Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 25, 2014

Go, Look: Salt Lake Comic Con Responds To Lawsuit Filed By Comic-Con International Over "Comic Con"

A TV station has the response from Salt Lake Comic Con to a lawsuit filed by Comic-Con International over use of the words "Comic Con" here. As expected, they point out that there are a number of shows that use similar phrasing that are not being sued.

I don't know what the legal outcome will be here, because 20 years of covering comics have told me I'm basically the Criswell of comics legal decisions. I will say that this one is hard to sell as something that would win in the night court of nerds sitting around a diner or dormitory hallway or comics shop and talking things through. I do feel bad about this particular cultural moment for CCI. They still put on a serious comics show surrounded by the pop-culture delirium in which it's encased. Other shows are clearly working that same model but with attention to different elements, untethered from old-fashioned fan values. Because Comic-Con has decided for now to stay in a relationship with San Diego -- and who knows how that turns out -- they're now limited in size. Other shows can now lay claim to be bigger. That was always the ace in their pocket when it came to positioning themselves against other shows. Now that's gone, even though I think it's clear they could probably pull way more attendees than anyone else if the infrastructure at all the convention-type shows were the near-infinite same.

If I were in charge of Comic-Con right now -- actually, the show would probably go away in two years if I were running it, smoking crater optional -- I can conceive of being really concerned about my assets that weren't guaranteed, continued growth in attendees. That would include my name and my model and I would likely press any and all advantages that I was being told I could push. So we'll see on the legal outcome, and how this plays out in public perception. We'll also see if a new focus from the Comic Con standard-bearers will start to have an effect in this and other areas. If they get aggressive, the entire landscape may change.
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink

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