Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Marc & Kim speak about comics

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all enjoyed the season!

Husband Marc is on his way down to the AALS (Association of American Law Schools) conference in San Diego this week, to speak to the art law section on a panel concerning comics and the law. Marc is talking about some of his recent research on CBLDF (the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund). CBLDF is a non-profit that represents comics authors, artists, store owners and small publishers in a variety of cases related to censorship or unfair business practices.

Marc's talk will include the Georgia vs Lee case in which Lee, a comics shop owner in Georgia, was threatened with 21 years in prison for unknowingly giving a 9-year-old a comics complilation on free comics day that happened to include a couple pages from Nick Bozzeti 's graphic novel "The Salon," (a must see for arty types) a murder mystery set in 1907 Paris, which featured a few frames of Pablo Picasso painting (and answering the door) in the nude. After many convoluted twists and turns, the case was finally dismissed 10 years and $100,000. in legal fees later.

Marc will also talk about the Mavrides vs California Board of Equalization case. At one point, the California Board of Equalization decided that when comic artists finish their assigned pages and send them in to the publisher, the individual pages should be treated as works of art being sold, and should be taxed accordingly. Mavrides, a comic artist (a contributor to the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers) became the test case on this. CBLDF defended him, and the court agreed that submitting comics pages to the publisher was more like submiting a finished manuscript, and the state lost.

WonderCon San Francisco logoMarc also has a 90 minute slot speaking at WonderCon in San Francisco (end of February) on CBLDF, the Superman copyright case and other cases related to pop art/comic artist's copyrights. I will also be returning early from CAA to speak on a WonderCon panel about comic art in museums (this was the focus of my master's thesis). Peter Coogan of the Institute for Comic Studies tells me that the panel will include one other scholar writing in this area, and two artists whose work have been included in museum exhibitions. I'll post more specifics as they become available.

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