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21.7.13

Do You Remember the First T.I.M.E.

I've had to write to Marvel.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=46650

It's not that I think Mark Waid, a writer I respect and whose work I enjoy, has any intention or need to rip me off. I'm sure he was unaware of my prior use of the title, just as I was unaware of Mathew Jonson's until I googled it up last night.

Nor am I claiming that the idea of a government agency policing the flow of history is entirely without precedent: that goes back at least to Poul Anderson's Time Patrol, and has been widely imitated. Indeed, the Marvel Universe already has its own Time Variance Authority.

The fact remains, however, that I was the first to use "Agents of T.I.M.E." as a comic strip title, in a context that seems prima facie broadly similar to what Mark and Marvel are now planning, albeit minus the Hulk. And let's just say the "House of Ideas" has form when it comes to grabbing the titles of extant properties and then restricting the original owner's use thereof.

A case in point. And that was before they were bought by Disney.

So if I want to retain the right to exploit the Agents of T.I.M.E. mark further, I have to put Marvel on notice now before they get too attached to their version.  

Nothing personal, guys, but I was here first. Step off.

2 comments:

  1. I wrote a comic script in 2006 about a misguided geek kid who thinks he's a superhero, but isn't. He just wears a gimp mask and prowls around downtown, looking for 'bad guys'

    http://artmunki.deviantart.com/art/American-Kid-pg-1-34367029

    I bounced this idea around the Glasgow comics scene for a while, got the ball rolling on some concept art, but failed to follow it up as I was otherwise engaged in a descent into personal hell for a couple of years, which kept me somewhat occupied.


    Since learning of the existence of 'Kick Ass', I've wanted to take a cheese grater to Mark Millar's face, for the same reasons you delineate above. As it stands, though, I fear that you will not get any form of recompese or even acknowledgement from the powers that be. Let me know if you do, though.

    Dax

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    1. I am also partly to blame for the lack of impetus on American Kid, of course. But yeah, as soon as Kick-Ass came out I realised the moment for it had passed. I'd never seen Derek's version of the pages, though. I think he catches the tone better, nice and grimy.

      But that was a common case of similar ideas at the same time, where the first one into print ("reduced to concrete form") wins the prize and all the loser can do is a bit of jealous tooth-gnashing. This is different, because I've already published Agents of TIME: I'm defending an established brand, and giving Marvel a chance to avoid infringing it through ignorance. It's about the trade dress more than the content, like when Clive Barker got DC to not call their John Constantine comic Hellraiser way back when. These things happen.

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