Archive for January, 2008

A lawsuit between Red Sonja LLC and Paradox Entertainment over the rights to Big Red was just settled:

Red Sonja firms trade swords for $1 plowshares

By Sean O’Sullivan, The News Journal
Wilmington, Delaware / January 29, 2008

The owners of Red Sonja, a comic book character, sued Paradox for trademark infringement. The two sides settled today.

And like that, the battle was over.

The second day of testimony in the federal trademark dispute over the comic book warrior-heroine character Red Sonja ended early today with both sides announcing a settlement.

Red Sonja LLC had accused Paradox Entertainment Inc. of infringing on its trademarked character Red Sonja — the statuesque red-headed “She-Devil with a Sword” featured in hundreds of comic books and a 1985 movie — when it announced in February 2006 that it acquired the rights to a character called Red Sonya, spelled with a ‘y’.

The little-known Red Sonya was featured in a single short story in the 1930s by the late fantasy author Robert E. Howard. In the 1970s, comic book editors looking for a female counterpart to Howard’s Conan the Barbarian character crafted Red Sonja, using the short story for inspiration and changing the spelling of her name and transporting her back in time to be a contemporary for Conan.

Paradox owns the rights to Conan and other works by Howard.

According to the agreement, Red Sonja LLC now owns the rights to the red-headed female spelled with either a ‘y’ or a ‘j.’

Paradox, meanwhile, maintains rights to the short story featuring Red Sonya, and can continue to claim that it owns the entire Robert E. Howard library.

As part of the deal, Red Sonja LLC paid Paradox $1 for all rights to the Red Sonya character. In return Paradox agreed to pay Red Sonja LLC $1 for the exclusive print publication rights to the single short story that features Red Sonya, entitled, “The Shadow of the Vulture.”

The agreement was announced in open court by Red Sonja LLC attorney Thomas J. Curran at 1:30 p.m. Both companies are Delaware business entities.

Also, the agreement makes clear that Paradox owns the rights to the “Age of Hyboria,” the name for Conan’s time period, but Red Sonja LLC is allowed to place its character in Hyboria, where she was created to exist in the first place.

“We’re very happy this is now resolved and we can both go forward with our respective businesses,” said Paradox Entertainment President Fredrik Malmberg outside court.

Red Sonja LLC President Arthur Lieberman thanked District Judge Sue L. Robinson and said he was “more than pleased” with the outcome.

This entry filed under Howard in Media, Howard's Fiction, News.

Today is Robert E. Howard’s 102nd Birthday.  Over the weekend a hardy group of about 20 die-hard fans made the trek to a chilly Cross Plains to commemorate this event.  One of the attendees was author James Reasoner, who posted his observations here.

This entry filed under Howard House Museum, News, Project Pride.

This new four-part adaptation is coming soon from Dark Horse Comics:

PIGEONS FROM HELL #1 (of 4)
by Joe R. Lansdale (W), Nathan Fox (A), and Dave Stewart

On sale Apr 16
FC, 32 pages
$2.99
Miniseries

Joe R. Lansdale puts a new spin on an old classic with this four-part adaptation of master-storyteller Robert E. Howard’s classic tale of terror “Pigeons From Hell.” Set in the deep south, “Pigeons” tells the story of a damned house with a wicked past whose vile form casts a shadow of death on all who dare to enter. At dusk, as the sun slumps below the horizon, scores of pigeons can be seen flocking from the house in waning sunlight. The pigeons, they say, are the souls of the damned escaping from the very bowels of Hell itself.

Joe R. Lansdale (author of such works as “Bubba Ho-Tep,” “The Nightrunners,” and “The Drive-In”) is no stranger to comics, having worked on Batman, The Lone Ranger, Jonah Hex, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan. He is joined by comics newcomer Nathan Fox. Together Lansdale and Fox are a powerhouse of visual storytelling, perfectly suited for the dark and dismal world of Robert E. Howard’s horror classic “Pigeons From Hell.”

This entry filed under Howard Illustrated, Howard's Fiction, News.

Girasol Collectibles Inc. has announced the newest addition to their hardcover series of facsimile pulp reprint volumes. This is a massive 3 volume set totaling more than 1200 pages completing ALL 9 issues of Oriental Stories Magazine, scanned from the original pulp pages! No editing, no reset text, plus all the original illustrations. Howard had stories in six of the nine issues. The back of the dust jacket will show the original covers in color. The books will be similar in style to the Weird Writings of Robert E. Howard and Exotic Writings of Robert E. Howard volumes. Price $225/set of 3 + $10 shipping and handling within North America. For more info and complete ordering details, check out the website.

This entry filed under Howard Illustrated, Howard's Fiction, News.

Here is snippet from the REH Inner Circle Group:

We’re putting together a real informal 102nd Birthday Celebration/Gathering for REH in Cross Plains on Saturday January 19th. Project Pride has graciously offered to open up the House and the Cross Plains Library on that day for those of us coming in. It’s a real informal deal here. We don’t have any “programming” planned, other than the get-together itself, but we could do some poetry and prose readings and just share Howard fellowship.

Everyone could bring a Howard item to show off or have people sign postcards or something…Pump a little dough into the Cross Plains economy, buy stuff at the House and support Project Pride, check out The Cross Plains Review on microfilm at the Library (and buy copies of typescripts, etc.) We could also all go out for dinner/supper.

Rooms are still available at the 36 Motel, and more folks are signing on daily.  It’s short notice, but looks to be a fun get-together for Howard fans.
Keep checking in over at the Group to get the details as they become available.