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Ka-Blam Rededicates to Indy Publishing...
wwi3313
post Feb 23 2012, 09:33 PM
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Effective immediately, Ka-Blam will NO LONGER print any work (sketchbook, art book or print) that features a trademarked character without WRITTEN authorization or waiver.

I'll admit, when I first read about this, I was a little miffed (particularly because I saw it AFTER I sent in my order for my 8 Bit Art Book -- ORDER YOURS NOW! -- and I'm still not sure how it will affect its production), thinking Ka-Blam was kinda punking out from a fight they weren't ever really in. The interior work is actually rather free to house "trademarked" material, so long as the trademark matter in question isn't used to sell the object -- for anyone who wants to challenge me on this, I had a little tete a tete with both Marvel AND DC about my 8 Bit designs that I sold thru RedBubble, so I've got the ends and out of that pretty good -- so, as long as Batman, Spider-man or what have you don't grace the cover of your art book or sketchbook, you're in the clear (prints, unfortunately would be considered trademark infringement because you're using the trademarked character to sell your print).

At any rate, whether just for the sake of my fellow artist or to my own personal affect, I wished Ka-Blam wouldn't take that stance...and then I saw this:[LINK]. They make no qualms about saying its in light of the Friedrich vs. Marvel Ent. ruling and I can honestly appreciate their candor, but what truly affirmed (it didn't really waiver!) my love/loyalty to Ka-Blam is the reiteration that their goal was always to support the Indy/Small Press market. Here was a company whose mark on the comic game could be as impactful (if not more so) than the launch of Image Comics (which is in the throes of celebrating 20yrs!), and their specific goal is to reach out to publishers like myself and give me a voice, not necessarily counter to, but parallel to the Mainstream market. I think I've proven to be rather PRO-Ka-Blam before, but I knowing they're in OUR corner like this, boost my dedication tenfold!


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Greg G.
post Feb 23 2012, 11:46 PM
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Get covers printed at Ka-Blam.

Print interiors and staple at Kinkos.

Thinking outside the box. tongue.gif

I saw this news when Rob Liefeld tweeted about it and I immediately started wondering what alternatives to Ka-Blam are out there?

Also "which is in the throes of celebrating 20yrs!"



throe

noun

1. a violent spasm or pang; paroxysm.

2. a sharp attack of emotion.

3. throes,
a. any violent convulsion or struggle: the throes of battle.
b. the agony of death.
c. the pains of childbirth.

When it doubt, whip the dictionary out. wink.gif

This post has been edited by Greg G.: Feb 23 2012, 11:47 PM


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doombug
post Feb 24 2012, 04:01 AM
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...shit. I'm going to have to email Brant about this because I know we're usually safe under parody but that may have just killed NCD's print distribution.


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wwi3313
post Feb 24 2012, 07:10 AM
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QUOTE (Greg G. @ Feb 24 2012, 12:46 AM) *
Get covers printed at Ka-Blam.

Print interiors and staple at Kinkos.

Thinking outside the box. tongue.gif

I saw this news when Rob Liefeld tweeted about it and I immediately started wondering what alternatives to Ka-Blam are out there?

Also "which is in the throes of celebrating 20yrs!"



throe

noun

1. a violent spasm or pang; paroxysm.

2. a sharp attack of emotion.

3. throes,
a. any violent convulsion or struggle: the throes of battle.
b. the agony of death.
c. the pains of childbirth.

When it doubt, whip the dictionary out. wink.gif


I was going for more of the "throes of passion" type, which I didn't think connoted only a violent spasm...but then again, I could just be doing it wrong! HAHAHA!


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Jenni Gregory
post Feb 24 2012, 08:05 AM
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QUOTE (doombug @ Feb 24 2012, 05:01 AM) *
...shit. I'm going to have to email Brant about this because I know we're usually safe under parody but that may have just killed NCD's print distribution.


Thanks for your kinds words and for your post on this important topic.

Just a reminder and note of clarification:

Generally speaking --if what you are doing is a work of parody-- Ka-Blam.com does not have problem with your project. We have and will continue to happily print works of parody. Parody is constitutionally protected and an exception to trademark law.


You may want to check with a/your legal advisor if you have doubt that you might not qualify for the parody exception--but parody trumps trademark.

Best,
Jenni Gregory
www.ka-blam.com
www.indyplanet.com
www.comicsmonkey.com

This post has been edited by Jenni Gregory: Feb 24 2012, 08:07 AM
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Greg G.
post Feb 24 2012, 09:52 AM
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QUOTE (wwi3313 @ Feb 24 2012, 08:10 AM) *
I was going for more of the "throes of passion" type, which I didn't think connoted only a violent spasm...but then again, I could just be doing it wrong! HAHAHA!


