales

SEVEN – Tomorrow

I wrote what’s below and I can’t take any more time today….

First, Untold Tales

A few stories I promised to tell:

An Ad-venture and an “Expensive” Lesson

I lived in Pittsburgh in the early 1970’s, and sometimes I worked freelance for Pittsburgh-based Lando-Bishopric Advertising, usually on the U.S. Steel account. At various times, I served as a concept creator, copywriter, designer and illustrator. Yes, illustrator. I’m not as practiced, fast and facile as most good comic book artists, but give me lots of reference and all week to make one illo and I do okay.

Made to Order – Part 2

A Miracle

In terms of unit cost, this must be one of the most expensive comic books ever printed:

Broadway Comics was funded by Broadway Video Entertainment, which was a division (or subsidiary, I forget) of parent Broadway Video. Broadway Video is the co-producer of Saturday Night Live and also a world-class video production house. Each year they give a snazzy holiday gift to their most important video-editing clients. In 1995, BV management asked us at Broadway Comics to create a special, collector’s item comic book as part of a holiday gift package.

Made to Order

First This

JayJay wrote a short story that I really like. She tells me that she now has it available online for small change. She also told me she gave me credit as editor because I made a few nuts and bolts suggestions, like “try this sentence again in English,” and “spell ‘its,’ the possessive, right.” (JayJay here. Jim is too humble as usual. He pointed out such a major storytelling flaw in my first draft that I still can’t believe I made a mistake like that and didn’t see it.)

: )

Being associated with that story is good for my rep.

Here’s the cover:

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