The webcomics blog about webcomics

The Far Antipodes, A Prescient Comic, And The Commentariat Speaks

Also squirrels. Friggin’ squirrels, man. Let’s talk about things that don’t suck.

  • Readers of this page will know that I greatly enjoy the work of David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc and amateur Mr Bean impersonator), a man who has gifted the world with literally an infinite amount of webcomics, and a man to whom I cannot give money in exchange for goods because he has not attempted to monetize his best-known effort, Irregular Webcomic¹. For some short while now, he’s been running a Patreon to offset costs, and hopefully reduce his day job by one day per fortnight.

    And, of late, for another reason. Morgan-Mar has been publicly musing about the possibility of finally doing a print collection of Irregular Webcomic, but as the strip is largely composed of tableaus (tableaux?) of LEGO-brand figures, he needed to navigate their intellectual property boundaries carefully. Not wanting to unleash a torrent of IANAL on Dr Morgan-Mar², I kept quiet as he mentioned that Patreon funds would be going to find competent legal advice on issues of international intellectual property³.

    But that all changed today:

    There’s plenty of net.advice saying that parody is Fair Use of copyright material, but this doesn’t apply for two reasons: (1) I’m concerned about misusing LEGO’s trademarks, not copyright. Also those of Star Wars and Harry Potter, for those comic themes. And (2) I live in Australia, where there is no such thing as Fair Use. (We have Fair Dealing, which is a less permissive law than US Fair Use.) Basically, I have no real idea if I could publish IWC for profit without violating LEGO’s intellectual property.

    I have just signed an agreement to have the lawyers investigate the relevant trademark laws and provide me with professional legal advice. [emphasis mine]

    So, with an actual lawyer consulting actual laws, hopefully Morgan-Mar will not be best by armchair attorneys all day and night, and even more hopefully I’ll be able to exchange money for a copy of an IWC book sooner rather than later. Oh, and if the attorney’s advice comes back as It’s a shame you aren’t in the US, their laws would let you do this but Australia’s won’t, I’m sure that Katie Lane and Make That Thing would just love to find an excuse to head to Sydney for business meetings with Morgan-Mar If you want to see all this come to pass (and honestly, who wouldn’t?), keep that support going to Morgan-Mar at his Patreon.

  • Sneaky webcomic of the day goes to Jeffrey Rowland, whose 16 page return to the adventures of Topato and Sheriff Pony (who have gotten kind of … doughy since we saw them last) led through a philosophy of capitalism, a quick peek at an older Wigu Tinkle & family, and ended in naked shilling for TopatoCon.

    I am in awe of the sheer coincidence that a con being put on by Rowland’s company wound up being referenced in Rowland’s comic. And I am delighted to think that by going to TopatoCon in, oh, ten days, I may be contributing directly to the ongoing existence of the Butter Dimensions. I would only add, on behalf of Topato and Sheriff Pony, that in addition to intangible currency, you spend lots and lots of tangible currency with all the exhibitors in Eastworks. Do it to keep existence existing.

  • From the comments yesterday:

    Kate Beaton did a Q&A on Tumblr the other day. In general, the way she talks to her fans online makes me think that she is basically the best person ever.

    Jacob, in that assessment you would be entirely correct. For those interested in some of those Qs and As (on the day of Step Aside, Pops! launching) and how awesome Beaton is with her fans, check out this, this, this, this, especially this, this, and this.

Spam of the day:

Hi Dear,

Let me stop you right there. Sending a spam in the name of noted philanthropist Charles Feeney, claiming to want to give me a large amount of money, in case I did a 10 second Google search and decided things are more plausible because that’s an actual person? That’s pretty evil. More importantly, I’ve never met Mr Feeney, but I don’t think he’s the sort to open a business email with “Dear”. Maybe if I was his kid? Then again, I am adopted … so he might … I MUST RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AND GET MY MILLIONS. SO LONG, SUCKERS, I’MA BUY ME SOME BETTER FRIENDS.

¹ Although I would be remiss if I didn’t point out his Star Trek recap comic, Planet of Hats, does sell originals.

² Which he received anyway.

³ Morgan-Mar lives in Australia,the LEGO empire is Danish, likely the majority of his customer base is in North America.

RSS feed for comments on this post.