Yeah, that's a very common usage; but the throes of passion tend to be spasmodic. It's why the French use the metaphor for orgasm Le Petite Morte, the little death.

I love to use five dollar words, but I always double check the dictionary so my lofty vocabulary isn't writing checks my brain can't cash. Anyhow. . . tongue.gif


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Cary
post Feb 24 2012, 01:00 PM
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Honestly, I think this move by Ka-blam is awesome, not only because it's the right thing to do legally, but the reaffirmation of their support for our work as indy creators is something we certainly need right now. I've been a steadfast Ka-blam guy since I started making my own comics, and that will certainly continue because I like how they do business, they are AWESOME at customer support, and they have the features creators want. Knowing they're firmly in my corner is just icing on the cake.


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Ron Fortier
post Feb 24 2012, 01:30 PM
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Ditto to all that in regards to Ka-Blam and Indy Planet. We are Redbud Studio have truly benefited from our association with them. And now they are even printing our Airship 27 Productions prose pulp novels and anthologies. And the quality of their work is second to none.
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doombug
post Feb 24 2012, 02:50 PM
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QUOTE (Jenni Gregory @ Feb 24 2012, 09:05 AM) *
Thanks for your kinds words and for your post on this important topic.

Just a reminder and note of clarification:

Generally speaking --if what you are doing is a work of parody-- Ka-Blam.com does not have problem with your project. We have and will continue to happily print works of parody. Parody is constitutionally protected and an exception to trademark law.


You may want to check with a/your legal advisor if you have doubt that you might not qualify for the parody exception--but parody trumps trademark.

Best,
Jenni Gregory
www.ka-blam.com
www.indyplanet.com
www.comicsmonkey.com

thanks! Honestly the print quality is amazing so I'm glad my fears are alleviated.


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MasonEasley
post Feb 27 2012, 11:46 AM
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Meh, it's a disappointing turn of events in my opinion. I wanted to do an art book of my prints to sell at conventions, and I enjoyed kablam's ease of service. Now I'm going to have to seek another option. I certainly hope this doesn't become a trend among smaller printers.


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Cary
post Feb 27 2012, 03:04 PM
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QUOTE (MasonEasley @ Feb 27 2012, 11:46 AM) *
I certainly hope this doesn't become a trend among smaller printers.


You mean respecting trademark and copyrights?


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MasonEasley
post Feb 27 2012, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Cary @ Feb 27 2012, 04:04 PM) *
You mean respecting trademark and copyrights?


No, overreacting to the Ghost Rider court case, and unnecessarily punishing the art community who have nothing to do with it.

If Marvel, DC, and others told the artist community to stop drawing their characters, I'd be the first one to do it. However, they want artists to do it because it benefits them, it benefits the fans, and it benefits the artists.

This post has been edited by MasonEasley: Feb 27 2012, 03:17 PM


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Greg G.
post Feb 27 2012, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (MasonEasley @ Feb 27 2012, 04:16 PM) *
No, overreacting to the Ghost Rider court case, and unnecessarily punishing the art community who have nothing to do with it.

If Marvel, DC, and others told the artist community to stop drawing their characters, I'd be the first one to do it. However, they want artists to do it because it benefits them, it benefits the fans, and it benefits the artists.


Errrr. . .

The printers are protecting their own business, not punishing convention artists.

You don't want the lawyers and bank roll of Disney or Warner Brothers bearing down on you because of a convention artist that ignores fair use law and prints materials containing character the artist does not own.

Just spelling it out as it is. With that said, I wonder where guys like Adam Hughes gets his sketchbooks printed up? They're chock full of copyrighted characters, sometimes in various stages of undress. It would be most problematic if a blind eye is turned to the working professional who profits from characters they do not own on the side, while small guys who attempt to do the same are left on the sidelines. Yes the working pros have established a relationship with publishers, but it smacks of a double standard to turn a blind eye to one group and not the other.


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MasonEasley
post Feb 27 2012, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Greg G. @ Feb 27 2012, 06:23 PM) *
Errrr. . .

The printers are protecting their own business, not punishing convention artists.

You don't want the lawyers and bank roll of Disney or Warner Brothers bearing down on you because of a convention artist that ignores fair use law and prints materials containing character the artist does not own.


Is there any indication that Disney and marvel are cracking down on these printers? I haven't seen it or heard about it. Also kablam's has been printing and selling these type of products for years now.

Obviously kablam has a right to do whatever it wants with its business. However this change wasn't in response to any change in official policy from marvel or dc. You also bring up a great point about Hughes and others, and that's why dc and marvel aren't going to crack down on this practice.


