Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’


Pulp Nocturne 1930 Plays at Flat Land Games in Wixom, MI Sundays

November 24, 2014

PN 1930 FG Flyer 112414


Pulp Nocturne 1930 at Flat Land Games in Wixom

July 16, 2014

PN 1930 web final


Capes and Calamity This Sunday August, 21st at Pandemonium Games

August 17, 2011



August 9, 2011



July 28, 2011


During one of the recent gaming sessions of the pulp supers role playing game Capes and Calamity I had mentioned this website:  Public Domain Super Heroes.

Public Domain Super Heroes is a collaborative website about comic book, film, literary, or pulp characters in the public domain that have appeared in comics or fit in a common comic book genre such as the masked vigilante, caped crusader, or jungle lord.

In the early days of comics, publishing companies came and went with great frequency. Most of the defunct companies never bothered to renew their Copyrights. Many were bought out by other companies that also failed to do so. For instance, DC bought out Quality, but evidently made the same mistake as many other companies: confusing the actual possession of the original property with legal ownership of the characters and stories depicted therein. Hence, while they owned all the remaining prints and plates of hundreds of comics, they failed to renew the Copyright on most of the original printed material.

The Copyright laws in the United States have changed several times over the past century. The changes made in 1960s, 1970s and 1990s significantly extended copyright terms for the works which were still in copyright at that point. While they will probably lapse into public domain in some point, it won’t happen for quite a while. For our purposes, much of what was created in the 60s and beyond will be unusable for quite some time.

The Public Domain consists of works and ideas that nobody may claim as their own. The wheel can’t be Trademarked, the King James Bible can’t be Copyrighted, and the Waterbed cannot be patented. Improvements and variations CAN be protected; Firestone and Michelin are Trademarked wheels, Bibles with the words of Jesus printed in red or having maps of the Holy Land added can be Copyrighted, and a specific design of Waterbed can be patented. In terms of print media, the Public Domain consists of works that existed before Copyright law (Don Quixote or the Illiad), those that are too old to be protected any more (Frankenstein and Dracula), and those whose Copyrights have run out and weren’t renewed (like the characters here). Finally, real-life historical figures are, by definition, in public domain.

Public Domain is a legal issue, so by its very nature, it can be confusing. The standard for trademark infringement is called “confusingly similar.” The standard for copyright infringement is called “substantially similar.”

Cartoon characters can be protected under both copyright and trademark law. Copyright of literary characters was originally based on the written works, but cartoon characters, and by extension, comic book characters have a visual representation.

To complicate matters further, some “public domain” works may actually be “orphan works”. “Orphan works” as the term is understood in the trade means works that may still be protected by copyright, but which have been abandoned by their copyright owners, or for which no copyright owner remains in existence.

~Horror Master Noire AKA Alan


Capes and Calamity Sunday, July 10th at Pandemonium Games in Garden City

July 6, 2011


FREE Role Playing Game Day Saturday, June 18th

June 17, 2011


Capes and Calamity this Sunday, June 19th!

June 13, 2011


Capes and Calamity This Sunday, May 15th

May 11, 2011


Oooooh A New Phantom Movie on Television

June 17, 2010

Roll Dem Bones

by Alan Meranda

What does one make of a new Phantom movie that takes a classic hero and modernizes them? Strike that. Blasts the classic hero into a futuristic world is a more apt description.  All of us get to see this Sunday on the SYFY Channel, 7PM EST.

“The Phantom is one of the first ‘masked’ heroes to come out of the 1930s,” said Dynamite president and publisher Nick Barrucci. “This story is a passion project for all involved. … This is the journey of today’s Kit Walker, who is working towards making the world a better place through the Walkabout Foundation.  But can he escape destiny?  And where will this adventure bring him?”

SYFY has found a way to more than irritate their fan base with movie adaptations of pulp classics. The recent Princess of Mars received a fair drubbing.  Let’s use the first Iron Man film as an example. The film was not shot with state-of-the-art computer graphics technology. The film worked beyond the special effects driven nature of the film. The plot was solid but not blatantly divergent from what most fans of Iron Man recognize as canon.

It’s hard to take SYFY serious in their movie efforts. It’s annoying, boring and tiresome to see the same recycled CGI spiders and scorpions in five different movies. Hollywood in the past was notorious for B-movies and dare I say: grindhouse movies. Yet out of some of those B-movies, classics were made. Tarantino hopped on the grindhouse garbage truck and tried to convince folks that exploitation was more than schlock.

As any serious fan realizes that sci-fi isn’t science fiction. We are at a huge cinematic cross-road. The film industry can now take any work of classic literature, comic book, historical tale, pulp novel, science fiction classic and create a realistic representation of that world. What do the makers of films inflict on us? Transformers movies, movies based off of computer games and movies off of television shows. Most people don’t really want to see a Gilligan’s Island movie.

If a movie like The Phantom is faithful in its scope to the original classic tales of the Phantom all of us would appreciate that. Just don’t give us a dish of dog poop and tell us its chocolate ice cream.

Here’s an overview of the SYFY Phantom movie.