Law and its many connections -- law and literature, love, lollipops, & fun, law and everything else under the sun
Notes: 1) LawAndEverythingElse.Com & BurtLaw.Com don't solicit business for any law firm or give legal advice, other than that lawyers may be hazardous to your health. There are many more bad ones than good ones. Who can find a virtuous lawyer? Her price is far above rubies. It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a lawyer to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. So saith the Lord. 2) In linking to another site or source, we don't mean to say we necessarily agree with views or ideas expressed there or to attest to the accuracy of facts set forth there. We link to other sites in order to alert you to sites, ideas, books, articles and stories that have interested us and to guide you in your pleasure-seeking, mind-expanding, heart-opening, soul-satisfying outer and inner travels.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. "After years of seeking justice on the streets in tights, Birdman traded in his super powers to take part in one of the most evil of professions, a lawyer. Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law is the world's first animated courtroom drama. With help from his falcon sidekick, Avenger acting as secretary, Harvey Birdman sticks his hands deep into the briefs of the legal world. Birdman has tackled many tough cases, such as the Race Bannon and Dr. Quest custody struggle, and the Shaggy's arrest for possession. With such elite clientele, it isn't hard for this man to find something to defend. While Birdman struggles for justice, his enemies come to the aid of the guilty....as lawyers! Somehow, all the cases are seen by the same judge, Mightor, the prehistoric barbarian with a giant club for a gavel...." More (AdultSwim).
Shazam! Better than SpiderMan. I'm talking about The Original Captain Marvel -- from the late 1940's and early 1950's. Billy Batson was a child reporter for WHIZ Radio, but when he uttered the word "SHAZAM!" he was instantly changed into the world's mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel. "SHAZAM!" was an acronym for the "deities" who responded and granted Captain Marvel his powers. Other members of The Marvel Family included Mary Marvel (a/k/a Mary Bromfield, Billy's adopted sister) and Captain Marvel, Jr. (a/k/a Freddie Freeman, a crippled paper boy). I was always amused by Captain Marvel's arch-enemy, the brilliant but evil Dr. Thaddeus "Bodog" Sivana, who always was concocting some new scheme to outwit Captain Marvel and take control of the universe. Dr. Sivana was a predecessor of sorts to Osama bin Laden. While Sivana couldn't stop Captain Marvel, the lawyers for Superman put him out of commission in 1953. Want more? Click here.
Equal-opportunity comics. A profile of African-American comic book super-heroes titled Blacks in Comics (SlushFactory).
Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency. Believe it or not, that's the title of the famous "The 1954 Senate Interim Report of the Committee on the Judiciary pursuant to S. Res. 89 and S. Res. 190 (83d Cong., 1st Sess.) - (83d Cong., 2d Sess.) - A Part of the Investigation of Juvenile Delinquency in the United States," the so-called Kefauver Commission. Sen. Estes Kefauver had his eye on the Presidency and actually ran for it in 1956. He's the clown who wore a coonskin cap in '56, hoping to capitalize on the Davy Crockett Craze of 1955-56. (I've got a 45 rpm recording of the song, but, alas, I never owned or wore a coonskin cap.) Read the report. It's pretty funny stuff, offered by some cynical politicians to a gullible public looking for easy answers to difficult problems. It's also a fascinating piece of social history. Want to read more about comic books & censorship? I recommend the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Comic Book Censorship Bibliography. Want to research other aspects of comics? Try the Comics Research Bibliography.
Bob Ingersoll's The Law is a Ass. Once a week Bob Ingersoll "analyzes how the law is portrayed in comics then explains how it would really work." Current week's entry - archived entries (over 150 prior entries and counting).
Greatest Dick in History? My pick? Dick Tracy. He's the cop whose sophisticated understanding of constitutional law ("A murdering rat like you has no constitutional rights") inspired many of us children of the '40's & '50's to go to law school or become cops or legal secretaries. He also helped habituate some of us to read newspapers regularly. In my case, the daily comic strips, of which Dick Tracy was my favorite, and the sports section were the two main reasons I was a regular reader of the Minneapolis daily newspapers at an early age. I loved the great rogues and villains created by Dick's creator, Chester Gould -- characters like Flyace, Flattop, Jerome Trohs and Mama, Littleface, B-B Eyes, Breathless Mahoney, The Brow, Crewy Lou, Cueball, Momma and the Midget, Mumbles, Pruneface, and Rughead. Want good guys? How about Chief Brandon, Sam Catchem, B.O. Plenty, Gravel Gertie, Sparkle Plenty, Pat Patton, Tess Truehart, Junior Tracy, Vitamin Flintheart, and Diet Smith. Gadgets? Dick had scores of them, including one I always wanted, the two-way wrist radio. And I loved his "crimestoppers tips." And the way bullets fired by Tracy made perfect holes in people. Here's a link to a selection from the 1936 Dick Tracy series The Hotel Murders.
