Sunday, April 1, 2012

SERIOUSLY...

Flippity and Flop appeared in a mere four Screen Gems cartoons
(1945 to 1947), but the canary-and-cat adversaries were licensed by
DC Comics and continued to appear in comic books until 1962 or so.
This second issue [February-March 1952] was published in the month
of my birth, December 1951.

Edited by Larry Nadle, the issue featured three short Flippity and
Flop stories by writer Hubie Karp and artist Jim Davis.  The cover
was also drawn by Davis, who is not the same Jim Davis who created
Garfield.  In addition to those three tales, the issue featured a
short comics story starring mice Twiddle and Twaddle (also by Karp
and Davis), activity features by Martin Naydel, and a text story.

Flippity and Flop enjoyed a brief moment of modern-day recognition
when Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum used a clip of
them in a television ad attacking rival Mitt Romney for changing so
many of his positions to appear more conservative.  When the owners
of the property filed a cease-and-desist order, the ad was removed
from the airwaves.

Keep reading this bloggy thing for more vintage comic books from my
birth month.  Back then, you could have bought all 153 of them for
less than your weekly comics bill.

******************************

This being April Fool’s Day, I wrote a bogus press release in which
I announced the huge-bucks sale of my first movie script.  However,
a funny thing happened as I was writing that dollop of frivolity.
I realized that I actually wanted to write that script.  Maybe not
as a movie script, though that’s a possibility, but as something.
Graphic novel? Prose novel? Webcomic?  I don’t know at this point.
When I do, I’ll write it.  When it’s written, I’ll tell you about
it. Genius or madness? You’ll decide.

******************************

DC Comics vs. Jerry Siegel’s family

DC and Time-Warner are trying to depict their soulless corporation
as the “good guys” in their continued legal attacks on the Siegel
family.  This is such an absurdity that, were I to look up the word
“absurdity” in the dictionary, I would not be surprised to see it
illustrated by that hideous new DC logo.

You can find numerous articles and columns on those proceedings on
the Internet.  I’ll not attempt to summarize the nuts and bolts of
them here.  Instead, I’ll merely share with you what I believe.
My belief is based on information given me by several trusted
sources, some of them within DC.

I believe Paul Levitz brokered a deal between the Siegel family and
DC Comics that the family was willing to accept.  There was a great
deal of money involved in this deal, but it was a fair agreement,
one all parties could live with.

I believe Time-Warner refused to sign off on that deal.  I do not
know if they simply nixed it or if, when they drew up the contract,
it was not what the Siegels had agreed to.  I was told two versions
of this, but the end result was identical: no deal.

Sometime after the above, the Siegel family hired new and clearly
more aggressive legal representation.  Their new attorney has won
most of the battles with DC.  Guess who’s not pleased about that?

DC has tried to smear the Siegel lawyer in every venue available to
it.  Putting it mildly, I find DC’s tactics questionable.

Honestly, I myself don’t much care for the Siegel lawyer.  That’s
utterly immaterial.  If his clients are satisfied with him and with the
agreements they have made with him, that’s all that matters.  It’s
not my business and it’s not the business of comics fans.

Sidebar.  Let’s talk about the heartless comics fans for a moment.
The ones who support corporations over creators.  The one who would
rather see creators treated not just unfairly but abominably rather
than risk any disruption in their weekly stream of DC comic books.
The ones who believe every lie DC Comics tells them.  I wish these
fans were around when I was trying to sell that bridge.  Though it
may be undiplomatic of me to state this, I have naught but contempt
for those fans.  End of sidebar.

I believe DC’s strategy has been to outlive the Siegel family.  I
think this nonsense about a jury trial is an attempt to delay DC’s
inevitable loss in most areas of these proceedings and to delay
DC’s having to pay the Siegel family a lot of money.  Maybe
even more than the millions of dollars DC Comics and Time-Warner
have already spent in legal fees.  If the estimates given to me by various
sources are accurate, we’re talking over $30 million that DC and
Time-Warner have shelled out in legal fees of one sort or another.
Merely thinking about so much money leaves me breathless.

Since the original brokered deal was taken off the table by DC and
Time-Warner, DC and Time-Warner’s conduct has been nothing short of
obscene.  I hope and pray the judge hearing this latest desperate
motion sees through DC and Time-Warner’s tactics and dismisses it.

This matter has gone on long enough.  It’s well past time for the
heirs of Jerry Siegel to receive justice and the benefits that the
co-creator of Superman wanted for them.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

6 comments:

  1. Nobody loves comics more than I do and I do not buy DC or Marvel comics. I will not be attending any of their movies no matter how well they are crafted.

    That being said, my position will not change anything. The "Let's stick together" strategy is a proven failure. I wish the Kirby heirs, the Siegel heirs, Steve Ditko, and Gary Friedrich all the best in the world. Corporations are not people, so they apparently do not know right from wrong.

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  2. Whenever things get slow at the blog PostModernBarney, they paste a picture of Flop into an image for an image meant to invoke laughter:

    http://www.postmodernbarney.com/2012/03/flop-39/#comments

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  3. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul Levitz brokered a deal. He seems to be a stand-up guy (I met him at the Superman Week ceremony in 2001).

    He and Mrs. Siegel seemed to get along well at the post-ceremony luncheon.

    They should settle this!

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  4. Late Night FerengiApril 2, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    I agree with Tony. I remember an interview I read long ago with the creators of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To be brief, when they went to DC and Marvel with their Turtle concept they were offered less than 50% of all the profits on the first issue. That's why they published independantly. I remember the first issue was released and was being sold for $80 because the comic shop owners couldn't keep up with the demand of the "first issue".

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  5. Late Night FerengiApril 2, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    A while ago I was reading on the Sy Fy channel news board there was a documentary being made about the struggle of the Siegal family and the Superman lawsuits. Was it ever produced?

    ReplyDelete