I recently saw this taped onto the Office Depot/Office Max printing counter and thought this was pretty awesome. It's about copyright infringement and how, as a business, they have to spell out exactly what they don't allow to be printed at their facilities.
It seems odd that they have to spell out that "if you don't own the rights to the material, you are violating someone else's intellectual property for the copyright they own". The information is and always has been out there but I think the perception of what is and is not legal has been pretty blurry since cons everywhere tend to enforce the rules depending on how bad the violation is. IF YOU DON'T OWN IT OR HAVE PERMISSION, IT AIN'T YOURS is the rule.
Things like Fair Use commentary, memes or parody laws for humorous intention (SNL, Mad magazine, etc...) allows for some tweaks of a licensed character, as many of us may know but they're very specific for what they allow and artists tends to make their own definition for what these rules imply. Heck, Marvel and DC fabric has been available for a long time but was always intended for personal and individual use, not to be sold and resold as a business. That's why Marvel and DC have their own retailers and outlets for these products, which anyone can get a business license for and sell legally. Art commissions are those one-time-only requests that are legal because they tow the line legally. But the difference is, once artists mass produce art and start charging money for something they don't own, it's infringement.
As someone who owns my own characters I write and draw, this Office Depot/Office Max notice upon their desks in view of all customer request areas is just refreshing to me. It's not the "David vs Goliath" scenario most of us indie guys face at cons where there seems to be more Batman and Deadpool fan art than you can shake a stick at but every bit helps.
For all of us artist types trying to make the swim upstream with our own work, my hat is always and forever off to you. Guys like Eric Dotson, Lee Jiles, Landon Faulkner, Nichi Hawkins, Michael Gordon, Bobby Nash, Randy Bishop, Gabriel Dunston among many others know what I'm talking about. It is DAMN HARD to keep our heads above water while maintaining our artistic integrity when you go for it and only push your own work, your own characters against a sea of stolen work that eats up con dollars faster than I can devour a pepperoni pizza. But every damn cent we earn is OURS. And I'm grateful for every one of them.
This has been my stance since I started in 2010. It's also the reason why I keep doing my own comics, stories and characters. I'm actually proud I did something original, even if it wasn't as good as the stuff that's out there. I got off my ass and stood up for my own work, my own characters. And I love every one of 'em.
At some point, I'm not going to be able to financially keep doing this because the swim against the fan art current is really difficult to compete with. When that happens, I'll have been proud to have been around such an awesome crowd. Until then, I'm gonna keep flooding the market with my crap wherever I go. Last year, I hit 39 weekends and saw a lot of mileage for the pickle. Maybe I can get even more this year? We'll see. I'm not "the pickle guy" for nothin' you know!
6 years ago TODAY…Scairy Tales was born!
For me, the story is legend. I'd been a musician that could no longer find a path musically, so I folded and curled into a ball.
It was suggested I do some doodles for the work Halloween candy bowl. I quickly Sharpied something I enjoyed and thought nothing of it. The art kept getting questions like "is this a comic book?" and "who did THIS?" and so on. Then it was suggested I might try my hand at comics.
After several days of ho-humming around my birthday, I went to Michaels and got my first sketchbook to doodle for fun. I had a fever and was in no mood to do much. Then, an idea came to me...Halloween kids and monsters having comical episodes as they tried to figure the other out. Could be funny.
One idea bled into another and..."Scairy Tales" was born (adding an "i" on purpose to indicate these were FUNNY books not horror). I gathered my best bud Christopher Collins to help me out and we were off for what was intended to be a Facebook web comic.
Then, I got a printer...made 'zines...created a pickle...made 'zines...went to a comic con...and the story just builds to what you see today, 6 years later.
Only SIX years since the inception on a cheap sketchbook to what you see today with STUCK IN MY HEAD. Wow...and the wife is STILL with me...the mind boggles, and appreciates every moment.
THANK YOU everyone for supporting this silly man and his silly ideas. Who knows what will happen from here out but, for now, I can't believe how cool life is.
Most of all...thank you to my wife, Erica. Without her support, NONE of this would have happened.
6-15-16 STUCK IN MY HEAD is %100 COMPLETELY DRAWN!!!
That's right, as of yesterday, I finished the final page of artwork needed for the comic book portion of STUCK IN MY HEAD! There may be an edit here or there once te script is finished but for now, anything and everything planned for the complete book is FINISHED! While I was in Texas at the end of May, I also hit on a surprising element I hadn't counted on originally but came as an awesome surprise that I think really hits this story home. You'll know what The Black Thing is soon enough...
Next up is to tighten the script and letter it to the comic. After that, MUSIC. Many songs are already recorded and just as many have yet to be recorded but I've planned for this. We still have a release date for December 31 2016 at the latest but if I can get things finished before then, IT WILL GET AN EARLY RELEASE!
So, keep the faith and once again, THANK YOU EVERYONE for your support. Now, to continue working on the script final draft!