Walt Disney

Banksy vs. Los Angeles

Charlie Burn (click for Banksy's LA gallery)

There’s some cool art popping up around LA, but you better enjoy it before it’s gone.

Mysterious graffiti artist Banksy has been hitting Hollywood and the surrounding areas over the last week or so. Charlie Brown as an arsonist (right) and an intoxicated Mickey & Minnie Mouse getting gropey on a huge billboard are just a few of the subversive pieces of work he’s been contributing to Los Angeles. Charles Schulz and Walt Disney probably wouldn’t approve of Banksy’s take but I think they’re great.

It’s not his first time playing with iconic hand drawn characters. The Simpsons hired Banksy to do the opening credits for last October’s episode, “MoneyBART”. It’s probably the darkest comedy the show has ever done. According to executive producer Al Jean’s interview with the New York Times, he claims they never met Banksy. They were just delivered storyboards through an agent.

The British artist is notoriously secretive about his true identity and has requested being able to attend this weekend’s Academy Awards show with a monkey mask. His short film Exit Through the Gift Shop was nominated for Best Documentary Feature and is considered the front runner in the category. Unfortunately his request was denied because the Academy is worried about “copycat gatecrashers”, according to /Film. To add insult to injury, his LA works are slowly being removed or defaced. Now that’s just rude.

Don’t listen to the haters, Banksy! We love you!

Year in Review: Disney Comics go BOOM!

You’d think that with their over $4 billion purchase of Marvel Entertainment a year ago this week, the Burbank-based Walt Disney Company would have brought things in-house for comics featuring Disney characters. Instead, Disney has licensed a small but highly acclaimed line of comics to Los Angeles comics publisher Boom! Studios over the last year plus. And with their Boom! Kids line, Boom! has helped resurrect the all-ages corner of the comic book industry, something that many feared was a lost cause. Not only is this good news for increasing variety, but it’s absolutely crucial in making sure that another generation doesn’t slip by without learning and internalizing the language of comics. (more…)

Copyrights and comics

As a preview to their upcoming Comic Book Comics #5 by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, Evil Twin Comics has posted a 6-page excerpt titled “The Grabbers”. It does an excellent job encapsulating and presenting copyright law and how it has effected the history of comic books. The piece focuses on Superman, so this is a great prequel to that BBC Superman documentary where we see Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster a few years after the events depicted at the end of this comic.

The comic also covers the legal shenanigans involving Bob Kane (Batman co-creator), Bill Finger (Batman, Robin and Joker co-creator), Jerry Robinson (Robin and Joker co-creator), Joe Simon (Captain America co-creator), and Jack Kirby (co-creator of Captain America and half of the rest of the Marvel Comics superhero universe).

What’s amazing (and kind of sad) is that a lot of these legal battles are still being fought.