Bald Legal

Who is this guy and why is he wearing Pete’s green shirt?

I don’t know why Chester is in such a hurry to get “the lawyers downstairs ” involved. Ruby’s going to draw Miss American and get paid by Chester for doing so; why must she own the rights as well? Will Chester then have to pay Ruby for the rights to publish her work? Readers of the FW blog know very well how Batiuk relies on his legal team, so maybe in that context, this makes sense.

34 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Bald Legal

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “The lawyer downstairs”…LOL! Contrived much? And what’s the deal with “Miss American” anyway? Not only is it dangerously close to copyright infringement, it’s really lame and stupid even by AK standards. But BatYam is a comic book expert and he knows what the kids today are into, so who am I to criticize?

  2. William Thompson

    What to say? How about “Yay! The news is predictably stupid! Let’s roll out that long-forgotten character and get her to help Our Boys win at Kasserine Pass!”

  3. William Thompson

    Wait until the lawyers of Noah, Terry & Pubic get on the case. “There’s a legal hitch! Back in the day an original picture of Miss American was lost! The police suspected theft! An inside job! The case remained open and that invalidated everyone’s claim to the copyrights on Miss American! You could all go to prison if you dare publish a new Miss American story!”

  4. louder

    Why would Ruby draw something she now owns for free. Ruby, make Chester the Jester pay through the nose for the rights that you just got!

    • Epicus Doomus

      That’s a great idea. Ruby holds Chester’s feet to the fire, hires counsel, demands a raise. It’ll never happen, of course, but it would be pretty funny. Everyone’s too damn nice in the Funkyverse, he needs to bring Frankie back.

  5. Doghouse Reilly

    Before the month is out, Ruby receives an offer from Warner Bros. and sells the Miss American IP rights over to DC Comics, who make the character a gritty, machine gun-toting lesbian and the newest member of the Suicide Squad, with a three-film solo package starring Mila Kunis to follow.

    • William Thompson

      And, somehow, Miss American is still boring.

    • Epicus Doomus

      (Music plays…”There she is, Miss America!” Cut to Miss America winner, blowing kisses to the crowd and waving.)

      Cut to backstage:

      Evil Corporate Goon: “Now that we’ve allowed you to win the pageant there are a few things you’re going to do for me…sick, perverse things”

      (Spin kick sends goon flying through wall)

      “Not tonight…I’m kicking ass and adding an “N”.

      Coming this fall…”Miss American” an Atomik Komix production, starring Marianne Winters and Cindy Summers as Haggard McOldie”.

  6. billytheskink

    Wait, what?! Ruby was never said to be the creator of Miss American, she was the artist who most famously drew the character. Chester can transfer ownership of the character to whoever he wants, of course, but the implication that Ruby is now receiving something that truly belongs to her does not really track.

    Unless… TB is sending those Dinkles Band Shoes royalty checks to Chuck Ayers nowadays.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Miss American”…it’s almost impossibly unimaginative. I mean why even write the story at all if that’s all you’re gonna put into it? Like all of his idiotic comic book stories it all centers around some weird arcane tangent, in this case his bizarre copyright fantasies.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It really is. Watchmen, The Tick, Mystery Men, The Incredibles, Drawn Together, and other productions all have interesting superhero sub-universes, even if the characters themselves are largely knockoffs. This strip is obsessed with comic books, can’t come up with an interesting characters, or even focus on an interesting part of the story. Next week: Chester fills out legal forms!

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    There is so much anti-narrative going on here, I’m afraid it’s going to destroy actual stories. Like, Monday’s newspaper will have both Funky Winkerbean and a story that all the works of Jane Austen have suddenly disappeared.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    “The lawyers downstairs”?

    Doesn’t millionaire Chester Hagglemore have attorneys on retainer?

    And as stated above, wait until those attorneys begin to ask Chester about the details of the contract. For example, what happens when Ruby dies? If Chester relinquishes ownership, the rights to the character would be part of Ruby’s estate and Chester would have to request permission and pay royalties to the estate (and eventually to Ruby’s heirs) in order to continue publishing the Miss American title (assuming the character is popular and has good readership numbers, earning a profit for the company).

    • William Thompson

      What if that’s Chester’s legal staff downstairs, and their only job is to help him extend his comic-book empire? When Rubella showed up he may have realized he owned “Miss American’s” copyright, and got busy having his lawyers draw up a contract that would benefit him. She owns the rights, but she agrees to let Hagglemore and nobody else profit from those works. And he decides how and when she gets paid. Odds are that Hagglemore will rush her into signing the contract before she can read it, much less consult a lawyer

      (My lack of respect for Rubella would fade a bit if she grabs the contract and takes it to her agent, telling Hagglemore “Trust but verify, comrade publisher!”)

      • Gerard Plourde

        Wow! If only we could expect a plot twist like that it would go a long way to improve the quality of the storytelling.

  9. Paul Jones

    What we’re looking at is how Comrade Batiuk thinks business people should behave: stupidly and self-destructively.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Wait, he didn’t finish the story from yesterday. Hagglemore ended with but…

    So….

    Batty’s not even tying things up from the day before now. This is a new level of laziness.

  11. Gerard Plourde

    TomBa’s sloppiness and the lack of any kind of proofreading (let alone editing) is on display here. Rereading the strip I see that the document (contract) that Chester wants to have drafted “transfers the OWNER (CH LLC, not just Miss American)” to Ruby. That’s a pretty big difference.

    Also, the Flash Friday entry on the FW blog this week has very different tone. He devotes the entire post to a scathing takedown of the writer of the issue under discussion’s cover story. His chief compliant: the villains’ lack of character development!

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Saturday’s comic is an insult.

    We, the audience, have been sitting around for a week waiting for Chester to remember that he owned something. But no, that massive contrivance isn’t enough to move the story forward! Now he has to go talk to lawyers. Now he has to transfer ownership to Ruby Lith. Both of which are completely unnecessary to the story, make no sense, and will drag on even longer.

    I’ve taken improv classes. They teach you not to spend time on things like this. Wrap up the negotiations with a line or two if you must, and get to the fun part of the story. In long form, actors not currently in the scene are allowed to yell instructions like “Cut to Ruby drawing the comic!” to help move things along.

    And look where the story ends up: the ludicrous fantasy of a publisher just handing over a potentially valuable property to an artist. OKAY, WE GET IT, TOM, YOU WANT TO OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOUR CHARACTERS. Hell, the syndicate should just give them to you at this point, since your pathetic, self-serving writing has long since made them all worthless.

  13. Don

    So, how soon before Miss American is pretty much the only reason the company exists, so she decides to start her own company – and take “her” crew with her?