NPR = Not Patent Related
My first exposure to Comic-Con was the year that KOTCS came out. (For those of you who are not ultimate Indiana Jones fans, a) why not?, b) shame on you for not knowing, c) it stands for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and d) it was 2008.) That’s where they first announced that Karen Allen would be back to reprise her roll as the Indiana Whisperer, Marion Ravenwood. *sigh* She was the best of all the Jones girls, bar none.
Around these parts, however, Comic-Con stands not for that fan convention out on the left coast, but for the Comic Constitution. The Comic Constitution was born out of a need for a certain group of then nine-year-old boys to prevent each other from stealing ideas for comic book characters. As was the practice at that time, a group of boys would get together and draw comics during
class when they should have been paying attention recess and it so happened that the creator of the Chicken Hawk and Rooster Hawk characters, a little boy we’ll call “Michael” because that’s his name, became disenfranchised with his buddies when one of them deigned to include his character in their comic. Without asking first. And they drew the characters ALL.WRONG because don’t you know that Chicken Hawk would never be seen holding a bow and arrow? You don’t know that? Oh, the humanity.
Not content to simply go ask the offender (or possibly offenders, I never quite got the whole story) to knock it off because isn’t that what nine year old boys do? They just go up and punch each other’s lights out until the issue is resolved and then buy each other a beer, or possibly a shot of tequila? No? No. That is not at all what happened here.
Evidently, Michael took it upon himself to write up a Comic Constitution. Something akin to third grade Copyright Law, that outlines what you can and cannot do with regard to writing comics. To wit:
Here’s the text, verbatim:
There shall be no stealing Ideas/Characters from other peope’s comix. The creator of the comic does not have to let it go, he/she can rip up the comic if they do not aprove. And they have to write the owner of the comic name on the title, if they don’t they have to throw away/tear the title and writer has to write a knew one.
It’s so simple, it’s brilliant: If you use my character without telling me, I don’t have to just ignore your gross malfeasance, I can rip your comic all to hell. Or, you can use my character, but my name had better be on the title, bitchez.
Ask me how many times those kids got in another fight about comic strips? It’s less than one, just to put a number on it. And they did it all without lawyers!
So what’s the point of this little anecdote? The point is that these people in Maryland are completely crazy when they say that the school gets to own the stuff the kids who attend there create. Nine year olds in Texas figured out a year ago that that ain’t so.
What’s wrong with you, Maryland?