Saturday, June 15, 2013

Getting to Know: James Daily, Ryan Davidson and Law and the Multiverse Part 6

Please read Part 5 of the interview before reading Part 6

Final Questions with Daily and Davidson

1. Have you ever come across a comic storyline that boggled your mind so bad that you just couldn’t figure out how to apply any law or regulations and wish you were able to? If yes, what was it about?

RD: This actually happens with some regularity in Golden and Silver Age comics. Some of the plots are just downright silly in ways that make legal analysis somewhat superfluous. Comic books frequently contain impossible things, and that as such doesn’t pose any particular difficulty for us. But when they contain downright illogical things, the analysis can switch rapidly from “That’s illegal!” to “Okay, that’s just dumb.”

2. If you did not have a law degree or are a non-practicing lawyer, would your blog/site be as popular or reputable as it is today? Why or why not?

JD: I’m certain that it wouldn’t for two reasons. First, there are lots of non-lawyers who speculate about superhero legal issues on the internet. There are a lot fewer lawyers who do so. It turns out I wasn’t actually the first one, but I was basically the only one doing it at the time I started the blog.

Second, I have access to legal research databases and tools that very few non-lawyers do. That enables me to research different areas of the law quickly and come to reasonably sound conclusions. Anybody can use Google and Wikipedia. Hopefully we offer more than that.

RD: James has this one. Without our law degrees, we’d be just two more people writing about comics. Subject-matter expertise is what makes most successful blogs worth reading. Ours is law.

3. Did you ever think that your commitment to your blog would have led you to reached new heights that many would only dream about: movie deals, books, wiki page, fan base, etc? Why or why not?

JD: Not at all. Most blogs don’t get much attention, and I had never written a blog before, much less a successful one, so I had no particular reason to think this one would be different.

RD: I have to give credit to James on this one. He was both interested enough to put this idea into practice and share it on MetaFilter and humble enough to keep his expectations realistic. Fortunately for both of us, it really is a great idea. My first comment on his first Projects post suggested that there might be a book deal in the offing here. So while I was extremely pleased both to be invited to collaborate and to see the project take off, it had occurred to me that there was real potential here. Still, there are plenty of great ideas that don’t go anywhere. Turned out we were at the right place at the right time, but there’s never any guarantee of that.

4. Now that you are “famous” is there more pressure on you to keep up with the blog? If yes, why?

JD: It’s not really pressure, since I enjoy it.

5. If the collaboration did not happen, where do you think you would be now?

RD: Well it was James’s idea, so I’d imagine he’d probably be doing this anyway. I’d probably be reading the book, wishing I’d been able to get in touch with James when he was starting things up. . . .

6. Which comic(s) would you suggest to fans if they are interested in law?

JD: Daredevil, currently written by Mark Waid. Not only does it feature law-related storylines, but it’s also one of the best-written and best-drawn comic books today.

RD: Daredevil is the best “straight” law-related comic, in addition to being one of the best written and drawn ones out there. She-Hulk is a more tongue-in-cheek approach, though it might not be considered appropriate for all audiences. The Uniques and Powers are both independent comics which take the idea of superheroes seriously to the point that they recognize and wrestle with what that might mean for society. All are great reads.

© 2013 Linda Thai

Photography by Linda Thai

Thank you James Daily and Ryan Davidson for participating in the interview! Thank you for reading!

For more information, check out the Law and the Multiverse website

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