Monday, July 12, 2010

Number 771

"B" is for...Buster Brown Comic Book featuring Space Siren!

The second of Pappy's Plan B week (see yesterday's post for lame explanation of this theme) is for Buster Brown.

"Space Magnet" is another in the short series (five issues) of the sexy Space Siren from Buster Brown Comic Book, a shoe store giveaway comic. It's from #31, Summer 1953.

I showed you another Space Siren story in Pappy's #214.

Reed Crandall did the fantastic artwork, the rocket ships reminding me of Mac Raboy's beautiful Sunday Flash Gordon strips. Ray Willner, who usually drew more down-to-earth subjects, like the tales of Gunga the Indian elephant boy, did the inking.

Not only were issues of Buster Brown Comic Book undated, they weren't copyrighted. Someone could use these characters. C'mon, you artists...let's see your versions of Space Siren and the Interstellar Police.


Mark said...

It is tempting to do a story featuring Captain Bruce Warren of the Interplanetary Police.

But it's really dicey doing stories with abandoned characters. While the original stories may be in the public domain, that's only an assumption. And even if the original stories are indeed in the public domain, copyrights are only half of the intellectual property equation. Copyright is overlapped by trademark protection.

Let's say that Captain Bruce Warren and the Space Siren are indeed up for grabs. Whoever got a new story out first might be able to secure trademark protection on it. Any one else doing a story with the characters could then be frozen out of cashing in on the characters in any significant way. And if there were others out there working on such stories, one might be faced with lawsuits, regardless who was in the right.

When trying to come up with new characters and series titles, I try to do exhaustive searches for other uses of the same name, so as to be able to come up with something unencumbered by conflicting claims of ownership. And it is getting extraordinarily difficult to come up with usable names that haven't been used somewhere by somebody.

It is tempting, though, to play around with abandoned characters. It's a good creative exercise if nothing else.

Mark said...

In spite of what I said in the previous post, I've almost talked myself into doing an Interstellar Police story. Maybe a one-pager, maybe more.

All of my published work so far has been funny animal. I don't know whether I would do it as straight funny animal, mixed funny animal and humans (as Barks did in "Dangerous Disguises"), or try my hand at straight realism. Or, maybe try my hand at twisted, primitive realism.

Pappy, I assume that if any of your readers did come up with some original Interstellar Police stuff, you would want to post it here on your blog?

And Pappy, have you written stories or done artwork, either professionally or as an enthusiast? Is there any chance of seeing or reading what you yourself would do with these characters"

Pappy said...

Mark, I had more of the fan art style of drawings, not a full-blown story using someone else's characters. If you want to do a funny animal Space Siren drawing, or a sexy Space Siren, or whatever strikes your fancy, then I'd like to see it and would end up in the blog.

I haven't solicited this sort of thing in the past because I don't think it's in keeping with the focus I have in mind for Pappy's (which is to show old art, not new), but on the other hand, as dear old Big Pappy used to say, "What could it hurt?"

Karswell said...

Man oh man, Reed Crandell could draw women. There's probably tons more to say about this great post but right now I can't think of anything...

Doctor Zen said...

I just don't like pastiches. Too many of them read like parodies of the original or, in keeping with current trends in comics, dark and twisted takes (Frank Miller's Spirit movie did both). I don't read Sherlock Holmes, Conan, James Bond, or Doc Savage pastiches. They lack the spirit of the originals, and a lot of them seem like a way to cash in on somebody else's work. If a writer is talented enough, he/she should be able to create their own characters. All the ones above weren't popular because they were like everybody else - they had new and intriguing characters. Anyway, I don't see a problem with simply posting a picture you drew of the originals; you're honoring them and their creators. The only advice I have is to write a short article to go with the new illos - then you are simply illustrating your article.

Doctor Zen said...

Meanwhile, Pappy, thanks for the stories!