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Cary
post Feb 27 2012, 06:52 PM
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Marvel and DC have long had an informal policy that said the people who already work on their characters, meaning say Mark Bagley draws Spider-man and can certainly produce prints of his Spider-man for sale at shows. They've allowed guys like Ethan Van Schiver to do the same, and even allowed his colorist to use pieces Ethan worked up for his own personal benefit. What they don't have an informal agreement on is folks out there producing and selling prints of their characters who have never worked on those characters or even for the companies in question, and I think that's a fairly easy to identify and define situation.

To imagine that Marvel and/or DC wants people out there hawking prints with their characters on them with zero compensation to them is a pretty nonsensical rose colored way of viewing the whole thing in my opinion. You really think either of those companies needs another ounce of advertizing from John Q. wannabe comic artist? Somehow I seriously doubt it.


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MasonEasley
post Feb 27 2012, 08:00 PM
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QUOTE (Cary @ Feb 27 2012, 07:52 PM) *
Marvel and DC have long had an informal policy that said the people who already work on their characters, meaning say Mark Bagley draws Spider-man and can certainly produce prints of his Spider-man for sale at shows. They've allowed guys like Ethan Van Schiver to do the same, and even allowed his colorist to use pieces Ethan worked up for his own personal benefit. What they don't have an informal agreement on is folks out there producing and selling prints of their characters who have never worked on those characters or even for the companies in question, and I think that's a fairly easy to identify and define situation.

To imagine that Marvel and/or DC wants people out there hawking prints with their characters on them with zero compensation to them is a pretty nonsensical rose colored way of viewing the whole thing in my opinion. You really think either of those companies needs another ounce of advertizing from John Q. wannabe comic artist? Somehow I seriously doubt it.


I don't really need to imagine it Cary. Here's what Joe Quesada and Dan Buckly said on the issue;

QUOTE
One broader issue that's been widely discussed is that of the convention economy and freelance artist's place in it. Everyone knows comic creators sell original art and other materials at artist's allies across the country. Marvel has even worked with some current freelancers to create licensed prints specifically for this purpose. But the view overall has been that artists are able to sell their wares without legal threat from the publisher. With this suit, has there been a whole cloth change in stance from Marvel regarding convention artist's alley business? And if so, what is Marvel's view of this practice? Does a creator have the right to sketch Spider-Man for fans for money?

Quesada: Let me put this as simply as I can: Marvel is not looking to make any new policy announcements through this lawsuit -- a lawsuit that began five years ago.

As a case in point, the Internet and the creative community became incredibly concerned when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, thinking that Marvel now wouldn't return original art to its artists, even despite my publicly stating the contrary. As you can see, that was unfounded.

Buckley: We in no way want to interfere with creators at conventions who are providing a positive Marvel experience for our fans. We want fans to speak and interact with the creators who wrote, penciled, inked, lettered, colored or edited their favorite stories. Part of that positive interaction is that a fan can walk away with a signed memento or personalized sketch from an artist.


http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37017


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Greg G.
post Feb 27 2012, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (MasonEasley @ Feb 27 2012, 09:00 PM) *
I don't really need to imagine it Cary. Here's what Joe Quesada and Dan Buckly said on the issue;



http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37017


Are you intentionally misinterpreting the statement?

"Does a creator have the right to sketch Spider-Man for fans for money?"

"We in no way want to interfere with creators at conventions who are providing a positive Marvel experience for our fans. We want fans to speak and interact with the creators who wrote, penciled, inked, lettered, colored or edited their favorite stories. Part of that positive interaction is that a fan can walk away with a signed memento or personalized sketch from an artist."

This implies as Cary stated, creators that have worked on the character / books are free to do sketches.

So it sounds like Marvel is fine with creators that have worked for them doing sketches for fans.

Chances are you'll be safe doing a sketch of Popular Character X for a fan at a convention, but you're risking your neck by creating a "mass produced" sketchbook containing images of Popular Character X.



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If you don't repeat the actions of your own success
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You gotta know your own formula, your own ingredients
What made you, YOU.
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MasonEasley
post Feb 27 2012, 09:02 PM
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QUOTE (Greg G. @ Feb 27 2012, 09:20 PM) *
Are you intentionally misinterpreting the statement?

"Does a creator have the right to sketch Spider-Man for fans for money?"

"We in no way want to interfere with creators at conventions who are providing a positive Marvel experience for our fans. We want fans to speak and interact with the creators who wrote, penciled, inked, lettered, colored or edited their favorite stories. Part of that positive interaction is that a fan can walk away with a signed memento or personalized sketch from an artist."

This implies as Cary stated, creators that have worked on the character / books are free to do sketches.

So it sounds like Marvel is fine with creators that have worked for them doing sketches for fans.


Read the last sentence again. It also sounds like Marvel is fine with artists doing personalized sketches and selling signed mementos. Prints fall under the latter category. Please note though that the question they answered never made the distinction between creators who worked at Marvel, and creators who have never worked at Marvel. Buckley never said "a personalized sketch or momento from a Marvel artist", he simply said "an artist". He also said that Marvel didn't want to interfere with "creators" providing a positive experience for their fans. Again, he never said "Marvel creators", he just said "creators".

