How-To Get Your Artwork or Writing Protected with a Copyright

In today’s digital age it’s time your artwork and writing got protected!

Comics, Pinnup artwork, poems, novellas, essays and the vast body of original works out there have quite the value to them weather it is from a wholesome point of view to test one’s ability to produce it or from a business standpoint where the content made is worth it’s weight in gold. There are a few solutions for that. Two, to be exact: Making your work part of the “Public Domain” or getting a “Copyright”. Some folks seek to harness that power of creativity as a career while others are just happy to give the world something from their mind’s eye. Whatever or wherever it may come from or be intended for there is one thing for sure:

You and your work needs to be protected.
This can be done through simple methods like posting it publicly on a blog or various publicly accessible websites and announcing it to the world “This is mine but you can have it!” this is called:
Public Domain
This is defined as: the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright. You’ll retain the original as your own work but won’t have any legal grounds for suing folks who might use it and it’s meant for the world at large to enjoy and do with as they please.

However, if you’re one of the folks looking to make a career of your work what you’re going to want is a:
“Copyright”
This is a far more weighty process. Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution as per definition given from the United States Copyright Office (yes, it’s a real thing). Getting one of these for your work will enable you to put said works on paper, artwork, e-book, or even greeting card quotes into circulation for money or distribution specifically under your control and protect your works in case someone tries to use them for their own gain or distribution.

Copyright can be used on singular items or on many items in a collection in volumes. The submission for one can be done online and the nuances for such can be specific depending on the nation you are submitting it for the “Copyright” in. This is an important part of any creator’s respective body of work because it means that you, specifically, are the one who produced it and there is a copy of it in the hands of the government who can enforce the law of the creator and rights of said creator for their creations not to be used by those whom it was not intended for or given consent to use.

For more information see our Editor’s Ebook on the subject for the same amount the Loch Ness Monster often asks for:

Published  years ago and the Copyright is still current!

You can also find a link to this book at our Shop!

Comic News- The Jawbreaker Drama as of June 14th

Publisher wounded after announcing then pulling support for comic while Artist gets over $340k Crowdfunded

JAWBREAKERS- LOST SOULS

Richard C. Meyer, has been an artist for some time working on various comics. His latest production, Jawbreakers, has been met with both ecstatic support support and extreme critique. The critical nature however is not the content of the comic but the commentary of the artist on social media. Various websites and “News Sources” while seeming to be “Known for valid reporting of the facts” have been circulating screenshots and various “quotes from recorded interviews” with no actual evidence beyond citing “he said things on twitter and that one recording (that we don’t have linked or posted anywhere)”. However, while the content of the comic is a nod back to the fantastical era of comics printed on pulp and intended to tell a story much like the golden age of comics some folks can’t leave well enough alone.

Meyers has a flare for framing and simplicity in design and intent in composition.

In the wake of a crowdfunding Campaign for Jawbreakers, Meyer had found a publisher and distribution with an old favorite of ours from one of our first articles, Antarctic Press, who were ready to roll with the punches of getting the i’s dotted and t’s crossed with Diamond Comics who’re one of the larger circulation sources. What followed with the announcement was a backlash that would wound the Indi Publisher and set aflame the “#comicsgate” movement with the force of a thousand suns. Antarctic Press reneged on their support and left Meyer to fend for himself in publishing and circulation while the propaganda between Comic Book Stores leaked to the public. Names were dropped, people were outed, and Meyers took to Twitter to make it known how he felt. Soon, store owners were claiming acts of vandalism were the fault of the Comic Book artist and fingers pointed at his witty banter without any evidence to prove otherwise. It was only a matter of time till people were making themselves libel online in-mass while desperately clinging to the “proof that he was a Nazi” or any variety of “Bigot” they could muster while copying and pasting it into whatever form of social media they could.

This backlash at the time boosted the indigogo  beyond it’s stretch goals as people put their money where their mouth is. Sadly, there was no one the critics of Meyer’s could throw their money at and the now recoiling Publisher, AP (Antarctic Press), was suffering a drop in support from stores and the now publicly exposed owners for their almost Nazi-worthy levels of demand for censorship and bookburning. Die-hard fans of their works such as Gold Digger and Steam Wars or their various parodies were still purchasing and keeping them afloat but the backlash could be seen on their Twitter page and even on the Facebook Page of their founder, Ben Dunn. Meyers, on the other hand, has pulled over $340K as of 6/14/18, established Splato Comics as a Publisher and continues to grow.

Splato del Gato from Meyer’s Twitter

It should be said that while AP is a great company when it comes to parody and satire they bent the knee to the wrong folks, folks who never heard of them and now will never even consider investing due to their “Affiliation” even after they disassociated. It seems Splato Comics will be the “Official” Publisher for Meyers current and future projects moving forward.

All content is copyright it’s respective creator.

Written by: R. Rankin

Comic News- Was Stan Lee held prisoner in a weird case of elderly abuse?

