ELFQUEST
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Fan Art Public Domain

AJ-Chan

I have a question in which I could not find the answer. It is probably written somewhere I'm sure. I have been a fan of Elfquest and Wendy Pini's art for 25 years. Every time I show a professional comic book artist my work they ask, "Ever heard of Elfquest," in which I cleverly reply, "Why yes yes I have." Manga/Anime art has always been public domain for artist to sell their fan art, DC Comics recently went public domain as well...for fan art only. Same goes for Doctor Who. I wondered if mayhaps Elfquest was on that bandwagon? I have a project in mind I'm going to do anyway, I just want to know if I can sell it without getting sued. If not, I understand, it is what it is. I see a ton of My Little Pony art at my local anime convention, I thought Elfquest would be obvious, which makes me think it's not public domain for fan art, but one can dream. I can just display it on deviantart or my own (upcoming) website with no price tag attached.

Tam

Elfquest is not part of the public domain for fan art, as far as I know. You can make it, but you can't profit off of it.

AJ-Chan

Which is fine, it's what I figured. Thanks for responding so quickly. ^^

Tam

No problem :)

RichardPini

AJ-Chan said: Manga/Anime art has always been public domain for artist to sell their fan art, DC Comics recently went public domain as well...for fan art only. Same goes for Doctor Who. I wondered if mayhaps Elfquest was on that bandwagon? I have a project in mind I'm going to do anyway, I just want to know if I can sell it without getting sued. If not, I understand, it is what it is. I see a ton of My Little Pony art at my local anime convention, I thought Elfquest would be obvious, which makes me think it's not public domain for fan art, but one can dream. I can just display it on deviantart or my own (upcoming) website with no price tag attached.


Let me try to clear up a couple of notions here. First, neither DC nor My Little Pony nor any of the manga/anime is "public domain." That's a very specific term referring to copyright, and means that the original copyright in the property has legally expired according to copyright law. And those copyrights you're talking about are, believe it, still very much alive. What I'm sure you mean to say is (if in fact it's true, and not just fan word on the street - can you point us to the company news releases that actually state this?) that someone at DC or wherever has said, informally, that they aren't going to get bent out of shape if you do onesie fan art at a convention now and then. I guarantee that if you start up your own My Little Pony sub-business selling multiple copies of a comic or art print or plushies, etc., or if you make yourself known on eBay as someone who will do Wonder Woman art on commission, you will hear from them sooner or later. We here at Warp Graphics are no different regarding Elfquest. The "project in mind" that you're going to do anyway, we have no idea what it might be. If it's a comic strip or series of art portraits (say), we've no problem with you showcasing it on DeviantArt, for example. We will have a problem if you decide to go into the publishing business, make copies and sell them. The best advice we have is this: Ask the owner directly. Don't assume or guess. Most of the time, I bet, owners will be happy that you took the time and showed the respect to inquire. They may say yes, they may say no, they may give limited permission, depending. But at least you'll have done the right thing, and we'll respect you for it.

AJ-Chan

You're right, public domain is the improper term, I just couldn't figure out better term to describe what I was asking. My project is chibis, and if you've been to my deviantart site, I do a lot of chibis. They're...kind of my thing. I rarely ever do fanart, because I like to showcase original designs even if they are based in mythology, as in Greek and Gnostic. And I have done my MMO characters from SWTOR, but I'm not going to sell them, since the original character designs are property of Bioware, Lucasarts and so on. Elfquest is a special case. Anyone who knows me can tell you Elfquest is the great love of my life. Wendy's art is breathtaking and the stories are engaging and worth reading again and again. That is the kind of storyteller I would like to be. So I would like to do chibis and display them on my deviantart site for all to enjoy. I promise I won't market them in any way, no prints, tees, buttons, magnets or any of the mediums I see people do with My Little Pony. If I ever do an Elfquest comic, I would submit it through the proper channels, and Warp Graphics can decide whether or not to publish it. If you really are Richard Pini, I am a BIG fan, and rather giddy you personally took the time to respond to my question. Thank you and Wendy for bringing Elfquest into the world. The world of two moons has gotten me through some pretty hard times, it's a great place in which to escape. Thanks again!

Leanan

AJ-Chan said: If you really are Richard Pini


Trust me. He is.

RichardPini

AJ-Chan said: So I would like to do chibis and display them on my deviantart site for all to enjoy. I promise I won't market them in any way, no prints, tees, buttons, magnets or any of the mediums I see people do with My Little Pony.


Then by all means, go for it.

AJ-Chan said: If I ever do an Elfquest comic, I would submit it through the proper channels, and Warp Graphics can decide whether or not to publish it.


At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, Wendy and I are channeling all our print publishing through Dark Horse Comics. They are much better suited to doing an excellent job getting the new (and classic) Elfquest material out there. We've been at this a long time, and are really enjoying letting someone else do the heavy lifting. Of course, we would enjoy seeing what you create.

AJ-Chan said: If you really are Richard Pini...


I must be. No one else in their right mind would want this job!

AJ-Chan

Haha!

Trollbabe

Well, the job does come with the benefit of being married to Mrs. Pini.