Monday, September 1, 2008

Free Comics Monday: Uncle Sam

Sorry I'm late today - I'm trying to squeeze too much Labor into my Labor Day. Anyway, today, I present two comics featuring heroes Quality comics.

Interesting thing about the Quality Heroes (Uncle Sam, The Ray, The Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, ect...) while DC owns the likenesses of the versions that were created in the 70's (and recently used in two mini- series) the characters are all in Public Domain.

From Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #23!

All you need to be able to write a public domain character is for that character to be IN the public domain,which is the case for all of the Freedom Fighters. The Freedom Fighters were all published by Quality Comics until it went out of business in the 1950s, and eventually sold all its rights to DC Comics. The thing is, during this period in time, Quality allowed the copyright to lapse on their characters.

The article goes on to say that while the characters in Public Domain, DC has certain rights because:

...the fact that they published a comic book titled The Ray and Black Condor would be a strong argument in DC's favor that they have a trademark on those characters.

So you *could* use them in a comic, but you would not be able to advertise the comic as The Ray or Black Condor, because it's going to cause *confusion in the marketplace* and that's really one of the fundamental points of copyright and trademark law. And you certainly wouldn't be able to get a movie deal with such characters because Hollywood is just terrified of things like this. :D

First up is Uncle Sam

[ National Comics 18 ]

And Dollman

[ Feature 85]



Richard said...

For what it's worth, I still think my idea of a dozen simultaneous yet independent versions of the Quality heroes or the THUNDER Agents by different creative teams would be really cool.

However, my comment at the above link about the writing on the Quality stories was unnecessarily harsh and I would withdraw that sentence if it were possible.

Jim Shelley said...

RAB, Yeah, I agree, I would sort of like to see several versions of the Human Bomb floating around simply because you never know which one could become another Tomb of Dracula.

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