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THIS WEEKEND: Vancouver! PLUS: Maker Faire Roll-a-Sketches!

VANCOUVER, BC (because comics)

THIS WEEKEND I’ll be in Vancouver, BC for the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival!

Held at the Roundhouse on Saturday and Sunday (May 23-24), admission is COMPLETELY FREE and so I expect to see ALL of you there.

Besides holding down the ol’ table, I’ll also be participating in these events:

INSPECTOR PANCAKES AND HIS TERRIBLE FRIENDS
Sunday, May 24th 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM

Hosted by Karla Pacheco
Featuring Kory Bing, Emily Horne, Jeph Jacques, David Malki !

To celebrate the world premiere of Inspector Pancakes Helps The President of France Solve The White Orchid Murders, creator Karla Pacheco, along with her terrible, terrible co-conspirators, planned to hold a panel. But her panel plans will have to wait, because it looks like one of her panellists … is a murderer! Armed with her wits, a group of ornery comics creators, and a team of adorable crack dog detectives, Karla Pacheco is on the case! But will you help her investigation, or hinder it?

QUICK ON THE DRAW 3: THE QUICKENING
Sunday, May 24th 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

Hosted by The Fictionals
Featuring Ian Boothby, Jeff Ellis, David Malki !, JJ McCullough, Alina Pete

Join The Fictionals Comedy Co., Cloudscape Comics, and double-threats Ian Boothby and David Malki ! for a packed hour of comics & comedy in Quick on the Draw 3: The Quickening! This event combines the best of both worlds: improvisers perform for your amusement while artists draw their shenanigans. Featuring improv games, live drawing, and—most importantly—prizes! Audience participation is suggested, and fun is mandatory.


I had a great time at Maker Faire last week! PROBABLY the highlight was getting a 19th-century tintype portrait taken by the fine folks at Sonoma Tintype.

Tintype photography etches an image onto a metal plate. I had thought about getting a cool shot for a vintage-feeling author photo, or something.

INSTEAD what ENDED UP HAPPENING was a portrait of the 19th century’s most notorious pickax-murdering train robber:

i'm your huckleberry

SO GREAT. Everyone should get a tintype photo done, it’ll outlast any of your other worldly possessions.

Oh hey here’s some Roll-a-Sketches too!! I did a bunch, of course, but here’s an incomplete selection of my favorites from the weekend (click the images for bigger):

ROYALTY + WONDER WOMAN + GENIE + SKATES:

God save the queen

CAMPING + BODYBUILDER:

gotta work out those issues

TREE + HUNGRY + CHEERLEADER + BANANA:

defense defense

ROYALTY + UNICORN:

I say good neigh to you sir

BLIMP + RABBIT:

slowly. silently. persistently.

And of course ZOMBIE + MUSICAL + BANANA + WIZARD:

doo dee dee da dee doo doo

Thanks to the many fine folks who said hello and got to take home a Roll-a-Sketch!! See the rest of you in Vancouver!

lovely each and all

THIS WEEKEND: Maker Faire Bay Area!

THIS WEEKEND I’ll be at Maker Faire in San Mateo!

FAIRE IT UP

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

From “What is Maker Faire”

For the FIRST TIME this year it’s a three-day show: there’s an “Industry Night” on Friday night, and then it’s open to the public like usual on Saturday & Sunday.

WHAT INDUSTRY is that referring to? I dunno! We all work hard, you and me. We are all industrious.

I will be in the BAZAAR, which is a craft-fair-style sort of sub-fair within Maker Faire. At BOOTH #29:

MAP IT UP

Perhaps you would like to come get a book or a puzzle or a Roll-a-Sketch…or even just a firm handshake or a wave from a respectful distance! We will have all of these things available.

If you will be ANYWHERE ELSE this weekend, you can now get our puzzles!! They’re available at TopatoCo (with all my other great things) or Amazon (with, like, peanut butter or whatever).

PUZZLE IT UP


COMING UP SOON: A special project involving Roll-a-Sketch original watercolor paintings.

ROLL IT UP (don't actually do this)

If you would like to own one of these limited, one-of-a-kind pieces (last seen in the 2014 Wondermark Calendar or in postcards)…

Or some OTHER neat things…

Your chance is coming up. SOON.

See you at Maker Faire!!

Check out: Comics, Narrated

Voice actor SungWon Cho has a series on Tumblr of audio performances of comic strips! (The video above is him, too.)

I’ve seen comics narrated a few times and it’s always pretty fun. SungWon does it exceptionally well.

