Comics, Copyrights, and Satire


If you haven't read Reason's recent story on Dan O'Neill's copyright dispute with Disney, you should. And then, if you're wondering how relevant a tale from the '70s could be today, you should take a look at this:

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 the stories "Richie Bush" by Peter Kuper and "Moj Stub" (translated, "My Pole") by Bojan Redzic, constituted "clearly piratical copies" of registered and recorded copyrights. 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. "My Pole," appearing in Stripburger (Vol. 3) #4-5, which was published in 1994, is an eight-page ecology parable in Serbian that makes visual homage to Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and Woodstock in three panels.