The Doctor Has a Little Talk – With Superman & Batman


In honor of DOCTOR WHO’s 50th Anniversary, which is – yowsa! – today, TVWriter™ is thrilled to bring you this very special episode of How It Should Have Ended’s Super Cafe.

Cuz as far as we’re concerned, this is genuinely funny as hell:

Users’ Guide to ANIMATION on TVWriter™

Redundant but necessary verbiage:

TVWriter™ is more than just daily posts about TV, writing, and the collected obsessions of those of us who work here? It’s also the longest running, most complete site about the ins and outs, both creative and economic, of television writing on the web. We’re talking contests, workshops, and page after page of info based on Larry Brody’s 30+ year long career.

New verbiage:

On other posts, we’ve talked about the People’s Pilot and Spec Scriptacular TV and screenwriting competitions, the various online workshops at what we call TVWriter University, our THE BASICS OF TV WRITING mini-site, and LB’s experiences working on various versions of STAR TREK with (and, sadly, without) Gene Roddenberry. Now we want to officially call your attention to another mini-site about a little phenomenon known as:

After a short retirement in the early ’90s, LB went back to running TV shows, trading in primetime network broadcasting (been there, done that, you know the drill) for children’s animation. Among the shows he wrote or ran are SUPERMAN, THE SILVER SURFER, SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED, and (the cult classic and very adult animated show) SPAWN. We hope you’ll take advantage of the info here and also that you’ll send in any questions you have on the subject so the boss can answer them here on TVWriter™.

You can find the ANIMATION mini-site by scrolling down the index to the right of this post. Or, if you’re in a rush, just place your cursor here and, you know, click.


Neil deGrasse Tyson has His Finger on Pop Culture’s Pulse

Captain Ubiquitous strikes again! Is there anything NdGT can’t do?

NYER is ‘super’ smart, ‘Finds’ Krypton – by Dareh Gregorian

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s . . . Superman’s home planet!

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has pinpointed a real location for the fictional planet of Krypton.

The “real” Krypton is in the Corvus constellation, about 27.1 light years from Earth, orbiting the red dwarf star LHS 2520, Tyson determined.

The star, which is smaller and cooler than our sun, can be seen at right ascension 12 hours, 10 minutes, 05.60 seconds, and declination 15 degrees, 04’ 15.66.

The Hayden Planetarium director tracked down the locale based on information provided to him by DC Comics, which was doing a story on Superman’s search for his home planet in the pages of “Action Comics.”

“One of our staffers reached out to him to see if he’d assist for a story we were doing, and he actually came up with a location,” said DC co-publisher Dan DiDio.

Tyson, whose planetarium sits next to the Museum of Natural History on West 81st Street at Central Park West, was happy to be of service.

“As a native of Metropolis, I was delighted to help Superman, who has done so much for my city over all these years,” he said.

Tyson himself makes an appearance in “Action Comics” No. 14, which goes on sale Wednesday, but in it, it’s the Man of Steel who figures out the exact location.

“It’s clear that if he weren’t a superhero, he would have made quite an astrophysicist,” Tyson said.

Tyson’s no stranger to pop culture. He’s the scientist who was able to persuade film director James Cameron to alter the night sky in “Titanic” for its recent re-release to match how the stars actually looked on the night the ship sank.

DiDio said that “by applying real-world science to this story, he has forever changed Superman’s place in history. Now fans will be able to look up at the night’s sky and say, ‘That’s where Superman was born.’ ”

It’s distance of 27.1 light years — roughly 150 trillion miles — coincides with the age Superman is supposed to be in the comics.

That means light from Krypton’s destruction — which Superman was spared from him when his parents sent him in a rocket to Earth — would be reaching our planet around now. In a super coincidence, Superman’s alter-ego of Clark Kent played for the Smallville Crows in high school.

Referred to as “Rao” by native Kryptonians, Corvus is Latin for crow.

Read it all

Warner Brothers is Still Trying to Screw Superman’s Family

Warner Brothers has been fighting tooth and nail against a court-ordered award requiring them to pay the family of the late Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman for their use of the character after 50% of the rights reverted to the Siegels. Here, thanks to Deadline.Com, is the latest update, from Laura Siegel Larson, Siegel’s daughter:

October 11, 2012

Dear Superman Fans Everywhere,

My father, Jerry Siegel, co-created Superman as the “champion of the oppressed … sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need!” But sadly his dying wish, for his family to regain his rightful share of Superman, has become a cautionary tale for writers and artists everywhere.

My family’s David and Goliath struggle against Warner Bros, the media conglomerate, goes back to April 1997, when my mom and I exercised our clear right under the Copyright Act to achieve my dad’s dream of recovering his copyrights. In April 1999, my dad’s half of the original Superman rights reverted to us, entitling our family to a significant share of Superman profits, which Warner/DC Comics refused to pay. For over thirteen years they have fought us at every turn, in and out of court, aiming to make recovery of the money they owe us so impossibly difficult that we would give up and settle for peanuts.

We refused to be intimidated despite my elderly mom’s heart condition and my multiple sclerosis. In 2008 the U.S. District Court ruled that my mom and I had successfully recaptured my father’s Superman copyrights and were entitled to Superman profits since April 1999.

Angered and alarmed by this defeat, Warner Bros resorted to a despicable old trick: diverting attention from the legal merits of our case by personally attacking our long-time lawyer, Marc Toberoff. Through DC, the media giant filed a lawsuit against Mr. Toberoff, my family and the Estate of Superman’s co-creator Joe Shuster, falsely claiming “unfair competition” and that Toberoff interfered with an out of court offer that Warner tried to push on my mom and me in early 2002 – an offer full of studio accounting traps that we refused to sign before we even knew Mr. Toberoff.

Warner Bros possesses documents stolen from my attorney’s office which mysteriously ended up on the desks of three top Warner executives. Warner claims it has no evidence whatsoever as to when these large packages arrived. According to Warner, the thief also included a cowardly anonymous letter that vilifies our attorney and mischaracterizes the privileged attorney-client communications enclosed. In a disgraceful violation of my privacy, Warner’s lawyers attached this nasty anonymous letter to a publicly filed complaint and leaked it to the media.

In the midst of this sideshow, my mom, the original model for Lois Lane, passed away last year at 93, still determined to keep her promise to my dad. She never got to relax and enjoy any proceeds from the crusade she fought until her dying day.

Now the torch is in my hands and I won’t be silent any longer about Warner Bros’ tactics. I refuse to be bullied or deterred from enforcing my farnily’s rights, and fully support my attorney who has tirelessly defended them. Warner Bros’ smear campaign has only made me more determined than ever. We have the right to the attorney of our choice, which is none of Warner’s business…

What Warner Bros apparently doesn’t realize is that despite their tremendous power, I will NEVER give up on my parents’ dream of rightfully restoring my father’s rights to his family.

Would Superman, the embodiment of “truth, justice and the American way,” let Warner Bros, DC Comics, and their gang of attorneys get away with this? Not for an instant!

Laura Siegel Larson
Los Angeles, California

To misquote another comics writer/creator who made a much better deal for himself because he had Jerry Siegel as an example: “Not ’nuff said.”

Not by a longshot.

Good luck, Laura!

(EDITED TO ADD: This just in. A judge has ruled that the family of Joe Shuster, the artist with whom Jerry Siegel created Supes, gave up their right to regain their percentage of control over the property by accepting a 1992 deal in which Warner Brothers agreed to pay Shuster’s sister $25,000/year for life in exchange for the rights. A-fucking-mazing! And no, not in a good way. Not at all.)