Of course I am partial to his reading of a Wondermark strip! NICELY DONE, SUNGWON.

But they are all great.

(Note: Tumblr’s audio player has known bugs with Chrome. Use a different browser if it doesn’t work.)

I also love seeing this sort of thing done in general: talented people having fun with their talent in a way that other people can share. That can do more for a career than fancy business cards, or expensive websites, or press releases extolling your own greatness. Heck I’m sharing his work right now!!

Check Out: A New Index of Copyright Fair Use Cases

THE BATTLE OF COPYRIGHT  2011
Source: Christopher Dombres via Flickr

The U.S. Copyright Office has launched a new Fair Use Index:

Fair use is a longstanding and vital aspect of American copyright law. The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable to the public by presenting a searchable database of court opinions, including by category and type of use (e.g., music, internet/digitization, parody).

The Fair Use Index is designed to be user-friendly. For each decision, we have provided a brief summary of the facts, the relevant question(s) presented, and the court’s determination as to whether the contested use was fair.

The Index itself is a series of summaries of key legal decisions regarding copyright and fair use, largely from the last sixty years.

It’s super interesting to me! Wondermark is, of course, created using images from the public domain. Which is not the same as fair use; public domain works have no copyright, whereas fair use is made of works that are copyrighted.

But copyright in all its gleaming facets is still a topic near and dear to my heart as an artist, author, and attentive internet citizen: I’ve written a fair amount about copyright and intellectual property.

The Fair Use Index includes some watershed copyright cases, such as 1978′s Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, the precedent that defines the infringement threshold for copying copyrighted characters for “parody” purposes.

It might be said that under the Air Pirates test, the entire product line of the t-shirt website TeeFury is illegal, and I notice that very conveniently, most of their designs are only available in strictly limited, before-they-can-send-us-a-cease-and-desist editions.

Also included is the “Betamax” case, 1984′s Sony Corporation v. Universal City Studios, which ruled that recording a free broadcast of live television onto videotape for later home viewing — referred to as “time-shifting” — was, indeed, legal. “Home taping” (of both television and radio) was the big I.P. boogieman threat before “piracy”, and this court decision was what enabled the VCR, as a consumer device, to exist at all.

In browsing, I also came across some interesting cases I hadn’t heard about before, such as:

• 1985′s MGM v. Honda Motor Corp., in which MGM sued — and won — claiming that a spy-themed Honda commercial was too reminiscent of their copyrighted character, James Bond (and that it damaged the James Bond brand to show him in a Honda);

• 2004′s MasterCard v. Nader 2000, in which MasterCard sued — and lost — a copyright infringement suit against Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign commercials which copied/parodied its “priceless” slogan;

• 2006′s CleanFlicks v. Soderbergh, in which the company CleanFlicks, which edited objectionable content out of Hollywood movies and re-sold them to customers who preferred them that way, sought a declaratory judgment that doing so was legal — and lost. They thought they’d be OK because they’d buy a copy of the actual DVD, add in the edited version, and re-sell that precise physical DVD — not unlike buying a book, blacking out various passages, and then re-selling that physical book. Anyway, they lost;

• And of course, 2011′s CCA and B v. F+W Media, which ruled that the parody book Elf Off the Shelf (featuring a drunken, naughty elf), was, indeed, legal. Thank God for that.

The Fair Use Index: really great browsing, if you’re interested in copyright!

New at T-Shirt Diplomacy: Snake Coil! Sea Lions! Sarcasm!

SNAKE COIL

Hey I’ve got some cool new shirts up at T-shirt Diplomacy!

A lot of people asked for a Snake Coil logo (based on last week’s comic, of course), so here you go!

YEAH RIGHT

Also! Sarcasm shirts are back, both in original color Midnight Blast and newly minted Cool Arctic Breeze. All shirt colors are now named after deodorant flavors.

The Sarcasm shirt was kind of inspired by this comic I guess! For extra credit: there is also this comic and this comic.

GO AWAY

Finally! Our pal the sea lion is back and HE’S BROUGHT BACKUP. Visit the lovely, fang-torn Piranhamoose Republic today.

I never used to like making black shirts, but I have been cured of that aversion. That said: One cool thing about T-shirt Diplomacy is that they’ll do custom prints of any shirt on a different color/brand, if you want. Costs a few bucks extra, but then you get to Have It Your Way™!

This week we are FINISHING shipping out our Wondermark jigsaw puzzles! That means, if you’ve been gnawing your fingernails to nubs waiting for your chance to get one, THAT TIME IS NIGH. Next week, over at TopatoCo! I’ll make a suitably loud noise!