Aaron here today with the Composition Competition Awards; Sophie Yanow in the Dakotas; Shaw/Nadel on U-tube; some pioneers of the comic strip; Kirby injustices revisited
With an extensive exhibition, SCHIRN presents the pioneers of the comic strip, who set the artistic and substantive standards of early comic strips in an experimental and progressive way. This also highlights the relationship of comic strips and colorful newspaper supplements with the developments in visual arts at the time. The SCHIRN presents the cultural history of the comic strip in an outstanding series of selected works, primarily by American illustrators: Winsor McCay, Lyonel Feininger, Charles Forbell, George Herriman, Cliff Sterrett and Frank King.
In the mid-1970s, Congress revised the laws around copyright, offering longer periods of ownership for copyright holders—if the proper paperwork could be provided. Marvel realized that many of its previous contracts were legally questionable, remnants of the comics industry’s fly-by-night origins with regards to creative work. In 1978, the company began handing out freelancer contracts that guaranteed the company “forever all rights of any kind and nature in and to the work.” As Michael Dean wrote in a 2002 issue of The Comics Journal, these “work for hire” contracts were partly a result of the superhero boom Kirby himself had a hand in creating. “It wasn’t just monthly comic books that were at stake any more,” Dean wrote. “It was the vast ancillary potential of licensing and merchandising the content of those comics.” The contracts legally formalized what had previously been loosely assumed to be corporate policy, but having it in writing gave many comics freelancers pause for thought. When Kirby got the contract, he refused to sign it and left Marvel for good.