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Shia LaBeouf May Face Legal Action for Plagiarism

Shia LaBeoufShia LaBeouf may face legal action for plagiarism over a short film he made.

The Transformers actor could be taken to court after being accused of the "blatant" borrowing of another artist's story for his project Howard Cantour.com without giving proper credit. Shia's project, which debuted online on Monday follows the story of a troubled internet film critic, and is extremely similar to a 2007 graphic novella by artist Daniel Clowes called Justin M. Damiano.

According to the New York Daily News newspaper, Clowes declined to comment, but his publisher Fantagraphics' Eric Reynolds claims the artist "is exploring his legal options." "LeBeouf changed the name of the main character, but he used the comic as a direct script and storyboard. Clowes has a real melodramatic voice that is very idiosyncratic and LaBeouf just used the dialogue word for word. There is no ambiguity. There is no way that anybody wrote this but Dan Clowes. It just defies any kind of logic or good sense. This was so blatant and inexcusable that it was as baffling as it was appalling," Eric told the publication.

Shia has since apologized for copying ideas from Clowes in a heartfelt statement posted online, admitting how "embarrassed" he feels about the situation. Howard Cantour.com has since been taken off the internet.


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Bruno Mars Sues His Publisher

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Artist News, Gossip, Hip-Hop & Rap, Pop,

Bruno Mars"Just the Way You Are" crooner Bruno Mars is suing his publisher. The singer - whose real name is Peter Hernandez - has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to free him from a contract with Bug Music, which he claims ended on May 12, 2011 when the company didn't exercise its option to continue it.

The 25-year-old singer's lawyer, Michael J. Niborski, told the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday that Bug originally acknowledged they would have to extend the contract in order for a deal to continue between the two. He added that when Bruno expressed his wish to leave the publisher, they "shifted gears, and suddenly argued that Mars had not, in fact, met the minimum release requirements."

The documents also claim Bruno had to submit all his music by February, giving Bug time to decide whether to continue their agreement with the "Nothin' On You" writer before the deal then expired in May. The organization counter claims Bruno is still under their contract and they own 50 per cent of the copyright to any music he makes.


Apple forcing publishers to allow iTunes subscriptions

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Apple, Corporate News,

the daily

Before The Daily appeared on the iPad last week, none of the magazines or newspapers could offer subscriptions from their own apps. Apple had a long dispute with publishers that prevented the feature to be added. On the one hand, publishers wanted to keep a direct line between themselves and their customers, to get the full amount from each subscription, and to get user details such as their gender, sex and location in many cases. Apple however wanted in-app subscriptions to go through their systems. Now, it seems Apple has decided that both should be offered. Apps will be able to offer subscriptions, but the publishers will be forced to offer those subscriptions through iTunes as well. Of course, it's likely that most users will go the iTunes route, and that has the publishers complaining. On the good side however, it means iPhone and iPad users will finally be able to get in-app subscriptions to whichever newspaper or magazine they read.


Russ Cochran’s Inventory Clearance Sale!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Independent,

Tales From The Crypt2011 is still going to be a rough year for publishers, and longtime beloved publisher Russ Cochran is one of those having a troubled time.

I first learned about Russ's problems at Comics Beat. Now Alan David Doane at Trouble With Comics is reporting that Russ is holding a benefit sale to benefit himself… and he could use it.

To keep his books from falling into the wrong hands ("I would rather sell them to you, my faithful customers, at a lower price than to wholesale them to dealers and booksellers"), Russ is cutting deals by slashing prices to move out his inventory.

Some of the price cuts are outrageous. There's a list and a link at the Trouble With Comics post.

Russ has done some brilliant work over the years, creating beautiful hardcover volumes that preserve the work of classic EC Comics and MAD Magazine. I have a complete set of the MAD reprints in a nice slipcase and they are sweet, and yes, I take them out and read them pretty much every year.

If you've ever wanted to pick up some of these books, but have put it off for whatever reason, now's the time.

[Artwork: Tales From The Crypt, snagged from The Daily Crosshatch which also has a nice review of the book]


Items Du Jour: Kim Kardashian on Glamour, Lady Gaga Tops Magazine Sales

Kim Kardashian on Glamour-- Lady Gaga scored the highest number of monthly and bi-weekly magazines sold. Not surprisingly, the Rolling Stones cover with a nice view of her rear end sold 245,000 copies -- three times the magazine's 2010 average. Taylor Swift and Blake Lively were the worst-selling celebrities.

-- Elle magazine's parent company Lagardere is in talks with Hearst (Harper's Bazaar publisher) to sell all 40-plus foreign editions of the fashion glossy (sans the original French version) as soon as the end of the month. Lagardere claims it will keep full editorial control, despite whatever happens in the sale.

-- Kim Kardashian covers Glamour in pajamas, which she makes look incredibly sexy, despite what she says in her interview: "I don’t find myself as sexy as everyone thinks. I’m a lot more insecure than people would assume, but with little stupid things." This must explain why she constantly poses nude or in skin-tight outfits.

