The Late, Late News

A Modern Day Battle Over Prince Valiant

Brian Kane, the preeminent Prince Valiant scholar, and Gary Groth, the preeminent Prince Valiant book publisher, are at odds over a six part Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant Sketchbooks series with King Features seemingly caught in the middle.

Prince Valiant is © King Features Syndicate

Rich Johnston, at Bleeding Cool, carries both sides.

Brian Kane:

“I was screwed over by Gary Groth and Fantagraphics, which has kept the 6-volume “Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant Sketchbooks: An Illustrated Memoir” series from being printed.

Gary Groth:

I am taking the liberty of providing to you here my and Fantagraphics’ side of the story. I believe his post was unfortunately replete with distortions and misinformation.

Update: The Three Artists Behind the AI Lawsuit

“At first it was exciting and surreal,” [Kelly] McKernan wrote in a tweet that went viral in December. 

That excitement, however, was short-lived. Anybody who used Stable Diffusion, McKernan realized, could now generate artwork in McKernan’s style simply by typing in their name. And at no point had anyone approached them to seek consent or offer compensation.

BuzzFeed News covers the story so far:

The suit claims that Stable Diffusion was trained on billions of images scraped from the internet without consent, including images owned by this trio of artists. If products and services powered by generative AI products are allowed to operate, a press release by Saveri says, “the foreseeable result is that they will replace the very artists whose stolen works power these AI products with whom they are competing.”

Some observers have criticized the artists’ lawsuit for getting several things wrong. The suit, for instance, describes Stable Diffusion as a “collage tool that remixes the copyrighted works of millions of artists whose work was used as training data.” It also claims that AI art models “store compressed copies of [copyright-protected] training images.”

Both statements are a matter of debate. AI art models trained on images contain “patterns” that the model has learned from images that it then stores as numeric model parameters. Once a user types in a prompt, the model generates its own images from scratch based on this math and guided by the text. 

BuzzFeed provides links for the techies and the laymen.

Meanwhile The Onion’s editorial cartoonist Kelly weighs in.

© Onion Syndicate

Overseas News

David Sutherland’s Last Bash Street Kids to Appear Wednesday

Down the Tubes reports on Sutherland’s final Bash Street Kids strip:

Artist David Sutherland OBE’s final “Bash Street Kids” strip for the weekly BEANO will appear in No. 4170 on Wednesday, completed late last year, written by Andy Fanton.

It will be the the only piece of his art to be bylined in the weekly comic as David Sutherland OBE, in recognition of the award he received in the New Year Honours.

(The BEANO has credited its creators in the comic for a number of years: but this issue of BEANO was the first opportunity to note David’s OBE).

Here’s the BBC obituary for David Sutherland.

The New E-Edition of Comics Research Bibliography is Available

Mike Rhode reports on the free 2022 e-edition of Comics Research Bibliography.

As the years passed, and the Internet expanded, online citations grew far more rapidly than print ones. We are trying to be a quality filter by only grabbing substantive articles, or interviews off the web. If one types ‘Fantagraphics’ into Google’s search engine, almost 3 million results are returned, but if you look at the Fantagraphics entry here, hopefully we will have some substantive pieces on the company that will be useful for research.

Top image: Sherlocko by Gus Mager, 1924