A fanzine is a publication, usually distributed at no or nominal cost,produced by fans of a particular topic (such as comic books, opera, murdermystery stories, etc.) for others who share their interest.
many impediments — many requiring a detailed historical understanding bothfactually and legally of the events that occurred between the parties over the pastseventy years — to achieving that goal and, just as importantly, reckoning with thelimits of what can be gained through the termination of that grant.Any discussion about the termination of the initial grant to the copyright in awork begins, as the Court does here, with the story of the creation of the work itself.In 1932, Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster were teenagers at Glenville HighSchool in Cleveland, Ohio. Siegel was an aspiring writer and Shuster an aspiringartist; what Siegel later did with his typewriter and Shuster with his pen wouldtransform the comic book industry. The two met while working on their highschool’s newspaper where they discovered their shared passion for science fictionand comics, the beginning of a remarkable and fruitful relationship.One of their first collaborations was publishing a mail-order fanzine titled“Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization.”
In the January, 1933,issue, Siegel and Shuster’s first superman character appeared in the short story“The Reign of the Superman,” but in the form of a villain not a hero. The story toldof a “mad scientist’s experiment with a deprived man from the breadlines” thattransformed “the man into a mental giant who then uses his new powers — theability to read and control minds — to steal a fortune and attempt to dominate theworld.” (Decl. Michael Bergman, Ex. HH at 1126). This initial superman characterin villain trappings was drawn by Shuster as a bald-headed mad man.A couple of months later it occurred to Siegel that re-writing the character asa hero, bearing little resemblance to his villainous namesake, “might make a greatcomic strip character.” (Decl. Michael Bergman, Ex. HH at 1126). Much of Siegel'sdesire to shift the role of his protagonist from villain to hero arose from Siegel'sexposure to despair and hope: Despair created by the dark days of the Depression
Case 2:04-cv-08400-SGL-RZ Document 293 Filed 03/26/2008 Page 2 of 72