Stan Lee, image Courtesy ABC News

“Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee has been granted a temporary restraining order against a man claiming to be his caregiver.” -CNN

Looks like good old Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Founder and Multimedia Entertainment Mogul, was Spirited away by Keya Morgan who had taken “Custody” of Stan as a Caretaker over the past few months. Officially, he’s been issued a restraining order to stay at least 100 Yards from the Generalissimo. While news sources have reached out to Morgan he has denied comment, however, after being arrested on Monday for making a false police report in an attempt to divert attention from a Welfare Check on Stan Lee in his own home on May 30th. We can only suspect the worst. While the court is still out on what happens and no official statement has been made by Stan we can only allude to conjecture and deduction.

Stan’s Feisty- Image Courtesy Jon Morris

We all know Stan has been having a hard time over the past year with various news sources and tabloids spreading rumors in addition to the passing of his wife but this only adds to the ever growing media flurry of attention to the aged Producer. Thankfully, Stan is free of whatever this situation with the former ,”Caregiver”. Keya Morgan, has been quoted that “I have taken great care of Stan Lee for the past many years, and have never had a problem directly with Stan. I have a fantastic relationship with him for the past many years, as he has stated countless times on the record, and I literally saved his life once.” –TMZ. However, it’s safe to say anyone who is a Memorabilia Collector with the metaphorical “Keys to the Castle” should be suspect when the King (Stan Lee) files a 100 yard restraining order.

Image Courtesy Comicbook.com

Producer and Writer Kevin Smith has offered his fellow producer, Stan, a place to live with him and his family. Where this will go we do not know. It is safe to say, though, Stan is no longer under the “Care” of Mr. Morgan and as of today no posts from Stan have surfaced on his Twitter page of anything more. We can only hope this Legendary and Visionary Hero of a man who has brought joy and inspired the imaginations of billions can enjoy his following years in peace and safety.

-R. Rankin

Sources:
CNN
TMZ
ABC News

Retro Game Review- Doom & Doom II

Doom (1993)

System: PC (ports were made for Doom to most mid 90s generation consoles- Sega 32x, SNES, Jaguar, 3D0, Xbox, Playstation, Sega Saturn, Gameboy Advanced, Mac)
Overall: 5/5
Game Summary: Doom and Doom II were the foundation forefathers of today’s modern FPS Shooters. While games like “Wolfenstien 3D” and “Blake Stone” were pushing the original gaming standards and subsequently setting us up for a future of gore-filled explosive action-packed arena shooters and corridor crawlers. Doom, itself, was originally going to be a 4 character realm crawler based on the ideas of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. With the creative minds of John D. Carmack  and John Romero working on the project it would propel PC games into headline news with the violence and satanic depictions in DooM and it’s sequel. While we could fill this summary with the same boring by-the-numbers content from Wikipedia I’ve decided (as the author) to give you a more personal take on the game from the perspective of an 8 year old who got his hands on the game at an early age…

It all started at an Office Depot in 1993. My parents were shopping for a printer for the family business. I was walking past a teenage employee that was playing a game like I’ve never seen before. To me it was “Realistic”. The only games I had played was Commander Keen, Duke Nukem, Monster Mash, Mario Brothers, Minesweeper, Ski Free and a slew of simple cartoony sprite based games. This game was visceral and fast paced. The guy looked over and said “Oh, hey kid, go ahead.” and stepped away from the display PC. Looking back I realize he could have been fired for playing games on the job but by introducing the product to the customer ultimately he could claim he was “Showing off the system”. I played for a good 15 minutes before I was picked up and whisked back home. My console games were never the same. I felt empty..
A year later my uncle (may he rest in peace) gave me a copy of the game around my 9th birthday which was a hand-me-down but I didn’t complain. Installed it on the family computer at home and played when no one was around. I memorized every map in all the episodes like the back of my hand. Blasting demons away and strafing. Trudging through Hell and it’s denizens with a Shotgun, chainsaw and a plasma rifle for good measure (I forgot all about the handgun and chaingun through most of the levels). At age 10 I picked up Doom II at a Garage Sale and like a delicious fudge frosted chocolate cake it consumed my life until I had beaten it. To give a rough Summary of the story-line:
You get to Phobos, Demon attack apparent, wipe them out, go to Hell, escape only to find Hell came to Earth, kick them back to the place they came from, kill the bossdemon, stay there to make them pay for killing your pet bunny.

There have been memes of that to a great extent. One of the designers had been caught saying “Games are like porn and a Plot makes them boring.” but that was for the early 90s when limitations of hardware and cut-scenes were limited to a screen-wide dialog box to give some narration. It was the sort of “Man versus the Devil” story and a bit of “We made portals, we invited them, they came…” sort of feel. They even released novels which were subsequently made non-canon and a comic book that was more of a fever dream inspired riot rather than something informative. Doom was a phenomena for it’s time. Over the years the lore changed little, new iterations were born: Doom 64, Doom 3, DooM 2016 and even Doom RPG for cell phones. It all hearkens back to the room with the pillars, the weird blue floor, and the room off to the left with the guys who open fire without question and some armor up on a platform just beyond them.

