Sunday, August 26, 2007
this from Peter Kupers "newflash!" section of his website:
Richie Bush Premieres
The animated comic has gotten quite a bit of pre- and post-election exposure. See it at
RICHIE BUSH SEIZED BY CUSTOMS!
On October 27, U.S. Customs sent a letter to Top Shelf Productions notifying them that copies of the anthology Stripburger had been seized, charging that "Richie Bush" by Peter Kuper constituted "clearly piratical copy" of registered and recorded copyright. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has retained counsel to challenge these seizures. "Richie Bush," appearing in Stripburger (Vol. 12) #37, is a four-page parody of Richie Rich that also satirizes the Bush Administration by superimposing the personalities of the President's cabinet on the characters from the comic. " Customs seized fourteen copies of the issue containing "Richie Bush." Top Shelf is the American agent for Stripburger, an Eastern European comics publisher that releases anthologies of comics from cartoonists around the globe. Upon investigating the shipment, Customs released the copies of Miniburger, but held the issues of Stripburger, giving Top Shelf thirty days to either forfeit the shipment, request administrative relief, or initiate court action.Ê At the urging of Stripburger, Top Shelf and CBLDF President Chris Staros brought the case to the attention of the Fund as a potential news story. CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein felt the matter warranted serious legal attention, so it was sent to Burton Joseph, the Fund's legal counsel, whose opinion was that Customs was unlawfully holding First Amendment protected speech. The option of pursuing court action on First Amendment grounds was then taken to the CBLDF Board of Directors, which unanimously voted 8-0 to take up the case; Chris Staros recused himself from the vote. On November 24, the Fund retained counsel in Charleston, SC who hand-delivered a letter to Customs stating that the comics are protected under existing First Amendment case law and should be either immediately released or that court action should be initiated. "In this case, it looks like Customs is overreaching its authority," Staros says.Ê"The comics in question are clearly within the acceptable bounds of parody, and there is absolutely no likelihood that consumers would confuse these works with the subjects that they are parodying."
So What Happened?
The copies of Richie Bush were finally released when challenged by the flaming sword of justice which is the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Customs laid down like dogs, releasing the copies and begging the stalwart heroes at the CBLDF to pardon their treacherous ways.
OR IS IT?
found this newsblurb in Top Shelf Productions archive:
US Customs Folds Following CBLDF Challenge
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has secured an important victory against U.S. Customs concerning the seizure of parody comics in South Carolina.
Last November, the CBLDF filed a request for court action with U.S. Customs in Charleston concerning the seizure of issues of Stripburger that included the parody comics "Richie Bush" by Peter Kuper, and "Moj Stub" by Bojan Redzic. Customs seized the books, which were en route to Top Shelf Productions, claiming they were "piratical" infringements on existing copyrights. The Fund disagreed, finding the work to be protected speech, and retained Charleston Attorney Gregg Meyers to bring the request for court action.
This week Customs released the books and will be refunding the $250 filing fee that Top Shelf placed to challenge the seizure.
"This is great news," said CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. "It's exactly the kind of victory we want, where reason prevails and no one has to go to court. It's always better to prevent a trial than defend a trial, and I'm pleased that the government felt the same way in this case and returned the materials that were wrongfully seized."
Meyers concurs, stating, "I'd say that reaching a resolution with only a single shot fired reflects the realization by the government that the seizure shouldn't have happened. We appreciate that they changed their course."
Top Shelf publisher and CBLDF President Chris Staros added, "Despite the low dollar value of the books seized, the principal of this issue -- that of Customs overreaching its authority to judge what is parody and what is not -- was definitely worth fighting for. Hopefully, the victory in this case will help prevent future incidents of this nature, where a publisher would have much more to lose if, for example, an entire print run was seized."
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. Donations and inquiries should be directed to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061. For additional information, call 800-99-CBLDF or visit www.cbldf.org
Okay for those of you who have lived under a rock Peter Kuper new york sequential artist extrodinaire moved to new york city driven by a dream and stuck with it trusting in his instinct his talent and fueled by thhe pure energy of his creative powers helped found one of the oldest zines WW3 has done Spy VS Spy for mad and has done it well....and I say this with all due respect to the original artist of the series
Antonio Prohías (January 17, 1921 - February 24, 1998), born in Cuba, was a cartoonist most famous for creating the comic strip Spy vs. Spy for MAD Magazine.
In the late 1940s, Prohías began working at El Mundo, the most important newspaper in Cuba. By 1960, he had become an internationally recognized and awarded political cartoonist. At this time, Fidel Castro's government took over the paper, and Prohías left Cuba for New York, where he found himself attracted to Mad.
The Mad staff occasionally took group vacations, traveling en masse to other countries. Prohías took part in these vacations when possible, but as a Cuban, he had trouble gaining admission into some countries, and in Italy was actually turned away.
Although he is most famous for Spy vs. Spy, the majority of his comic strips, such as El Hombre Siniestro, La Mujer Siniestra, and Tovarich, were published mostly or only in Cuba. Altogether, only about 20 of his roughly 270 contributions to Mad were of anything other than the spy series. As a result, most of the available information on this other work comes from the Spy Vs Spy Complete Casebook (Watson-Guptill, 2001).
Peter Kuper created a fine series called "eye of the beholder" has done some swell illustrations for covers of some leading magazines including TIME.