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      CommentAuthormattk
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
     (9250.1)
    Hopefully this discussion will be 1) allowable and 2) entertaining.

    Here's the background: a friend wrote, today, about a gentleman releasing a bunch of new characters he'd created, via a Creative Commons license. This prompted me to imagine someone releasing a fairly well-known comic book character, with a lot of history, as public domain, and how much more interest that might generate.

    Here's the question: what character would you nominate for a giveaway stunt like this? I tend to imagine Joe Quesada as the one to try something like this if anyone did, but as a parlor game I see no reason to limit ourselves to just Marvel. Consider DC's character library fair game as well, and anyone else you think might be sufficiently well-known.

    I suggest looking at B- and C-list characters, unless someone has a plausible and/or novel reason why Marvel or DC would find it worthwhile to give away an A-list property (and not be sued by shareholders). Otherwise, any character likely to get a feature film treatment, e.g., is probably out. That still leaves all sorts of well-known, well-loved characters with enough history and familiarity, at least within nerd circles, for a stunt like this to make a big splash. (At least per the premise we're working from.) Maybe one of those perennial also-rans who has gotten six or seven ongoing series over the decades, but has never sold quite well enough to avoid cancelation.

    Suggestions?
  1.  (9250.2)
    I tend to imagine Joe Quesada as the one to try something like this

    Hahahaha no.
  2.  (9250.3)
    the only way i like to think of this is Mr Mxyzptlk becoming public domain to fuel the multi dimensional/metatextual nature of the character...but realistically, no company making any amount of money on a character is ever going to voluntarily make them public domain.

    i am as anti-corporate as they come, but seriously, thats just like saying 'no thanks, we have enough of your money. just take some of our characters'
    • CommentAuthorBMTMTC
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
     (9250.4)
    The only reason I could ever see this happening is to purposely discard an embarrassing or racist type character. For example, if DC wanted to put former Green Lantern sidekick Pieface into public domain to put some distance between them I could almost, maybe, sort of see that happening.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
     (9250.5)
    Well, you're probably going to get Superman in a couple of years.




    Maybe.
    •  
      CommentAuthormattk
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
     (9250.6)
    I should perhaps clarify that this is not suggested as serious advice for any publisher, in case that weren't obvious. Nor really a particular wish on my part.

    (I realize that on the internet, suggestions like this are frequently offered up as either or both of those things, and therefore one may very fairly wonder whether someone offering one has any/all of his marbles. But I really just thought it might provide a brief entertaining discussion. I don't have a Speedball series that I'm dying for the chance to legally self-publish, honest.)

    Not to be taken internally, or if you are on NSAIDs, either.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
     (9250.7)
    Google Jenny Everywhere.
  3.  (9250.8)
    Jimmy Olson gets kicked out of the house and meets Bat-Mite....
  4.  (9250.9)
    Well, what happens when a character does become public domain? Does losing the exclusive copyright over a character stop you from being able to use it, or specifics of it such as its costume, as a trade mark?
  5.  (9250.10)
    If it's realistic ones we want (as in the Pieface case, they'd want to get rid of them...), then sign me up for Apache Chief, please.

    In terms of cool stuff coming out as a result of their release from copyright, Batman would probably be the best. Everybody would want to tackle Batman. Anyone for a Pixar animated Batman movie?
  6.  (9250.11)
    With the way DC has fucked with the Authority since the end of Millar's run, they might as well make that public.

    How does that work legally? Is it simply a matter of time before Superman and Batman enter into the public domain or is there a way for DC to stop that from happening?
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      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.12)
    @ Verus - there's Public Domain and then there's Trademark. Superman and Batman are both trademarked and that never runs out. But the whole "came to earth as a baby, grew up to be a hero" or "parents gunned down, grew up to be a hero", that's what's going to (someday?) be available. Do whatever with that but don't call it Superman or Batman, unless you WANT to be sued.

    It'd be neat if the Kirby heirs won their case and then made all Jack's character PD. Never happen but it'd be neat.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.13)
    Straight answer: Howard the Duck.

    I mean really, you can't do shit with him in Marvel continuity. Let the duck be free.
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.14)
    @ Finagle - and Steve Gerber's dead so he won't squawk (neither pun nor disrespect intended - R.I.P., Steve) but what about Val Mayerik?

    But I agree with your suggestion and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.15)
    "Trapped in a world he never made - but now at least has nonexclusive rights to derivative works!"
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.16)
    Let the duck be free.

    I hear a swell of inspirational music...*nods solemnly*
    •  
      CommentAuthormattk
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.17)
    If there is any Marvel character we might safely assume that no one at the company entertains further hopes of turning into a hit movie, it's probably Howard the Duck, yes?
  7.  (9250.18)
    THERE WAS ALREADY A CINEMATIC MASTERPIECE STARRING HIM
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
     (9250.19)
    THERE WAS ALREADY A CINEMATIC MASTERPIECE STARRING HIM

    With a scene filmed in my hometown of Petaluma, CA. Imagine my great and enduring PRIDE at this fact.
    • CommentAuthorTimbo
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2010
     (9250.20)
    Slightly off topic but I saw Howard the Duck as a kid and really. really liked it...go figure.

    On topic I like the idea of comic fans being allowed to monkey about with the Teen Titans.

    They need a kick in the ass.

    Some realism, spots , sexual angst etc etc. You know all the stuff missing form Harry Potter.

    Even if only to let that fully armed eyepatch guy kill a few of them.

    I mean give him a break. Supersoldier and he cannot whack a couple of super powered (non spotty ) teens.