There Needs to be More Art and Less Brands

SpongebobFan1994

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I was talking to one of my friends last night about Green Lantern, and it got me thinking about why most people (including me) know the names of superheroes, but don't know that many (or many specific) things about them outside of the movies, TV shows, or merchandise. After thinking about it for several hours, I've concluded Marvel and DC especially treat their heroes more like brands than actual characters, only because it's more profitable that way. While I get they're a business, and everything comes down to money at the end of the day, the problem is too much business involved. Yes, there needs to be some kind of business involved in order to have the supplies needed to make, distribute, and sell comics, but the people running Marvel and DC now are like Yogurt from Space Balls where merchandising is "where da real money is made!". If they only made comics (like Image does), and made each comic a limited series (to avoid too many deconstructions of the heroes, and to avoid making it too cumbersome and overwhelming for readers), most of the population would actually know who the Alan Scott Green Lantern is as a character. Also, it would've prevented SJWs (who clearly don't know who the characters are) from using comics as their soapbox.
 


Alexzee

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The Green Lantern and the Green Arrow and my 2 favorites!

I have to agree with you it's all business and and the main focus is profit.

I'm all for more art and less brands.
Question is how can we change that?
 
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SpongebobFan1994

SpongebobFan1994

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The Green Lantern and the Green Arrow and my 2 favorites!

I have to agree with you it's all business and and the main focus is profit.

I'm all for more art and less brands.
Question is how can we change that?

Simple. Create something in one medium, have it stay in that one medium, and don't create any merchandise for it (if you want to charge for autograph signings or pictures, be my guest). As long as you market what you create, you'll have a name for yourself.
 

Alexzee

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Simple. Create something in one medium, have it stay in that one medium, and don't create any merchandise for it (if you want to charge for autograph signings or pictures, be my guest). As long as you market what you create, you'll have a name for yourself.
I create stuff all the time, I'm an artist. Anyway:

If I were to create a comic character and it looks anything like a DC or Marvel character I could be sued if I don't get permission from the company or artist.

I've been painting in oils for 20 plus years.
I just started using acrylic's this year and so far I'm getting the hang of it.
Aside from that I do a lot of colored pencil work.

Any other ideas are welcome.

Be back tomorrow, it's late.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

SpongebobFan1994

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I create stuff all the time, I'm an artist.
I'm an artist as well. I'm creating a superhero action crime-drama where the main character will be based partially on me, and some of the supporting characters will be based on my family and friends.

If I were to create a comic character and it looks anything like a DC or Marvel character I could be sued if I don't get permission from the company or artist.

Even if you did ask for permission, they don't have to give it. The best thing you can do is to create your own character, or put your own spin on a public domain character.

The strange thing is both Marvel and DC use public domain characters as well (as they're entitled to like everyone else). Here's some examples:
  • Thor is obviously based on the Norse mythology character.

  • Both of them created their own versions of Frankenstein's Monster (yes, in the original novel, one of the names he's called is the Monster) and their own versions of Dracula

  • Shazam was based on a very similar character named Captain Marvel (not the Marvel character), but because DC sued Fawcett Comics over allegedly ripping off Superman (I don't believe they did, because there's a number of distinct differences), Fawcett Comics went bankrupt shortly after and DC pounced on the character now known as Shazam, while Marvel pounced on the Captain Marvel name. However, because the original comics were never properly copyrighted, they're now in the public domain. You can't use the name (because that's trademarked by Marvel), and you can't use the original design (because that's trademarked by DC), so you'll have to change both to avoid legal issues.

  • The Blue Beetle is also in the public domain because of a lack of proper copyright, and like Shazam, you'll have to change the name and design to avoid legal issues.
There's plenty of other PD characters they've used, but you get the idea already
 
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Fanboi

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@Alexzee
You could just make your entirely own characters, but AFAIK, anything before 1920 is now fair game (prolly nuances, still). As far as "looking like", you cannot trademark an art style unless it's really recognisable and part of the nain theme and even rhen it ain't clear cut. You can trademark characters and likeness. But having a similar setting with 100% OCs is fine (obviouslt shuffle the m`p, change a few bits of minor lore). It's a little grey coz it boils down to brand recognition/confusion a lot, but there are plenty of rip-offs out there. Your strongest defense if it gets down to it is how well said author/publisher defended their trademarks and how valid the brand recognition is. Take Hasbro. No way could they stop me making a cartoon about robots who can transform coz a) there's tons of it made since then in the west, and more importantly, b) Transforners is a total ripoff of classic Mecha anime, they just tweaked it some. Off-topic: Star Wars (the original and only three) is nothing more than a sci-fi-inhanced samurai story. Deconstruct it.

So, basically you're mostly safe.
 

Alexzee

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I'm an artist as well. I'm creating a superhero action crime-drama where the main character will be based partially on me, and some of the supporting characters will be based on my family and friends.



Even if you did ask for permission, they don't have to give it. The best thing you can do is to create your own character, or put your own spin on a public domain character.

The strange thing is both Marvel and DC use public domain characters as well (as they're entitled to like everyone else). Here's some examples:
  • Thor is obviously based on the Norse mythology character.

  • Both of them created their own versions of Frankenstein's Monster (yes, in the original novel, one of the names he's called is the Monster) and their own versions of Dracula

  • Shazam was based on a very similar character named Captain Marvel (not the Marvel character), but because DC sued Fawcett Comics over allegedly ripping off Superman (I don't believe they did, because there's a number of distinct differences), Fawcett Comics went bankrupt shortly after and DC pounced on the character now known as Shazam, while Marvel pounced on the Captain Marvel name. However, because the original comics were never properly copyrighted, they're now in the public domain. You can't use the name (because that's trademarked by Marvel), and you can't use the original design (because that's trademarked by DC), so you'll have to change both to avoid legal issues.

  • The Blue Beetle is also in the public domain because of a lack of proper copyright, and like Shazam, you'll have to change the name and design to avoid legal issues.
There's plenty of other PD characters they've used, but you get the idea already
Thanks for the details.-;)
 
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SpongebobFan1994

SpongebobFan1994

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Alexzee

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There are some good videos on that guys Youtube channel.
 

Fanboi

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Yup, he pulls no punches.
 
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