BTW, this also brings us full circle back to the Kablam discussion; As Quesada has stated, Marvel isn't changing their policy, so it sucks that Kablam is changing theirs.

QUOTE
Chances are you'll be safe doing a sketch of Popular Character X for a fan at a convention, but you're risking your neck by creating a "mass produced" sketchbook containing images of Popular Character X.


LoL! No you're not. I often wonder if any of you guys actually venture into artist alley. Sketchbooks and prints of established characters is a very common, and highly sought after practice on the convention floor. It even goes on with Marvel and DC in the same area.



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Greg G.
post Feb 27 2012, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (MasonEasley @ Feb 27 2012, 10:02 PM) *
Read the last sentence again. It also sounds like Marvel is fine with artists doing personalized sketches and selling signed mementos. Prints fall under the latter category. Please note though that the question they answered never made the distinction between creators who worked at Marvel, and creators who have never worked at Marvel. Buckley never said "a personalized sketch or momento from a Marvel artist", he simply said "an artist". He also said that Marvel didn't want to interfere with "creators" providing a positive experience for their fans. Again, he never said "Marvel creators", he just said "creators".

BTW, this also brings us full circle back to the Kablam discussion; As Quesada has stated, Marvel isn't changing their policy, so it sucks that Kablam is changing theirs.


Reading the whole paragraph Buckley implied that Marvel has no problem with creators that have worked on books for them doing sketches for fans at shows. That is what I'm getting from reading the whole statement and trying to not take anything out of context.

KaBlam is just covering their own behind. Plain and simple.

QUOTE
LoL! No you're not. I often wonder if any of you guys actually venture into artist alley. Sketchbooks and prints of established characters is a very common, and highly sought after practice on the convention floor. It even goes on with Marvel and DC in the same area.


I'm speaking as of February 16th, 2012 when Marvel set a precedent for this action.

I spend plenty of time in Artist Alley and own plenty of con sketches and sketchbooks from various artists featuring characters they do not legally own. I find it's a better deal for my dollar.

What I'm implying is that as of February 16th, 2012 - you could be in a defenseless position if you sell a sketchbook containing Marvel characters and you're not an artist that has worked for Marvel, and they just decide to sic their lawyers on you. That's all.

I'm sure it will be business as usual at conventions; but the Friedrich ruling is Marvel setting a precedent to go after creators who they feel are unjustly profiting from their intellectual property.

Sidebar Podcast had a very interesting discussion on this topic. You ought to give it a listen just to hear all sides discussed.

This post has been edited by Greg G.: Feb 27 2012, 11:13 PM


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If you don't repeat the actions of your own success
You won't be successful
You gotta know your own formula, your own ingredients
What made you, YOU.
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MasonEasley
post Feb 28 2012, 09:27 AM
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QUOTE (Greg G. @ Feb 28 2012, 12:12 AM) *
Reading the whole paragraph Buckley implied that Marvel has no problem with creators that have worked on books for them doing sketches for fans at shows. That is what I'm getting from reading the whole statement and trying to not take anything out of context.

KaBlam is just covering their own behind. Plain and simple.


I'm not taking the statement out of context. The duo was asked their thoughts on creators selling Marvel artwork at conventions. Quesada said that its going to be business as usual, and Buckley identified creators who worked at Marvel, and artists and creators in general as providing a positive experience for con goers. Given Marvel's history on the matter, I'm not seeing why you're having such a hard time.

QUOTE
I'm speaking as of February 16th, 2012 when Marvel set a precedent for this action.

I spend plenty of time in Artist Alley and own plenty of con sketches and sketchbooks from various artists featuring characters they do not legally own. I find it's a better deal for my dollar.

What I'm implying is that as of February 16th, 2012 - you could be in a defenseless position if you sell a sketchbook containing Marvel characters and you're not an artist that has worked for Marvel, and they just decide to sic their lawyers on you. That's all.

I'm sure it will be business as usual at conventions; but the Friedrich ruling is Marvel setting a precedent to go after creators who they feel are unjustly profiting from their intellectual property.


I guess you missed this part;

QUOTE
Quesada: Let me put this as simply as I can: Marvel is not looking to make any new policy announcements through this lawsuit -- a lawsuit that began five years ago.


Again, Marvel hasn't changed their policy. Its a shame that Kablam changed theirs.

Marvel went after Freidrich because he went after them first. Marvel isn't going to sic its lawyers on you. As Buckley said, their main goal is to give convention goers a "positive Marvel experience", and various creators give convention goers exactly that.

This post has been edited by MasonEasley: Feb 28 2012, 09:33 AM


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