As various news outlets have reported,  there have been unfortunate developments in 95-year old Stan Lee's life lately. 

  To start with undisputed facts,  Stan has been fighting a persistent case of pneumonia, and has dropped out of public sight.  He has also reported to the Beverly Hills Police that at least two massive unauthorized withdrawals - of a seven figure amount - were made - stolen - from his account. 

  Recently, his long-time caretaker/manager, Max Anderson, was fired by his daughter.  There are now " s/he said " interpretations of the situation coming from different camps damning or defending Anderson...and,  taking this into " not for the kiddies "/PG-13 territory, claims of " inappropriate behavior " both by and against Stan involving female nursing personnel.  I have drawn from and Bleeding Cool as well as a lengthy article in the English tabloid the Daily Mail in assembling this. TMZ and Fox News apparently put their fingers in this pie as well,  but I havn't checked them out. 

  Stan apparently remains incommunicado at this point. Sadly, one remembers Casey Kasem and Mickey Rooney's final months:-€... 

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I remember that one of the comic conventions (Chicago?) was trying to trademark the word Comic-Con. I don't think they got very far in court, as the term was already in general use. Maybe CK has info on this?

" CK " =?


Did somebody call ...?

Richard Willis said:

I remember that one of the comic conventions (Chicago?) was trying to trademark the word Comic-Con. I don't think they got very far in court, as the term was already in general use. Maybe CK has info on this?

To answer the question, I turned up several articles from 2017 and 2018 about the San Diego Comic-Con suing Salt Lake Comic Con, alleging infringement of its trademark on "Comic-Con". Details here, from the Workman Nydegger law firm, which specializes in intellectual property cases: "The Curious Case of Comic Con; Or is it Comic-Con?" 

The most recent article I found on the subject is a press release dated April 23, 2020, from the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP law firm, which has a rather lousy, biased headline*: "Ninth Circuit Sides with Pillsbury Client San Diego Comic Convention in Trademark Dispute".

Essentially rewriting an article from Law360 (which is behind a paywall), it states the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that "Comic-Con" is not a generic term, and that the Utah event did infringe on San Diego's trademarks over the name, which had been in use since 1970. The appeals court also upheld the lower court's order to the Salt Lake Comic Con to pay the San Diego Comic-Con $3.7 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

*Courts don't "side with" a plaintiff or a defendant. And for that matter, juries don't, either.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...A couple of journalistic/editing comments about the AARP piece (I've recently joined AARP also so I should get the hard copy also):

  I see that they refer to Stan as " creator " of the Marvel stars, not " co-creator ". 

In the Washington Post piece "Five Myths About Stan Lee," referenced above, it states this:

Abraham Reisman wrote:

Myth No. 1: Lee created the Marvel Universe.

Lee has long been credited as the driving force behind the pantheon of Marvel superheroes that took the world by storm: Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Black Panther and so on. His obituaries from news outlets such as NBC News and Reuters all characterized him as the comics’ “creator.” Others (such as the Guardian) that are a little less expansive with bestowing credit on him will say he co-created the characters with writer/artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.

There is actually zero evidence that Lee had the initial ideas for any of these characters, other than his own claims. In his 2002 memoir, for instance, he said of Ditko: “I really think I’m being very generous in giving him ‘co-creator’ credit, because I’m the guy who dreamed up the title, the concept, and the characters.” The world has generally accepted that Lee had the initial notions for the characters, only then passing them off to Kirby or Ditko. But over the course of legal cases, painstaking historical debate and my own archival research, nothing has ever been turned up that proves — or even suggests — that Lee was the driving creative force. No presentation boards, no contemporary notes, no diary entries, no supporting accounts from anyone other than his wife. Nothing.

Meanwhile, Kirby and his defenders have asserted that Kirby was the characters’ sole creator, accurately pointing out that he had a far longer history of creating successful characters on his own. Same goes for Ditko. Because of the fly-by-night record-keeping practices of the mid-century comic-book industry, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever have a firm answer. But companies, journalists and historians can’t say with any certainty that Lee created (or even co-created) Marvel’s dramatis personae.

A long article in the latest issue of the AARP magazine

The Last Days of Stan Lee

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