Those old comic book ads. Sea monkeys, Charles Atlas' bodybuilding course, etc. A fellow named Steve Conley has collected them at a site called Super Marketing - Ads from the Comic Books.
Funny-papers lawyer. Ruben Bolling started drawing his Tom the Dancing Bug comic strip for the student newsweekly, The Harvard Law Record, while he was a student at Harvard Law, from which he graduated in 1987. The strip, which blends social and political commentary, now appears in syndication in many newspapers. Bolling also draws "Tom" cartoons for The New Yorker, Salon, and the Washington Post, and his cartoons occasionally appear in the "Week in Review" section of the New York Times. From an interview in Nada Mucho:
Nada Mucho: How does a Harvard Law student get started in cartooning? Ruben Bolling: Generally? I'm not sure that there's a set path for law students to launch cartooning careers. I did it because it wasn't until I was in law school that I discovered that I could write comics.
NM: Does that degree come in handy? Had to sue anybody yet? RB: No, I've remained litigation-free, thankfully. I suppose it actually does come in handy in terms of writing, because I don't think any education (formal or otherwise) is wasted when you're writing.
Crime strips & cartoons. About.Com's links to some of the best comic strips and cartoons about "crime."
Self-help law for cartoonists. StarvingArtistsLaw.Com provides legal information and/or links to such information to aspiring cartoonists, artists, writers, etc. Maintained by Stuart M. Rees, Esq., a Harvard Law graduate who represents cartoonists in their negotiations with syndicators. Note the disclaimer. In his other identity as "Stu," a real-life cartoonist, Mr. Rees draws a daily law-related cartoon and maintains, inter alia, a portal with links to all of the comics available on the internet from the major syndicators.
LawComix. "LawComix is a collection of legal cartoons from projects by lawyer-cartoonist Charles Fincher...." Click here.
Pearls Before Swine. Pearls Before Swine is a comic strip drawn by Stephen Pastis, a 1993 graduate of UCLA Law School and a practicing lawyer, about "two friends: a megalomaniacal Rat who thinks he knows it all and a slow-witted Pig who doesn't know any better."
Piranha Club. The title of this strip, The Piranha Club, refers to "the comical band of larcenous characters who have repeatedly wreaked financial ruin on Ernie and other suckers since the start of the strip." Among the "freeloaders and swindlers" who belong to "the club" is "Slick Willy O'Haberman (never has the term 'criminal lawyer' been more accurate!)...."
Judge Parker. Judge Alan Parker, attorney Sam Driver, Abbey Spencer -- this strip was started when I was nine years old. It's still around. If it reminds you of Rex Morgan, M.D., it's because it was created by the same fellow, a psychiatrist.
Announcement. We've finally gotten around to launching our new webzine/blawg: BurtLaw's The Daily Judge:
It is not an online newspaper and is not affiliated with or intended to be mistaken for any existing or previously-existing newspaper or journal. Rather, it is a so-called "blawg," a law-related personal "web log" or "blog," one with a subjective, idiosyncratic, and eccentric sociological and social-psychological slant that focuses not on the latest judicial decisions of supposed great importance but on a) the institution of judge in the United States and in other countries throughout the world, b) the judicial office and role, c) judicial personalities, d) the great common law tradition of judging as practiced here and throughout the world, e) judges as judges, f) judges as ordinary people with the usual mix of virtues and flaws, etc. We link to newspapers and other sources in order to alert the reader to ideas, articles, stories, speeches, law books, literary works and other things about "judges" that have interested us and that may interest the reader.
We don't promote our blawgs, but readers of this blog and of our affiliated political opinion blog, BurtonHanson.Com, may be interested in it. We don't think there is another blawg quite like it.