Comics Should Be Good Mailbag for 12/10

Here, on our fourth anniversary, is the latest installment of a weekly reader interactive segment on the blog, where I answer reader-submitted e-mails to bcronin@comicbookresources.com (and also post other e-mails that I receive).


We have a Storytelling Engine from John Seavey basically every week, but awhile back, he ran out of comic books to do new Storytelling Engines for (there will be more in the future as new collections get released, he just ran out of available comics at the time), so he moved on to Storytelling Engines for stuff beyond just comic books, and I've continued to keep them at the blog, so long as they have SOME comic book involvement (which, due to the licensing boom, is basically every media property). This week, however, John had his first Storytelling Engine without a comic tie-in at all. I still feel like linking to it (as it's a neat piece), so check out John's take on The Critic at his blog, fraggmented.blogspot.com, here. ________________________________

"Voodoo Mama" of the Voodoo Dolls, a trivia team, is looking for members to join their team for KVSC's XXX Trivia: 30 Years of Trivia Lovin', a local Minnesota trivia contest held each February that has, in recent years, gone national (heck, I suppose even international, as you can be on a team via the internet).

Check out KVSC's website for more details. The contest began in 1980, so this is, indeed, the thirtieth year they've done this contest! Wow!

Since it is a team e-mail, I don't think there's really much harm if I give you folks their e-mail address to contact them if you're interested - it's voodoodolls at charter.net.

I once did a trivia thing in college, and I did well (My pal Tim was freakishly good, though - wow, did that guy know him some trivia), but I also ended up blowing the game at the buzzer, which was too bad. ________________________________

A person named "Ronn" asked:

I am playing on a game called city of heroes and its a super hero game based on making your own characters with powers and costumes and back stories and such. I am wondering if the name Marvel Boi is a trademark. I know that Marvel Boy is a Marvel trademark but i want to use the name with the i at the end of it. is this trademark infringement? just wanted to ask and hopefully you can help me before i do.

Without putting a lot of research into it, Ronn, I think it's not infringement, on the theory that you are not using the name "in commerce" (as you playing the game is not use in commerce). HOWEVER, I do know that City of Heroes was sued by Marvel under the notion that City of Heroes allowing (heck, in Marvel's view, ENCOURAGING) players to use names similar to Marvel's trademarks WOULD be a "use in commerce." That lawsuit settled (most likely because the use in commerce thing was a BIT of a stretch) but while they settled, I believe City of Heroes strongly recommends people not even come close to trademarked names.

But I dunno - I don't play the game. Does anyone who plays the game know if they discourage players to use names similar to trademarked names?

If this was a standard infringement case, I think you WOULD be considered infringing on Marvel's trademark (like, let's say you wanted to do a Marvel Boi comic book). The use in commerce thing is your defense here - but really, if City of Heroes wants people not to come close, I think you're better off just picking a different name.

I'd say, "Does anyone else have an opinion on this?," but let's be real, do I even need to ask?


Tim (AKA Blackjak) wrote in to say:

When you covered the Marvel covers recently, you mentioned that you wanted to see some Clint Langley interiors...

Amazon have three hardcover 2000AD collections - the three-parts of "Slaine: The Books of Invasions", written by Pat Mills.

Irish epic sword and sorcery. May not be your cup of tea, but there is some gorgeous artwork in there...

Thanks, Tim!

You scare me for a moment - I thought, "Wait, I read the first Slaine stories - Clint Langley couldn't have drawn them!!" But then I realized you meant NEWER Slaine stuff!

The covers certainly look cool!_______________________________

Alan David Doane takes a look at his picks for Best Comics of 2008 here._______________________________

Becca sent me this link to a video on her blog of a bunch of black female superheroines (from comics, TV and movies).

It was, well, a video of a bunch of black female superheroines from comics, TV and movies.

Here is the link. _______________________________

The Mutt has a great question:

The idea that the very existence of superheroes creates super villains has been conventional wisdom in comics for a while, but is there a particular writer or story that first postulated the notion?

I really don't know.

This is the sort of thing that is best left to people posting the first time THEY saw it, and whoever is the earliest, then that can be our answer!!_______________________________

Nice publicist Margot sent along a link to a contest the Wanted DVD is having over at newsarama. Here's the link! The winner gets to meet Mark Millar in Scotland!_______________________________

That's it for this week!

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If you do, be sure to send me an e-mail to bcronin@comicbookresources.com with the subject heading "Mailbag" if you want to be included in next week's mailbag!

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