-- Androgynous model Andrej Pejic stars in the latest Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign, alongside Ginta Lapina. One can actually detect that he's most likely a guy in the photo.

Click to continue reading Items Du Jour: Kim Kardashian on Glamour, Lady Gaga Tops Magazine Sales


Wildstorm: Gen 13 #1 @ 299,000 Copies (1995)

Gen 13 #1Wildstorm – the once-formidable imprint of DC Comics - is officially shutting down this month and that makes me sad.

I have friends who work there (many of whom I'm happy to say are staying on to work for the corporate parent), but I was also present at its fairly official formation.

I was sitting in Marc Silvestri's beachfront apartment in Malibu, attending a meeting of the Image founders while they were putting together what would become Image Comics. I was there as a representative of Malibu Comics along with Malibu Publisher Dave Olbrich and Editor-In-Chief Chris Ulm.

Image was represented by Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Jim Lee, and Whilce Portacio. Hank Kanalz was also there. He was Rob's co-writer on the soon-to-be published Youngblood #1, and years later eventually became the head of Wildstorm. (I have a photo of Hank videotaping the meeting so there's archival footage lurking somewhere.)

Dave and Rob had known each other for years, and if you corner Dave at a convention, he can tell you the story of how Malibu nearly published a version of Youngblood #1 years before the formation of Image, and before Rob started working for Marvel.

Image had scheduled several meetings at the beach that day and Malibu Comics was the first one. The publisher of Wizard, Gareb Shamus, would later drop by, as would Harold Anderson from Anderson News, the newsstand distributor.

Click to continue reading Wildstorm: Gen 13 #1 @ 299,000 Copies (1995)


LinkedIn now offers sharing widgets to publishers

LinkedIn Share Button publishers

When people speak of social networks, a lot of the conversation these days is focused on Facebook and Twitter, but in the business world, LinkedIn is where the action is. Today, the business social networking site has started offering a "Share" button to web publishers, very similar to the one already available from Facebook. The new button allows readers to share content from sites they visit with their LinkedIn connections. Several button sizes and options are available for publishers to choose from. Competition in the sharing area is of course very high, with many sites already offering Facebook, Digg, and Twitter buttons. It's unclear if many sites will jump in and add LinkedIn sharing links, or if those will remain confined to the business world.

Read More | LinkedIn

The Return of Atlas Comics

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Conventions, Editorials, Independent,

Planet of Vampires 2Some years ago, in the pre-Ultraverse of Malibu Comics the company had a chance to acquire the old Atlas/Seaboard comic book characters from two guys who claimed to have the rights.

It was very tempting at the time to pursue it – Atlas had a bunch of great characters created by folks like Howard Chaykin, Steve Ditko, Pat Broderick, Gary Friedrich, Mike Ploog, Larry Hama, Michael Fleisher, Ernie Colon, Neal Adams, Alex Toth, John Severin, Russ Heath, Wally Wood, and Mike Sekowsky and many others.

At the time, it would’ve been quite a boost to the company to acquire the characters: they had a certain brand recognition, a lot of sentimental fanboy attachment, and had only been out of the marketplace for less than 15 years or so at the time.

Once acquired, the plan would’ve been to try to round up the original creators – as many as possible - and launch a new Atlas universe that would be separate from the company’s other titles.

Click to continue reading The Return of Atlas Comics


Weekend Reading: Alan Moore, Tamara Drewe and Darwyn Cooke

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Movies, Reviews,

Gemma ArtertonSo did you read that great interview Adi Tantimedh had with Alan Moore over yet at Bleeding Cool? I was going to write about it precisely because I disagreed with almost every comment on the site and then I discovered that a much better writer, Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter, did a much better job of encapsulating my feelings. So my work here is done.

Remember all those comic book movies that people outside of comics don’t really know are based on comics because they don’t have capes and boots, like The Losers, Scott Pilgrim, Road To Perdition, etc. There’s a new one coming up next month called Tamara Drewe, based on the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.

The trailer looks awesome and I get a Reuben, Reuben vibe from watching it. (Yes, that’s the world’s oldest reference point, but go look it up.) Tamara Drewe looks like a lot of fun and I hope it moves a few thousand copies of the graphic novel, which is also well worth reading. Here’s a nice article on the movie from the BBC.

Now let’s see what else is out there.

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Alan Moore, Tamara Drewe and Darwyn Cooke


Comic Book Jobs: Who’s Hiring? Disney

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

Donald DuckThe vast Empire makes more than just movies and TV shows. They also have a huge presence in book publishing.

Their publishing arm in White Plains, NY, just a train ride away from Manhattan, is looking for a full-time publicist. And how is this comic book related in any way?

A couple of worthwhile reasons. One, “Disney Publishing Worldwide develops original, award-winning content (both Disney and non-Disney branded), including Disney books, magazines and comic books.” And, two, as publicist you’ll help with “publicity strategies and plans, along with execution of media relations plans and author tours and appearances.”

Click to continue reading Comic Book Jobs: Who’s Hiring? Disney


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