Letters : Editor : 2006 : To the Editor 08/09/2006

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Date: Sep 8, 2006
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From Suzette

j'aimerai savoir pour avoir le droit de reproduire sipderman sur des meubles que faut-il faire et combien cela coute

You want to paint a Spidey mural on the walls of your apartment, and you want to know what you have to do and what it will cost?

Marvel doesn't deal directly with people wanting to licence rights to characters for one-off uses. You have to be a publishing company, or a toy or clothing company etc. to actually negotiate with them. That's the bad news.

The good news is that you typically have (details vary depending on your country of residence) the rights to "Fair Use". I.e. if you buy a comic, you're allowed to cut out the pages and stick them on your wall. It's quite reasonable to assume that you are also allowed to draw pictures of Spider-Man on the walls of your private dwelling.

The standard test is something like "Does my use compete with Marvel's right to make money from their character?" E.g. you can't produce and sell your own Spider-Man books or comics. You can't create advertisements using Spidey's likeness. However, you do have a lot of leeway in things like satire, newspaper articles, and even in derivative art forms such as pop art.

To cut a long story short, my unofficial view is you almost certainly have the right to paint Spidey on the walls of your kid's bedroom. And even if you technically don't have that right, it's unthinkable that Marvel would ever consider making a fuss about it!

From Robert

I am an avid airbrush artist and have had a couple of requests to paint spiderman on some peoples kids bedroom walls. Would this be considered a fair use? I am so unsure and have turned them down out of respect for Stan Lee and his ingenious invention -- Spider Man--. How do i get permission to paint Spider Man on kids walls.

If there is an isuue regarding this I wouls like to know as I dont want to have to dissapoint another kid knowing I may be okay to paint him in their room. Wouldnt this be an inspiration to buy more spidey stuff such as bedding or toys and such?

Well, this is one step further on from the previous question. There's a significant step between painting a bedroom for your own kid, and making a business or profit out of reproducing the image for others. Definitely you're getting closer to the dividing line.

You could contact Marvel, however I would be surprised if you managed to come to a formal arrangement with them, given the small size of the business involved. My personal judgement would say that if this was a small part of your business, you would be very, very unlikely to get any hassle from Marvel. But that is purely my personal judgement based on how I have observed Marvel to work. They are pretty reasonable in my experience.

As to the absolute letter of the law? I suspect you're in a grey area. But I know that if some kid asked me to paint Spidey on his wall, there's no way I could refuse!

From Tommmy

I've looked through your listings, and there is one thing missing (unless I missed it myself somehow, in which case--NARG!!): Spider-Man in his adventures on the back of Fruit Roll-ups boxes. I believe on the back of the boxes, there were 5 parts of a story where Spider-Man has to clear his name. I cut out, part 3 I believe, where Spidey has to get Venom: The Lethal Protector, off his back for a but. The battle is very short as there are only 5-6 panels to tell the whole thing with, but when I find it somewhere here in my room, wherever I put it, I'll type up the story for you, and I'm hoping you or one of your friends can see if they can find an image of it and the other parts.

Well, that raises a darn good question. Where exactly do we draw the line here in our Comics/Books database. Does a story on the back of Fruit Roll-Ups actually qualify? You know what, I think it does. Oh well, I needed some more near-impossible things to collect!

From Jason

I'm a longtime British fan,and as i browsed through your character profiles, when i noticed that a very prominant villain from my early years as a reader,a villain called Killer Punch.i proceeded to "search your site" and found nothing of use.i was wondering if you (or the other spiderfans) might know anything and if you might be planning on making a profile on him.If it helps,i think he appeared in "Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures",a British all-ages title something like "Marvel Adventures S-M".Sadly,the issues i had that featured the said character have since been lost.

I actually have a bunch of those British comics, though I must admit I haven't come across Killer Punch yet. I will be trying to review those UK original stories as I come across them. However, there won't be a profile, since currently we are restricting the scope of our character gallery to mainstream continuity characters only.

From Steven

I was wondering if there is any chance in the near future of there being a character bio section for Ultimate Spider-Man. The Ultimate universe has become very expansive, full of rich characters that are just as dynamic (if not more) than their 616 counterparts. Personally I think it'd be a really cool idea.

Ahh... this is a F.A.Q. The simple answer is "No, we have no plans to extend the Characters section to include Ultimate Characters". Most of our effort here at Spider-Fan goes into reviewing comics. Character profiles are secondary - we're always looking for new character profiles, so do E-Mail Us if you would like to help.

But given that we have so many mainstream universe characters left to review, we just can't justify spreading ourselves even more thinly to include other universes. We'll just have to leave that to the dedicated Marvel Ultimate Universe sites that are out there.

From Jordy

I like the "Spider-Fun" comic on the homepage. Can you tell me who writes/illustrates them?

Hey, thanks! They're written by me - Jonathan Couper, and skillfully illustrated by my good friend and fellow SpiderFan, Heather Buchanan. Actually, there hasn't been a new one for six weeks now, which is my fault for not feeding Heather with sufficient scripts. We'll get back on top of them as soon as we can - we hate to dissapoint ya!