Gory and “Realistic” for the time.

Graphics: Compared to today’s modern standards Doom has aged a little but not excessively. When it was the newest software to hit the home computers through Dos and Windows 3.1 it was pretty much the magnum opus of that year for PC releases. Gore, explosions, creepy monsters, thematic atmosphere and even depth through your field of vision was spot on. Moonbases to Hellscapes in most cases and it fit the bill through the original episodes and Doom II. The console ports and sequels beyond that were their own creatures.

Music: At the time: slow, methodical, midi compositions were set to the varying levels throughout Doom. Some were dark, some were more power metal, some simply fit the atmosphere. The sound design, while simple, also contributed greatly to the game with obvious influence from bands like Metallica, Slayer and Pantera contributing to the mood with the music and the growls of the demons from below. You could hear monsters growling in the next room and the audio cues from attacks gave you a heads up on what to prepare for or how to mitigate the incoming damage.

Replay: Doom had a slew of difficulties. From “I’m too young to die (Very Easy)” to “NIGHTMARE (Insane difficulty)” with monster density, health, and various little tweaks like “Monster Respawn” and “Fast Monsters” which adds a whole new level of tactic and complexity to gameplay. Not to mention the Multiplayer part of Doom over classic LAN/Ip connections where you could play deathmatch or Co-op with your friends which pretty much BEGAN what E-sports are today. That’s right, kiddies, if it wasn’t for Uncle Doom you’d not be able to run around dystopian future battlegrounds and pop each-other in the face with digitally created Airsoft Rifles.
In the End: Doom is a giant of a creature today. While most people’s first foray into Doom was Doom 3 and 2016’s DooM modern incarnation there is a massive mod community for the original 2 games and dozens of active players at any given time across almost a hundred or more servers. Doom and Doom II are a must play for ANY gamer. If all you can get is a port or a copy off E-bay that’s fine but it is up on Steam and a few other direct download platforms. Get to your roots, play doom, RIP AND TEAR!

Mod community footage coming soon…

Retro Game Review- Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem II, and Duke Nukem 3D


System: PC, 3D was ported to the N64 and the PS2
Overall: **** 4/5
Game Summary: Duke was the PC action game to end all side-scrollers. He had a bad attitude, loved women, and wanted to save Earth. The first game he faught Dr. Proton- some crazy wacko in a flying chair hellbent on killing Duke. The second Game and its episodes were fighting these crazy aliens abduct Duke and plan on keeping him locked up as they rule the world. Well to make a long story short- he kills them all. The Third installment (I feel the truly last installment despite the obvious sequels) was a port to a 3D FPS. Though it was not as revolutionary as Id’s Quake it still had a good story and interesting sequential puzzle system. The game was geared for adults. There were pixilated night-walkers, Erotic Film references, and to top it of the game was made to par that if you shot something that was alive- it died. Duke Coined quite a few catchphrases much like Bruce Cambell in the Evil Dead series and the game had some Political Satire with one of the common enemies (LAPD Officers mutated into Pigs). Duke wasn’t anything new in the industry but what it did do was push the envelope on Political and Mature aspects in gameplay. Mind you Duke came out about the same time as Tomb Raider…

Graphics: The first and second game were side-scrollers for the 386’s Dos and later Windows 2.6-95. The first game was alright with its sprite count when it game to standard VGA. As for the second they got better artists, worked more on the sprites, and made things much more vibrant (for a dark game). As for Duke 3D when first playing the game it had a different feel about it. Later on it was just a sprite driven 3D shooter. The only real 3D Aspect of the game was the Environment. At certain angles the enemies got larger and this problem was never really solved but who can blame them- the engine could only do so much.

Music: The first Duke- It was ok Midi format with simple midi sound keys chalking up the atmosphere of the game. Duke II- They had a little more knowledge at their fingertips of Midi Limits making the game feel quite a bit more adept with sound and music. The 3D Duke- Composed well with some actual voice acting and higher compressed music with a pop metal theme going. Sound and music fit in perfectly. From the odd feeling of getting to Earth and seeing a hyped up adult theater and having to go through it and clean out the Aliens- to fighting your way through a prison after being captured and that’s just the levels from the First Episode.

Replay: The Side-scroller games did have a difficulty setting and so did Duke 3D. Though Killing everything and finding all the secrets was fun you only had so many ways to do it. The games were made for fast paced action when a gamer was dreadfully bored. Heck, I remember Security Guard friends of the family playing this game at their posts when I was 13 at the Blizzard office back in the days when they did public tours and Westwood shared their parking lot.

In the End: Duke Nukem Forever…. was honestly bad. The Expansion that followed shortly after was fairly better than the core game but I don’t know would it be worth it to true fans? 3D Realms had to keep up with the ever evolving Id and Valve then was subsequently ruined by Gearbox in the end. Now even companies like EA who USED to be just sports and racing are doing FPS and GOUGE the fans. I’d like to see a release that didn’t age as badly as the modern incarnation.

Deathmatch was a thing in Duke Nukem 3D