From Francois

There's something I've got to ask you. It's about Francis Klum, if he becomes the next Mysterio, then Spidey is in big trouble.

I didn't read too much about Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do miniseries on your website (I really didn't like it), but you see, if he is some kind of psychic, he can predict Spidey's moves by reading his mind, not to mention creating illusions as well as destroying his spider-sense, throw him around like a rag-doll or throw stuff at him using teleknises, order the Black Cat to fight him through mind control and speaking of Felicia, now this is what scares me the most, if he has the power to teleport, then how will Spidey be able to save Cat? Can he save her in time from a psycho who can instantly teleport inside a person's body and explode them from within? I don't want her to end up in a refrigerator, if you know what I mean, but I guess it's up to Marvel now.

Well, I guess we're going to find out, with Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #11. Klum is back, but he's not the only Mysterio in town. Of course Spider-Man has taken on some pretty powerful guys in his time. Now that he knows what he's up against with Klum, it's going to be a whole different ballgame.

Personally, I'm surprised that we saw Francis again. I don't imagine that Kevin Smith is likely to get invited back to Marvel for a long time, after failing to deliver his last two stories on time (Daredevil/Bullseye is still unfinished). With all the controversy surrounding the Black Cat story - the tardiness and then the touchy subject matter, I'm a little surprised that Peter David carried on from where Smith left off. But then again, PD was always a brave guy, and he has good respect for continuity.

From Nick

Hi my name is Nick an I am 5 years old. I love spiderman I always wear my spidey gear and I once got my picture with spidey at the circus. I am looking forward to seeing the spiderman in 2007.

How do you get your webs to come out of your hands?

How old are you spiderman?

I live in Independence Ky Where do you Live?

Do you have any spider babies?

Heya there Nick!

The radioactive Spider that bit me gave me powers to make webs. I'm thirty-two years old and I live in Manhattan, New York.

No, I don't have any spider babies... yet!

From J. Fisher

Hi. I'm a UK fan of the Spider-Man movies who's interest in the character has been revived by those Sam Raimi cinema outings (in the 80's I watched the Amazing Friends and the odd 60's animated series episodes, the live-action 70's series, and bought a few dozen AMS/Spectacular/Team-Up comic issues as a child).

Since I'm on a budget, the expense of currently buying many of the older comic issues is high, as you'll know, so I've at present only added Marvel's Essential AMS volumes 1-7 (up to issue 160), and Spectacular vol. 1-2 (up to issue 53), and Team-Up vol. 1 (up to issue 24) to those few comics I bought as a child, just as an efficient way to get as many issues all grouped together as possible.

With my interest in the Raimi movies, I'm currently trying to put together a list of comic issues, using series title, issue no., published month & year, villain(s) appearing/fought, regular character appearances, main guest appearances, and brief summaries of major story events contained within.

The reason I'm doing this is to try to get a handle on which events, characters, etc from the Raimi movies have been taken verbatim from the comics, or altered slightly/much, or had certain characters' incidents/histories/dialogue given to others for cinematic/dramatic purposes.

After seeing movie no. 2 I thought that the 3rd one was 'practically writing itself'. With the info. mentioned above, I can use that * trend to make a detailed best-guess as to what will likely happen in the 3rd movie, since May 2007 seems such a long way away).

I'd rather do that, as a fun, personal 'speculation & extrapolation' exercise, than rely on the rumours on the 'net. Some of the online info. on movie 3 seems pretty factual (eg from the New York set reports and captured photos of the shooting), but most of it is nonsense or too uninformed to bother with/look for.

With my comic-incident list and speculation notes I can then try to buy some of the relevant comic issues (or find comic reviews of them online) to fill in more details for the accuracy of my speculations.

This probably reflects my knowledge of movies and their structure more than any knowledge of Spider-Man I may have, but I was accurate, with far less info. to guess from, when I 'wrote scenes in my head' for movie 2 in the months before that sequel was released, so with more info. to use to guess at movie 3's content, I'll be able to do wonders for reassuring myself that eg the movie story arcs are going where they should. After 2 great outings so far, I trust the involvement of cast/crew like Director Raimi, and eg writer Alvin Sargent, and Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, etc to do the trilogy justice, but I just want to make my own best-guesses before next summer.

Your site is a very good source for much of the info. I'm looking for, and I just thought you may be able to assist with any lists of comic issues and incidents that contain info. relevant to the 3 movies. From online forums, I've got info. on various comic incidents, characters, etc that may be relevant to my exercise, but often It's hard to match up the incident with the comic issue, since the forum members don't seem to own/recall the issues they came from ! So I thought I'd ask someone who seems to know what they're talking about - ie you and your site staff.

Well... that sure sounds like a mission and a half! I'd love to be able to offer some time to help, but we're pretty busy working through all these Spider-Man comic book reviews. I'd say you're already using the right resources, looking for online forums and chat groups.

If and when you do manage to put something together, we'd be delighted to throw you a link and give you some press. For now, I'm just going to wish you the best of luck with your efforts!